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A Hymn of Confession; The Voice of Humility

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Philippians 2:5-11

A Hymn of Confession;  The Voice of Humility

 

Passage Outline and Summary

I.          The Attitude of Christ   (v. 5)

            A.        Pre-existent in heaven   (v. 6)

                        1.         Perfection as God

                                    a.         The nature of God

                                    b.         Equal with God

                        2.         He did not grasp at equality with God

            B.        Incarnate on earth   (v. 7)

                        1.         Perfection as man

                                    a.         The nature of a servant

                                    b.         The likeness of man

                        2.         He made himself nothing

            C.        Obedient in death   (v. 8)

                        1.         Perfection as Savior (fully God and fully man)

                                    a.         The supreme example of humility

                                    b.         The supreme example of righteousness

                        2.         He died on a cross

II.        The Exaltation of Christ

            A.        Proclaimed by God   (v. 9)

                        1.         Highest place

                        2.         Highest name

            B.        Confessed by mankind   (v. 10)

                        1.         In heaven:  The reality of eternal life

                        2.         On earth:  The reality of the human condition

                        3.         Under the earth:  The reality of eternal death

            C.        To the Glory of God the Father:  That Jesus Christ is Lord   (v. 11)

III.       Summary

            Christ emptied himself of glory as God,

            to become a humble servant obedient unto death as man for all mankind,

            in order that he might be exalted as God by God and all mankind,

            for the glory of God over all mankind.


WORD DEFINITIONS

Philippians   2:5-11

 5        Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

            attitude (To be in a certain frame of mind, opinion or thought about one's self)

 6        Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

            grasped (A thing retained with an eager grasp, or eagerly claimed and                               conspicuously exercised)

 7         but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

            nothing (To divest one's self of one's prerogatives)

            servant (devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests)

            likeness (resemblance, such as amounts to equality or identity)

 8        And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!

            appearance (everything in a person that strikes the senses)

            humbled (below others who are honored and rewarded, unassuming)

            death (separation of the soul and the body by which life on earth is ended)

 9        Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

            exalted him to the highest place (raised to the highest rank and power of                          supreme majesty)

            name (a name that is used for everything which the name covers)

 10      that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

            bow (to worship in honor and religious veneration)

            heaven (heavenly regions)

            earth (existing upon the earth)

            under the earth (subterranean, infernal, those departed souls who dwell in the                  world below)

 11      and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

            tongue (an organ of speech)

            confess (to admit, to acknowledge openly and joyfully, praise, celebrate)

            Lord (he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of                        deciding; owner, possessor)

            glory (a thing belonging to God, kingly majesty belonging to Him as supreme                    ruler)


Philippians 2:5-11

A Hymn of Confession;  The Voice of Humility

Introduction:

 

            Thirty Day Experiment - Love and Humility.  (How far short do I fall?)

            Before you can preach it, you've got to believe it.  Confess it anew, "Jesus Christ is Lord."

            The Moravian example of humility toward Christ's lordship.

The Moravian Brethren Example of Humility

It is said that when the story of slavery in the West Indies was told to the Moravians, and it was told that it was impossible to reach the slave population because they were so separated from the ruling classes, two Moravian missionaries offered themselves and said, "we will go and be slaves on the plantations, and work and toil, if need be, under the lash, to get right beside the poor slaves and instruct them."  And they left their homes, went to the West Indies, went to work on the plantations as slaves, and by the side of slaves, to get close to the hearts of slaves.  And the slaves heard them and their hearts were touched, because they had humbled themselves to their condition.  That was grand; it was glorious; and yet Christ's example was more glorious.  For He stepped from heaven to earth to get by our side; he laid himself down beside us that we might feel the throbbing of his bosom, be encircled in the embrace of his loving arms, be drawn right up beside him and feel him whisper in our ears, "God is love."

 

            Read Philippians 2:1-13

                        Php 2:1-4  If we have received encouragement, unity, comfort, love,                     fellowship, tenderness, or compassion in our relationship with Christ then                     we must do these same things in our relationship with other believers.                   These things together become the expression of a humble, self emptying,                    servant attitude which unites believers in spirit and in purpose.

