Summary: Part 5 of a series on Philippians focusing on the example of Jesus
The Joy of Obedience
A. Examples of Obedience
1. Emily Wilson was a housekeeper for John Kenneth Galbraith.
a) Galbraith was the most trusted economic voice in America from the mid thirties through the early seventies.
b) After a long and grueling day, Galbraith instructed Emily to hold all his calls while he napped.
2. A very important call.
a) Shortly after Galbraith went to sleep the phone rang.
b) A very gruff voice said, “This is Lyndon Johnson. Get me Galbraith.”
c) Emily politely replied, “I am sorry Mr. President, Mr. Galbraith is sleeping and is not to be disturbed.
d) Johnson sternly replied, “Wake him up. I want to talk to him.”
e) Wilson again quietly refused, “Mr. President, I work for him and not for you and he is not to be disturbed.
3. The message is relayed.
a) When Mr. Galbraith woke up from the nap, he returned the President’s call.
b) Galbraith said that Johnson could barely contain his pleasure to talk about Emily Wilson.
c) The first that Johnson said, “Tell that woman I want her to work in the White House.”
B. Obedience and the Christian.
1. A most interesting and disliked work.
a) Literally means, “to give an ear or listen to another.”
b) It also carries the idea of submitting to the words of another.
c) Most do not like to be told what to do.
2. Obedience to God.
a) Is more than running through a checklist of does and don’t.
b) It involved\s an attitude and a mindset.
c) It comes from devotion to God.
d) It produces real joy.
3. The Joy of Obedience
b) Two keys to a joyful obedient life.
II. The Joy of Obedience
A. The Pattern of Jesus (2:5-11) – Six Principles
1. Abdication of Position (5-6)
a) He was equal with God in every way – John 1:1-3, 8:58, 10:30
b) He had every right to be in his position in heaven.
c) But he relinquished that position – John 1:14
2. Abstain from Privilege (7a)
a) He made of himself no reputation (He emptied Himself).
b) Not divesting Himself of the divine nature.
c) But He was willing not assert His divine privilege.
3. Attending to Others (7b)
a) A Bondservant is one that gives himself up wholly to another’s will.
b) Jesus gave Himself to God’s will – John 6:38
4. Abasement (8a)
a) Literally Jesus made himself low.
b) Humility literally is the idea of crawling on your belly in the dirt.
c) Jesus took on our weaknesses – Hebrews 2:18, 4:15
5. Sacrifice (8b)
a) Jesus’ obedience led to His death.
b) Death on the cross was reserved for malefactors - Moses cursed the cross (Deuteronomy 21:23).
c) The cross carried shame and even became a stumbling block to some – 1 Corinthians 1:23
6. Abounding in Glory (9-11)
a) Humility leads to exaltation – James 4:6; 4:10
b) Jesus was exalted because He exalted God – John 17:1-4
c) Doing all things to the glory of God – 1 Corinthians 10:31
B. The Practice of Jesus’ Example (2:12-18) -
1. Complete the Race (12)
a) Work out your own salvation does not mean that we merit it – Ephesians 2:5-8
b) We are the workmanship of God – Ephesians 2:10
c) Our faith is seen by our works for Him – James 2:18
d) We must remain faithful until death.
e) The attitude needed to finish – Fear and trembling (Seriously and cautiously). Taking heed to self (1 Corinthians 10:12).
2. Commit to the Power of God (13)
a) The word “works” in verse 13 comes from the Greek word energeo, that gives us our English word energy.
b) By committing our works to Him – Proverbs 16:3
c) By committing ourselves to the Word. God’s word must be in us before God can work through us – Colossians 3:17
d) Power from within motivates joyful obedience more than pressure from without.
3. Cease Complaining About Obedience (14)
a) God’s people have historically been complainers.
b) They complained about being slave in Egypt (Exodus 2:23).
c) They complained about being free (Exodus 14:12).
d) They complained about a lack of food and water (Exodus 16:2).
e) They complained about being supplied (Numbers 11:1-6).
f) Complaining and disputing have been called the emotional and intellectual rebellion against God.
4. Chaste and Pure Behavior (15)
a) In the midst of a sin-stained world, we are to be a spotless garment.
b) Not by our own righteousness but by the righteousness of Christ – Romans 3:10, 10:3-4