Summary: Part of a series in Phil., we are encouraged to have the mind and attitude of Christ.
What would you do for a Klondike bar? Some people would do some strange things.
What would you do if there was little or no reward?
(David Yarbrough, SC.com) The following ad once appeared in a London newspaper: "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful." The ad was signed by Sir Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer. Amazingly, the ad drew thousands of respondents, eager to sacrifice everything for the prospect of meaningful adventure. (Today In The Word, Aug. 1989, p. 33)
Many of us are familiar with Limbo – the game to see who can go the lowest.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to the world’s record holder – not going the lowest, but becoming the lowest; not the lowest in height, but the lowest in status.
•And He did it for no reward at all.
•I’d like to speak with you today about the world’s most humble Man.
Turn with me to Phil. 2:5-11.
Our passage today is one of the most well-known and well-studied passages in Scripture.
•Because of this, it’s easy to get sidetracked as to why Paul/God wrote it.
In order to understand it properly, we need to put it into context.
In Phil. 1:27, Paul urges the Philippians to conduct themselves in a worthy manner.
•In Ch. 2, he urges them to conduct themselves with humility.
•Now, he gives them the greatest example of humility – Jesus Christ Himself.
It’s possible that this passage was an early Christian hymn.
Whatever the source, this is one of the most complete passages on Who Jesus really is.
Remember, Paul’s primary intent here is not doctrinal, it’s practical.
•Having said that, we still need to look seriously at both sides.
5YOUR ATTITUDE SHOULD BE THE SAME AS THAT OF CHRIST JESUS:
I. WHAT IS JESUS’ ATTITUDE? Humility
Remember, Paul urges them/us to be united, and unity can only occur through humility.
The best example of humility is, ironically, the example of Jesus Christ.
Paul writes this passage, then, to show us what real humility looks like.
5YOUR ATTITUDE SHOULD BE THE SAME AS THAT OF CHRIST JESUS: Who is He?
What examples of humility did Jesus display?
II. WHO IS HE? God
6WHO, BEING IN VERY NATURE (form, essence) GOD,
Some religions/cults say this means that Jesus is only “like” God, not fully God.
This was a real problem even in the early church.
•It was hard to comprehend how God could become Man.
Paul makes a bold statement here – Jesus is, in His very nature/form, God.
He possesses in Himself every characteristic/attribute of deity.
Actually, Paul simply reiterates what numerous Scriptures have already said.
Isa. 9:6 FOR TO US A CHILD IS BORN, TO US A SON IS GIVEN, AND THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE ON HIS SHOULDERS. AND HE WILL BE CALLED WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, MIGHTY GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, PRINCE OF PEACE.
Jn. 1:1 IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD.
Jn. 5:18 FOR THIS REASON THE JEWS TRIED ALL THE HARDER TO KILL HIM; NOT ONLY WAS HE BREAKING THE SABBATH, BUT HE WAS EVEN CALLING GOD HIS OWN FATHER, MAKING HIMSELF EQUAL WITH GOD.
Jn. 8:58 “I TELL YOU THE TRUTH,” JESUS ANSWERED, “BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS BORN, I AM!”
Jesus Christ is, in every respect, in very nature, God!
How could you prove that Jesus is God?
And yet, He DID NOT CONSIDER EQUALITY WITH GOD SOMETHING TO BE GRASPED,
“He did not consider it an advantage.” He didn’t exploit it or use it for His own gain.
•We see this in His miracles. Never once did He use His power for His own purposes.
(Thielman) - “His equality with God led Him to view His status not as a matter of privilege but as a matter of selfless giving” (p. 116)
Jesus is God. But remember, Paul’s point here is to show His attitude of humility.
How did Jesus view His deity?
III. WHAT DID HE BECOME?
7BUT MADE HIMSELF NOTHING, TAKING THE VERY NATURE OF A SERVANT, BEING MADE IN HUMAN LIKENESS.
A. A Man
BEING MADE IN HUMAN LIKENESS doesn’t mean He was “like a human”, but not really human.
Jesus, in His very essence God, became in His very essence man.
MADE HIMSELF NOTHING is literally translated, “emptied Himself”.
This doesn’t mean He emptied Himself of His deity or that He became less of God.
It simply means that He voluntarily humbled Himself/stooped low as to become human.
We can’t begin to understand the depths of humility that Jesus took by becoming a man.
•And yet, He doesn’t stop there.
How could God become a Man?
B. A Humble Man
TAKING THE VERY NATURE (form, essence) OF A SERVANT (slave),