 

                        Php 2:5-11  An early Christian church hymn that proclaims the beauty of              the Gospel through which Christ became the ultimate example of humility                     which saves us in our relationship to God and with each other.

                        Php 2:12-13  Since we have received salvation through the Lordship of                 Christ, we are to work out his Lordship in our lives through our attitude                    toward other believers in the way of humility which fosters unity.

                        Review Outline


Passage Outline and Summary

I.          The Attitude of Christ   (v. 5)

            A.        Pre-existent in heaven   (v. 6)

                        Christ had all riches but spent it all for us.- Mt. 19:16-21, Rich man.  v. 21                        "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor,               and you will have treasure in heaven, then come follow me."

                        Jn 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had                         with you before the world began.

                        1.         Perfection as God

                                    a.         The nature of God

                                                Mt 17:1-5 Transfiguration

                                                Col 1:19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell                                                 in him

                                                Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn                                                 over all creation

                                                Heb 1:3a The Son is the radiance of God's glory.

                                    b.         Equal with God

                                                Jn 5:18 --but he was even calling God his own Father,                                             making himself equal with God.

                                                Heb 1:3b The Son is the exact representation of his being.

                        2.         He did not grasp at equality with God

Humility conquers and disarms Satan.  It is humility that escapes the snares of the world, the flesh and the Devil.  Humility is perfect quietness of heart no matter what may come along to challenge it.

                                    Is 14:12-15 Satan sought equality with God.  (Pride is a root sin.)

                                    Is 14:9-11 Would we worship Satan?  (Pride takes a stand with                             Satan.  It builds my life around me.  Arrogance and pride                                           invalidates our ministry.)

            B.        Incarnate on earth   (v. 7)

                        1.         Perfection as man

                                    a.         The nature of a servant

                                                Mk 10:45  For even the Son of Man did not come to be                                          served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.

                                                We must become like him as servants - man's place before                                       man and God.  2 Cor 4:5  "For we do not preach ourselves,                                           but Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your servants for                                                 Jesus sake."

                                                Jn. 12:26  "Whoever serves me must follow me; and where                                                 I am, my servant will also be.  My Father will honor the                                          one who serves me."

You can tell if you have a servant attitude by how you act when treated like one.  Lorne Sanny

                                    b.         The likeness of man

                                                "Heb. 12:17  "For this reasonhe had to be made like his                                           brothers in every way, in order that he might become a                                            merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that                                           he might make atonementfor the sins of the people."

                        2.         He made himself nothing

                                    What did Christ have to lay aside?

                                    Kenosis (emptying) theory:  He emptied himself of divine                                      attributes such as omnipotentence, omniscience, omnipresence;                                   though not moral attributes of love and justice.  However, Jesus                                often displayed the divine attributes so better to say he emptied                              himself solely of the independent exercise of those attributres - or                           simply the outward glory of his deity.  (Jn 5:19) "The Son can do                                   nothing by himself;  he can do only what he sees his Father doing."

                                    A man must be humbled to be used by God.  Is it possible for a                             man to humble himself or must this be a job God does for us?  Can                                    we truly "judge" ourselves?  Will we let God humble us?  Is this a                               one time event?

            C.        Obedient in death   (v. 8)

                        1.         Perfection as Savior (fully God and fully man)

                                    a.         The supreme example of humility

                                                Definition: 

Humility is that quality which once you know you have it, you've lost it.  It's like a slippery wet watermelon seed; the harder you pinch it between your fingers, the faster it flies out of them.

It is said the three most important rules of oratory are "Delivery, Delivery, Delivery", But the three most important qualities of a professing Christian must be "Humility, Humility, Humility".  St. Augustine

Humility is not to belittle oneself, but to stand at your greatest height against what you know to be the greatest measure of greatness to see just how small your greatness really is.

                                                Christ: 

Prov 15:33  before honor is humility.

The ancient world despised humility.  Christian teaching made it a virtue.  Until Christ exemplified the word, it is said there was no Greek or Latin word with the same meaning as we now understand it because of Christ.

The branch that bows the lowest bears the most fruit.

                                                Is humility possible without ever being humiliated?  David,

                                                Joseph, Moses, Paul, Peter, John Baptist (unworthy to                                             untie), Stephen.  Apostles martyred - loved Jesus more than                                               life itself.  "They did not love their lives so much as to                                                 shrink from death."  Rev 12:11  Willing to follow at all                                        costs - speak out at all costs.

