Summary: This sermon examines the Christ of Christmas as the Humble Servant of Philippians 2:5-11.
Who is the Christ of Christmas?
The Humble Servant
If God were to come to earth, how would He appear?
- Would God be a great king who would rule and reign over the earth?
- Would He be a powerful military captain who would overthrow nations?
- Or perhaps a world renown doctor who would heal the world’s diseases
- Perhaps a political leader who would establish world peace.
- Or maybe God would be some type of religious guru who would spend His days doing good and being a positive influence on society.
If God were to come to earth, how would you picture Him?
- A stern judge; a loving father; a powerful monarch; a great teacher; a moral example; a positive influence?
No doubt in our human understanding of things, we would think that if God were to come to earth, He would definitely make himself known. People would know who He is and why He has come. If God were to come to earth, surely all of the world would sit up and take notice.
Or perhaps God would not come to earth. For the Deist, God exists beyond and apart from the earth, but not in it. God serves as some type of “absent landlord.” He is absolutely transcendent. We do not bother Him; and He does not bother us.
For the new-age, Shirley McClain pantheist, God is the world and the world is God. They are one and the same. “Each soul is its own God. You must never worship anyone or anything other than self. For you are God. To love self is to love God” (Shirley McClain, Dancing in the Light).
Or perhaps like the Platonic philosophers of old, the world of the gods is separate and distinct from the world of man. God is some type of backstage puppet-master who plays with the actors on the stage. The only time God would come to earth would be to entertain his fanciful desires or to aid some soul in distress.
Or maybe like many modern process and openness thinkers, God is in full cooperation with the world. As the world changes (as people make decisions), God changes. God simply does the best He can do and leaves the rest to us.
So many would suggest that God does not intervene with the earth. He would not come to earth. But what if He did? What if God came to earth? What if we were able to get a glimpse of God on earth? What form would God take? How would God appear to His creation?
This question is what Christmas is all about -- God’s appearance to humanity; God becoming one of us. The Christmas story is about God revealing Himself to us in the form of a man. The truth of Christmas is that God invaded His world. He intervened. He displayed Himself to us. The Transcendent became imminent. The spiritual became material. Deity was displayed. God became flesh.
The previous two weeks, we have examined the question, “Who is the Christ of Christmas?” In attempting to answer this question, we have looked at the Christ of Christmas as: the Preeminent Lord (Col. 1.15-20) and God’s Supreme Revelation (Heb. 1.1-3). In each of these texts, we have been reminded that the Christ of Christmas is God Himself. He is the Creator and Sustainer of the world. He is the One who has existed eternally, God Almighty.
Today, we see a slightly different picture of the Christ of Christmas. In our text today, we focus on the Incarnation. We focus more upon the fact that the Son of God became one of us. He humbled himself and became a human, but not just a human (we have seen that in previous weeks), but He humbled himself and became a servant. Today we see the Christ of Christmas as the Humble Servant.
In the context of our passage, the apostle Paul is encouraging his readers to be like Christ, to have the mind of Christ. And in this challenge to Christ-likeness, we find one of the great christological statements of the NT. Paul’s challenge is that we can be like Christ b/c He became one of us. He revealed God to us. B/c Christ became one of us, we can imitate Him.
From these verses, we learn that the Christ of Christmas is the Humble Servant. We learn how God displayed Himself to the world. We see Deity displayed. How?
I. Deity is displayed in the humiliation of Christ the Servant (6-8).
In vv. 6-8, Paul establishes three truths that reveal Christ’s purpose for coming to this earth.
A. Christ is fully God (6).
In v.6, Paul affirms that Jesus Christ is continually in the form of God and equal with God. Notice some of the key words in this verse: