Summary: The true values in the kingdom have an upside down perspective to life that is modeled by Jesus in that the way up to God is down in submission to Him completely.
SOMETIMES THE WAY UP IS DOWN Philippians 2:5-11
Proposition: The true values in the kingdom have an upside down perspective to life that is modeled by Jesus in that the way up to God is down in submission to Him completely.
Objective: My purpose is to challenge people to be willing to experience an upside down perspective in life and let God bring you up.
Did you have any problems getting around in a hospital? One that I have had a problem in finding where I am going is the St. Francis Hospital in Peoria. Now you park in a garage & ride the trolley to the Information Desk. When you stand puzzled about which way to go, a worker may come by and a worker volun-teers to take you where are going, when you may not know whether you are coming or going. A minister from West Virginia was visiting in a hospital under-going major renovations. He says, "I got lost & turned all around several times. I needed to get to one of the upper rooms but the elevators were not working then. I came to a hallway & knew that all I had to do was to go up one flight of steps to get to where I needed to be. But the stairs were blocked off. A sign read, ’To go up you must go down the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs look for further directions,’" Sometimes the only way up is down.
Bill Hybels wrote, "In the vocabulary of our world "DOWN" is a word reserved for losers, cowards & the bear market. We say: DOWN & out, DOWN-fall, DOWNscale, DOWNhearted & worst of all, DOWN under. And down’s anto-nym is ‘UP’ -- a word reserved to describe winners & heroes. We say things like: UPscale, UP & coming, UPper class, & UPWARDLY MOBILE. We believe in ASCENDING to fame, money, power, comfort & pleasure. From the world’s per-spective, it is the only way to go...just as a compass needle points north, the human needle points UP." Jesus came into the world & modeled such an upside down perspective on life. In coming & dying for our sins, He in essence said, "The way up....the way to life and fulfillment and joy is not to put self and personal needs first....NO....the way up is DOWN...the way to find happiness is to become a servant and put the needs of others first." Jesus tells us that the way to fulfillment and joy is not up but down. In a world where most people think the only way to go is up, Jesus lived a life of magnificent downward mobility. For Jesus, the only way to exaltation was by coming down to earth as a human being. He emptied himself of what it meant to be God and took on the form of a slave. The Incarnation is the central miracle of Christianity. Here we see the most grand & wonderful of all the things that God has ever done. This is a Christological gem, a theological diamond that perhaps sparkles brighter than any other in Scripture. He is no longer on the cross! He is seated now in the place of power. God has highly exalted Him.
I. HIS POSITION: THE EQUALITY OF CHRIST-He is up (vvs. 5-6) “equal with God”—Jesus Christ eternally and immutably existed, and will forever continue to exist, in the form of God. 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.
1. Attitude (v. 5)“Let this mind be in you” "Your attitude should
be the same as that of Christ Jesus." "Keep thinking this among you, which was also in Christ Jesus." The mind of Christ means the attitude that Christ exhibited. If one’s outlook is selfish, actions will be divisive and destructive (James 4:1-10). "This is mine." "I have a right to do this." "You have no right to demand this of me." The Lord never gloried in His position, though He never denied it either.
2. Appearance (v. 6a) “being in the form of God”--The Son of God’s preincarnate state is quite clearly in view here (cf. 2 Cor. 8:9: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”). Christ is really God (co-existent, co-equal and co-eternal) & His glory is the glory of God. The word translated "form" or “nature" refers to outward appearance that accurately reveals the inward nature. To say that He was existing in the essential form of God means that He possessed the nature of God.
3. Apprehension (to perceive or understand) (v. 6b) “did not