When we strip dead men, they struggle not; we may take all, but they are not troubled at all.

There would be no harmony if no one ever played second fiddle.

Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on a donkey while people waved palms and shouted praise.  Do you think for one minute that donkey ever thought any of that was for him?  In relation to Christ, I must be like that donkey.  Corrie Ten Boom

                                    b.         The supreme example of righteousness

                                                Jn 17:19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be                                        truly sanctified.

                                                Heb 1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated                                                     wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above                                         your companions.

                        2.         He died on a cross

                                    Is 53:12 "He poured out his life unto death".  What more can the                           forces of evil do if Someone whom they have killed does not stay                              dead? 

                                    1 Cor. 15:26  "The last enemy to be destroyed is death."

                                    1 Cor. 15:54  "Death has been swallowed up in victory."

                                    The cross was the perfect example of humility and righteousness;                            of humility because Christ voluntarily died on it, of righteousness                                  because only he was acceptible on it.  Only a divine being could                              accept death as obedience - for the rest of us it is a necessity.                                  When you "find" yourself, crucify it.  Lk. 9:23

II.        The Exaltation of Christ

            The consequence of his humiliation and self-sacrifice

            A.        Proclaimed by God   (v. 9)

                        Jn 17:1  "Father, the time has come.  Glorify your Son, that your Son may                        glorify you."

                        Paradoxes in Scripture:  Support God's spiritual truth in opposition to                 man's worldly logic to explain how humiliation could ever lead to                          exaltation.

                        Mt 19:29-30 If you leave it for the sake of Christ you will have it back 100                        fold plus have eternal life.  First last/ last first.

                        Eccl 11:1 Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will                find it again.

                        Lk 14:10 Lowest place - better place (Banquet)

                        Lk 14:11 Exalts himself - humbled/ humbles himself - exalted.

                        2 Cor 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in                         weakness.

                        2 Cor 12:10 For when I am weak, then I am strong.

                        Mk 9:35First - last/servant of all

                        1 Cor 1:27 Foolish things of the world shame the wise/weak things of the              world shame the strong.

                        1 Cor 1-28 Lowly things of the world, despise things, things that are                      not/nullify the things that are.

                        Mt 16:25 Save life - lose it/ lose life - find it.

                        Mt 16:26 Gain world/forfeit soul.

                        Beatitudes paraphrase:  Mt. 5:3-9

 

            v. 3  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

                        (Happy are those who realize their spiritual poverty:

                        they have already entered the kingdom of Reality.)

            But most people think:  Happy are the pushers:  for they get on in the world.

 

            v. 4  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

                        (Happy are they who bear their share of the world's pain:

                        in the long run they will know more happiness than those who avoid it.)

            But most people think:  Happy are the hard-boiled:  for they never let life hurt      them.

 

            v. 5  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

                        (Happy are those who accept life and their own limitations:

                        they will find more in life than anybody.)

            But most people think:  Happy are they who complain:  for they get their own      way in the end.

 

            v. 6  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be      filled.

                        (Happy are those who long to be truly "good":

                        they will fully realize their ambition.)

            But most people think:  Happy are the blase':  for they never worry over their       sins.

 

            v. 7  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

                        (Happy are those who are ready to make allowances and to forgive:

                        they will know the love of God.)

            But most people think:  Happy are the slave-drivers:  for they get results.

 

            v. 8  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

                        (Happy are those who are real in their thoughts and feelings:

                        in the end they will see the ultimate Reality, God.)

            But most people think:  Happy are the knowledgeable men of the world:  for they             know their way around.

 

            v. 9  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

                        (Happy are those who help others to live together:

                        they will be known to be doing God's work.)

            But most people think:  Happy are the trouble-makers:  for people have to take    notice of them.

 

            taken from Your God is Too Small by J. I. Packer

                        1.         Highest place

                                    Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the                                 beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in                             everything he might have the supremacy.

                                    Col 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made                                   a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

                                    Heb 1:3c After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down                          at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

                                    Heb 1:13 To which of the angels, did God ever say, "Sit at my right                                   hand until I make your enemies a foot stool for your feet.

