Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: If Christ is our model we should model His attitude, actions, and path.

June 4 The Higher Path: Jesus Our Model

Philippians 2:5-11

The lower we bend, the higher we fly.

If Christ is our model, how shall we model Him?

1. We are to model His attitude vv.5-7a

John 1:1; Revelation 1:8

Every pride we have, every anger we experience, every irritation we notice, every injustice we endure, every hurt we feel—can be traced to a right we are clinging to.

2. We are to model His actions vv.7b- 8

slave (doulos): totally devoted to the interests of someone else

3. We are to model His path vv.9-11

Matthew 25:23

“The highest lesson a believer has to learn is humility. Brethren, here is the path to the higher life. Down, lower, down!” Andrew Murray, Humility

When I was a child, I’d sit in our garage and watch my dad work with his hands. He built a boat from scratch; he built an extra room on our house by himself, he could do all kinds of things. When he’d concentrate, he’d stick out his tongue like this… and you know what? After 60 years, if I’m concentrating doing something with my hands, you know, big projects like changing the filter in the air conditioner or changing a light bulb, you know, big projects, guess what I do? I stick my tongue out….

It is a part of human nature to imitate. From our earliest moments, God has created us to imitate what we see & what we hear. Since our children grew up in their formative years in Mississippi, they imitated the dialect and accents of the people in that region. Then we moved to Texas…. Not sure it got any better.

Turn with me in your Bibles to Philippians 2:5-11 This morning we begin a new series entitled The Higher Path. Now, when I say the higher path, you might think about walking up the path of some mountain vista. (pic)

But as you know, the Christ-life is filled with paradoxes, right? How do you get life? You die to self. How do you get to be first? You place yourself last. Who is mighty in the eyes of God? The one who is contrite and broken.

So these next 6 weeks we’re going to talk about how you can scale and experience the highest of heights that any human being can attain. Doesn’t that sound awesome? That you would attain to the highest of human purpose and satisfaction and contentment and fulfillment and love and peace and joy.

Now, the world system is telling you that the way to scale the heights is to gain all the worldly pleasures you can, gain all the power and influence you can, gain all the thrills you can, gain all the money and possessions you can. But that’s not what Jesus said. That’s not what Jesus modeled.

And so we must recognize a powerful paradox if we’re going to scale the heights in this life: The lower we bend, the higher we fly.

That’s how Jesus lived, right? When you read the accounts of His life you can’t arrive at any other conclusion than He lived a life of humility and service. So-- if we call ourselves Christ-followers, guess what? We must imitate, model the life of Jesus. Christ followers. Christ-imitators. Christ modelers.

One of the great Christological passages is this one we’ll study today. It’s called “The kenosis” passage because the key word in it is kenosis: to empty. So stand and read it out loud together: “ Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.[a] 7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form,8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross. 9 For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name,10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth—11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,[b]to the glory of God the Father.”

If Christ is our model, how shall we model Him?

1. We are to model His attitude vv.5-7a

“Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.[a] 7 Instead He emptied Himself”

So what was His attitude? It goes to that word I said awhile ago: kenosis. He emptied Himself. What does that mean?

Well think about who Jesus was before His incarnation. Don’t think for a minute that Jesus didn’t exist until 2000 years ago. As the 2nd member of the Triune God, Jesus has always been. Jesus is eternal. John the Apostle wrote in his account of Jesus’ life: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 The last book of the Bible, Revelation has Jesus saying, ““I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the One who is, who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8 Alpha the 1st letter of the Greek alphabet; Omega is the last letter. Jesus is saying that everything began in Him; everything will wind down in Him. He’s eternal.

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