Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Here is the supreme argument for Christian giving. Grace giving flows out of the self-giving and self-impoverishing of the Son of God on man's behalf.



[Philippians 2: 1-13 / Mark 12:41–44]

Paul has been using the Macedonians as an example but they were an example only because they followed Christ Jesus' example. So at this point is introduced the supreme argument for Christian giving. Grace giving flows out of the self-giving and self-impoverishing of the Son of God on man's behalf (CIT). This redemptive sacrifice was given by Christ willingly. This costly gift had long been promised, but promise without performance is like a well without water. So Christ gave Himself that we might through His poverty become rich. Christian giving should spring from the conscious possession of the riches we have received in Christ.

This issue of Christian giving which some esteem so very little is a very great thing in Scripture because it is attached to the most worthy of all events. The idea of Christian giving is strapped inseparable to the supreme example of Jesus Christ and the whole depth of His humbling which encompasses the cross and His suffering. The Christian motivation for giving is founded in what Christ gave for them and for us.




Verse 9 turns to the supreme example and motive for grace giving. “For you (all) know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor (poverty stricken), so that you, (all) through His (extreme) poverty might become rich.”

The supreme argument for giving is introduced with “you all know.” This is something these believers are fully acquainted with by the proclamation of this great truth and by personally experiencing its reality. The greatest empowering of Christian giving is the giving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The grace of Christian giving is supremely seen in Jesus Christ. [Grace is that expression of love to those who deserve something else. Christ’s love by passes our unworthiness, our sinfulness, is unprovoked at our rebellion and stops short of nothing but gives itself in complete surrender.]

Although he was rich refers to Jesus’ preexistence as the Son of God. He enjoyed the presence of the Father and shared in His glory (John 17:5;1 Tim. 3:16). Yet the preexistent Christ laid aside what He could rightfully claim as His own and for the sake of others became incarnate and obedient unto death [Phil. 2:6-11].

[He through whom all things visible and invisible were created. He who possessed incalculable divine glory. It was Him who left the splendor of Heaven for the squalor of earth. The incarnation was the incomprehensible renunciation of spiritual and material glory. He emptied Himself, and humbled Himself to be born a man, made a servant of men and became obedient unto death of the cross. The One who was rich from the heavens descends to earth, Calvary and the grave. None was richer than He.]

He “became poor” refers to the incarnation of Jesus and His social standing while on earth (Luke 9:58). He who had everything of true value “became poor” [this word means abject poverty. He assumed mankind's debt of sin and paid for it with His life (Phil. 2:7-8).]

Jesus was born in a borrowed cradle, preached from a borrowed boat, rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey, ate His Last Supper in a borrowed room, and was buried in a borrowed grave.

Why would He do such a [magnanimous gracious] thing? He did for us, for our sakes, that we “might become rich!” May become rich refers to salvation, that is the inheritance of God’s kingdom, eternal life, and glorification (1 Cor 15:50). You will never grasp the significance of Christ's self-impoverishment until you make it intensely personal. The love that embraced all mankind took you individually into account. We believers therefore ought to appreciate and imitate Jesus’ self-sacrifice on behalf of others.

We were all poor, spiritually, eternally, totally bankrupt before we met Jesus Christ. But now that we have trusted Him we share in His riches! Riches of mental and physical health, common sense, and abundant life. Riches like daily spiritual victory, joy, love, peace and holiness. We are now the children of God, "heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:17).

Since this is true how can we not also give? The implication of the statement is too obvious for anyone to miss. Christ’s giving is the example and pattern for all ours. If Christ freely, graciously did this for me, then nothing I give or do for Him can be too much. To the person not in love with Jesus, giving is a difficult, painful, arduous, burdensome task. He who loves Jesus, on the other hand, is grateful to demonstrate his love. [Redeemed, purchased at incalculable cost, I am no longer my own, nor is anything I possess mine but His by right of this purchase. Though all we have is His He does not demand but ask that we follow His example. This makes the doing all the more blessed.]

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