                                    Heb 1:8 But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last                                     for ever and ever."

                                    Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus -- now crowned with glory and honor                              because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might                                   taste death for everyone.

                        2.         Highest name

                                    Rev 19:16 King of Kings and Lord of Lords

                                    Rev 22:15 Alpha & Omega/First & Last/Beginning & End

                                    Heb 1:4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name                           he has inherited is superior to theirs.

            B.        Confessed by mankind   (v. 10)

                        (Must have impression before expression)  Man must be impressed with                who Christ is and what he has done before he can express him as Lord.

                        1.         In heaven:  The reality of eternal life

                                    (Willing expression for eternity because of willing impression in                              life.)

                                    Jn 17:2-3 For you granted him authority over all people that he                               might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is                              eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus                                Christ, whom you have sent.

                        2.         On earth:  The reality of the human condition  (sin)

                                    (Either willing or unwilling expression in life depending on                                     impression in life.)

                                    1 Pet 2:12 Live such good lives among the pagans that though they                                    accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and                              glorify your Father in heaven on the day he visits us.

                                    Rev 3:9b I will make them come and fall down at your feet and                              acknowledge that I have loved you.

                        3.         Under the earth:  The reality of eternal death

                                    Jesus spoke more on hell than he did on heaven - parent/stove.

                                    (Unwilling expression for eternity because of unwilling impression                          in life.  "Yes, yes, I'll confess Christ is Lord.")

                                    Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever.

                                    Mt 3:7 John - Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

                                    Mt 23:33 How will you escape being condemned to hell?

                                    Lk 21:34, 36 Be careful not to be weighed down with dissipation --                                   or that day will close on you like a trap.  Be able to escape so you                              may stand before the Son of Man.

Anything short of Hell is mercy.

            C.        To the Glory of God the Father:  That Jesus Christ is Lord   (v. 11)

                        Heb 12:25 Do not refuse him who speaks - warned them on earth/warns us                        from heaven.

                        Rom 10:9-10 That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and                    believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be                       saved; for it is with your heart that you believe and are justified , and it is                  with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

                        Everyone will ultimately confess "Christ is Lord".  The difference is                      whether you are willing to confess "Christ is my Lord.".  Is Christ "Lord of                         all" in your life?  Lord of your family, job, church, hope as well as life?

III.       Summary

            Christ emptied himself of glory as God,

            to become a humble servant obedient unto death as man for all mankind,

            in order that he might be exalted as God by God and all mankind,

            for the glory of God over all mankind.

            This passage lends itself to our understanding of our own pre-salvation existence   lost in sin, being born again by faith to be sanctified in this life, and ultimately      our realization of full eternal inheritance with Christ.

            Heb 3:7-12  Warning against unbelief

            Heb 2:3  How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?

            Heb 4:13  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight.  Everything is         uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

            "Proclaim Christ"

            Rom 6  Put self to death:  Must die to self to accept and admit Lordship of Christ           and must continue to die daily to grow in obedience.

            Lk 9:23 Then he said to them all, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

            Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me         and gave himself for me.

            Mk 8:38  Ashamed of me.  If anyone is ashamed of me - I will be ashamed of him          when I come in my Father's glory with the holy angels.

            Rev 21:7  He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he      will be my son.

            Rev 22:5  There will be no more night.  They will not need light.  God will be our           light.  And we will reign forever and ever.

           

            Rev 21:4  He will wipe every tear from our eyes.  No more death, mourning,        crying, pain

The Humility of Christ's Humanity

 

Christ voluntarily mourned, because mourning humiliates, and he would be humble.  He daily suffered, because suffering subdues the pride of human hearts, and he would teach us to accomplish that conquest.  It was the humiliation of a God to take our nature at all; it was the humiliation of a man to crucify that nature daily.  He knew what sages failed to see; that it was loftiest when lowest; that as it sank to humbleness it rose in glory.  And thus, the model of all he taught, himself "the first born from among the dead", he soared to heaven with a spirit as lowly as the grave he left.  Thus beats there, at the right hand of the Majesty on high, a human heart - the heart of an enthroned King - more softly subdued to mercy, more meekly patient than ever sorrowed among the loneliest solitudes of earthly affliction.

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