Sermon Notes for Philippians 2 5 8
Sermon Notes for Philippians 2:5 to 8
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Literally it reads: "This mindset have `in you' which also `in Christ Jesus.'"
Put together, the whole sentence means something like "In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had/has."
Why? For unities sake
Examples Jn 13:15, 1Cor 11:1
What is Jesus mindset?
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
Morphe and Schema
Jn17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
Col1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
The first step in the humiliation of Christ was that He did not hold on to equality with God. Yet though He did not cling to that equality, there is no question that Jesus claimed it and that the people who heard Him knew He claimed it.
A.John 5:18--"The Jews were seeking all the more to kill [Christ], because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God." Today some people want to deny that Jesus is equal to God. Yet at the time Christ lived even His worst enemies--the apostate religious leaders --didn't miss what Jesus claimed about Himself.
B.John 10:33--When Christ asked the leaders why they wanted to stone Him, they answered, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God." They knew what He claimed.
C.John 10:38--Jesus said to them, "If I do [the works of the Father], though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father."
D.John 14:9--Jesus said to Philip, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father."
E.John 20:28--Thomas addressed Jesus as, "My Lord and my God."
"But [Christ] emptied Himself."
Note the contrast between verses 6 and 7: Christ didn't think equality something to be grasped, but instead emptied Himself. Paul used a contrasting connective to show that being equal with God didn't lead Christ to fill Himself up, but to empty Himself.
The Greek verb translated "emptied" (keno[ma]o) is where we get the theological term kenosis: the doctrine of Christ's self-emptying as a part of His incarnation. The verb expresses Christ's self-renunciation, His refusal to cling to His advantages and privileges as God. The God who has a right to everything and who is fully satisfied within Himself emptied Himself.
What did Christ empty Himself of?
A.He Remained God
Christ did not empty Himself of His deity. He is co-existent with the Father and the Spirit, and for Him to have become less than God would have meant the Trinity would have ceased to exist. Christ could not become less than who He truly is.
Christ didn't exchange deity for humanity. Only God can die and conquer death, create, do miracles, and speak as Christ did. Christ retained His divine nature.
B.He Renounced His Privileges
However our Lord did give up His heavenly glory. As C.S. Lewis put it, He dove into the water and went all the way down through the black cold water to the slime and ooze of this world. That's why in John 17:5 Jesus prayed, "Glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." Christ gave up the glory of a face-to-face relationship with God for the muck of this earth. He gave up the adoring presence of angels for the spittle of men. He gave up the shining brilliance of heavens glories and emptied Himself.
Every now and then on earth the glory of Christ peaked through, such as on the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36). There were glimpses of Christ's glory in His miracles, attitude, words, at the cross, at His resurrection, and at His ascension. But Christ emptied Himself of the continuous outward manifestation and personal enjoyment of heavenly glory.
Christ emptied Himself of His independent authority. He completely submitted Himself to the will of the Father and learned to be a servant. Philippians 2:8 says He was obedient, and we see that illustrated when He said in the garden, "Not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39). "He learned obedience from the things which He suffered" (Heb. 5:8), and affirmed that He came to do His Father's will (John 5:30)--not His own.
He set aside the prerogatives of His deity--the voluntary use of His attributes. He did not stop being omniscient or omnipresent. He remained omniscient--He knew what was in man (John 2:25). He was omnipresent--though not physically present, He saw Nathaniel under a tree (John 1:45-49). He didn't give up any of His deity but He did give up the free exercise of His attributes, limiting Himself to the point of saying that He did not know the time of His second coming (Matt. 24:36).
He gave up His personal riches. "Though He was rich, yet for [our] sake He became poor, that [we] through His poverty might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9). Christ was poor in this world; He owned very little.
5.A favourable relationship
God "made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf" (2 Cor. 5:21). As a result our Lord cried out on the cross, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
Though Christ renounced all those privileges, He never ceased to be God. At any moment He could have blasted His enemies off the face of the earth, but He didn't. He voluntarily emptied Himself.
To become a servant
A. A Servant by Nature
Jesus took upon Himself the form (morphé̄) of a servant by taking upon Himself the shape (sché̄ma) of man. The sché̄ma, shape or fashion, is the outward form having to do not only with His essential being, but also with His appearance. The eternal, infinite form of God took upon Himself flesh
B.A Servant by Position
As God Christ owns everything. But when He came into this world He borrowed everything
8b "[Christ faced] even death on a cross."
"Even" calls attention to the most shocking feature of Christ's humiliation. Christ suffered not just death, but death on a cross--the most excruciating, embarrassing, degrading, painful, and cruel death ever devised. Crucifixion came originally from the Persians and was adopted by the Romans. It was used to execute rebellious slaves and the worst of criminals only. The Jewish people hated it because of Deuteronomy 21:23: "Anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse" (NIV). Galatians 3:13 says, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, 'Cursed is every one who hangs on a tree.'" The God who created the universe suffered the ultimate human degradation--hanging naked in the sky before a mocking world with nails driven through His hands and feet.