Summary: Philippians 2:5-11 tells us how to be humble. How to have a selfless mind, a sacrificial mind, and a serving mind.
Years ago there was this funny song about humility. The chorus went something like this…
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
when you're perfect in every way.
I can't wait to look in the mirror
cause I get better looking each day.
To know me is to love me
I must be a heck of a man.
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
but I'm doing the best that I can
(Try to sing it. You can find Mac Davis singing this on Youtube.)
To find what humility really is let’s turn to one of the greatest passages in the Bible, another song – a hymn, and the greatest passage on humility. Let’s read Philippians 2 verse 3, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature (being in very form)[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; (or something to be grasped or held)
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
A mind that is humble is …
(These points seen on the website “PRECEPT AUSTIN.”)
I. A Selfless Mind.
Let this mind be in your which is in Christ Jesus. Phil 2:5
It is a selfless mind because it is or is becoming the mind of Christ. The person who wants to know true humility has decided that the mind of the self will never be truly humble. To be truly humble takes the mind of Christ.
Paul wants us to think about humility the way Jesus thought and acted on it. We think of humility as the opposite of pride and more than likely it is; we think of humility as without power; which it actually isn’t. It is being meek; it is being modest.
But it goes deeper and is broader than all these definitions.
Actually, everything in life has a deeper meaning when we turn to the Christ and seek to understand all things through our Savior. Money has a deeper meaning; so does time. Family has a deeper meaning. Our understanding of government does.
And so does humility.
What we are going to learn about humility from Paul is deeper and greater than we would learn from our social or cultural understanding…if we put on the mind of Christ.
So, we start by deciding we need a self-less mind.
A humble mind is…
II. A Sacrificial Mind.
Notice Philippians 2: 6 and 7, “Who, being in very nature (being in the form of) God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; (something to be grasped or clutched). But he emptied himself …
A. Scripture tells us that God is Jesus.
[He] is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation, Col 1:15.
Also notice Hebrews 1:3, “He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
The idea is that, before the Incarnation, from all eternity past, Jesus preexisted in the divine form of God, equal with God the Father in every way. By His very nature and innate being, Jesus Christ is, always has been, and will forever be fully divine.
Paul says that Jesus was in very form (morphe) God and that he was equal to God.
B. Scripture tells us that God is Jesus -- “iso”
We use the Greek word for equal in our English language. It is “iso.” An isomer is a chemical molecule having a very slightly different structure from another molecule but being absolutely identical with it in terms of its chemical elements and weight. Isometric means equal measures. And an isosceles triangle, you will remember from your days in school, is a triangle that has two equal sides. The word means equal. He was equal with God...exactly equal with God. He is in the form of God. He is God; that's what Paul is saying. (This paragraph from John Macarthur.)
C. Teaching of Church
This issue has caused and is still causing problems. It was in 325 AD that the Council of Nicea considered the identity of Jesus of Nazareth. And, crucially, Nicea declared what the Scriptures clearly teach – that Jesus of Nazareth is “of one being with the Father” (homoousios). Now here’s the crucial thing – Nicea does not simply say ‘the eternal Son’ is ‘of one being with the Father.’ This is of course true, but Nicea says more than this. It is the Jesus who was born of the Virgin Mary, who suffered under Pontius Pilate, who is declared homoousios with the Father.