Summary: Paul listed all of the things the church was doing wrong. How embarrassing that must have been for anyone else who read this letter from the Apostle Paul. But this is what happens when someone gets to read the mail of our church.
THE HUMILITY OF CHRIST
Question: In the life of the believer,
what does humility look like?
Text: Philippians 2:1 thru 11 (NIV)
We found this morning the importance of our having the JOY of the Holy Spirit. In that Jesus died for our sins, and has since sent to us the Holy Spirit, we know that God’s eternal JOY can be made real in each of our lives.
The Apostle Paul has written this letter to the Christians of Philippi. Paul has been one of the overseers for the saints there. He has met with the Lydia, the woman of purple.
One of the things that takes place there, is Paul and Silas are thrown into prison together. Later the Lord delivered them when they began to sing and worship the Lord.
Paul has grown attached to others and he wants the saints to understand the reality of Christ.
Paul has recognized that there were (apparently) some strife and discord among some of the believers.
Paul also recognizes that there are some things that are common among these people.
They all have:
1. Found encouragement from being united with Christ
2. Found comfort from his love
3. Fellowship with the Spirit
4. Tenderness and compassion (for one another)
Sounds like a pretty good church to be a part of. Things are going good.
For the most part…???
There were a few problems though. There were some (or a lot) who wanted to do their own thing.
Paul wrote this letter to remind them –
There were those who:
• Were not like-minded
• Didn’t have the same love that others did for Christ
• Were not one in spirit and purpose.
• Did things out of selfish ambition or vain conceit
• Did not consider others
• Were looking out only for their own interests, and not the interests of others.
Paul listed all of the things they were doing wrong. How embarrassing that must have been for anyone else who read this letter from the Apostle Paul.
But this is what happens when someone gets to read your mail.
Paul sums up all of the problems in this church by saying something very profound that we all need to hear:
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
So in verses 6 thru 8, Paul outlines the attitude that Jesus has (as His example)
The attitude of Christ is HUMILITY.
And this is the attitude we must have.
According to this outline, Jesus:
1. Empties (Greek for no reputation) Himself of all His glory
2. Became a servant to all mankind.
3. Clothed Himself with human flesh
4. Humbled Himself
5. Became obedient to the death on the cross.
After He did all of these things, then God exalted Him.
Before coming to Earth, Jesus was full of the glory of God. But He had to empty Himself of all of that glory in order to come here.
The disciples did get a momentary glimpse of the Glory of God when they witnessed what happened to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.
But this was only for a few moments while Jesus met with Moses and Elijah.
Afterwards Jesus had to return to being emptied of God’s Glory and fulfill the plan of salvation.
As a result of being emptied and humbled, Jesus experienced all of the emotions of life that we experience.
Being tired and hungry, tempted and tried, etc.
Jesus experienced the lowly state of man living in a world of sin and evil.
I find it interesting that Jesus -
• Was humbled while living in this world, and yet we are humbled when we are in His presence.
• Took off His robes of majesty to come to earth, and yet we must put on His robes of righteousness to be in His presence.
• Humbled Himself and came to earth to die, so that we can be exalted to go to heaven and live.
And all of this started when Jesus first emptied Himself of His Glory.
This is what God is expecting of us today. That we would (someday) decide to empty ourselves and take on the humility of Christ.
The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.
12 Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
"This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.
God is attracted to those who are humble.
what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.