PART 3 MAY 16: AUDIO-VIDEO PHILIPPIANS CHAPTER 2: 6-11 “CHRIST OUR PATTERN”
In Paul’s Letter to the Philippian’s he helps us understand the basics to having a Mature Relationship with Jesus Christ. Here Paul makes it clear that “IF” God is Going to Be Able to Use You for His Plan You Must Allow Him to Transform You into the Likeness of Christ!
Colossians 1:28-29 He is the One we Proclaim, Admonishing and Teaching Everyone with All Wisdom, so that we may Present Everyone Fully Mature in Christ. 29 To this end I Strenuously Contend with All the Energy Christ So Powerfully Works in Me.
Philippians Chapter One begins with Paul telling Us in Verse 6 that Christ is Our Possessor and what He began in Us He will bring to Completion in Christ.
That Completion…God’s Plan for You and Me…Is found in Verse 21 where Paul says, “For Me To Live is Christ and to Die is Gain”. This is Gods Equation!
- We discussed that Nothing But Christ Fits into God’s Equation for Each Life.
- To Live for Work, Money, Success, even Church and Family comes up Short because they are only gain if we live. Only Living For Christ is Gain whether we Live or Die.
In the final verses of Chapter One, Paul tells the Philippians how to Stand Strong for the Lord against “External Conflicts”. Like the Persecution they were facing.
Then in the first few verses of Chapter Two Paul tells the Philippians and US how to Act Against “Internal Conflicts” in the Body of Christ.
- The Words, “If there is any” Introduces the basis for Paul’s Exhortation to Unity, Humility and God’s Agape’ Love among Believers.
Key idea is that “IF” the Philippian Christians Have Received the things he mentions, then they and Each of Us have a “Responsibility” to do what he is about to describe.
- “And a person’s Potential to be Used by God, Lies Not in Ones Opportunity or Ability… Rather in their Humbleness and Obedience!
Today…In verses 6-11 Paul Gives Us an Example of What God Wants to See in Our lives. His Perfect Example is non other than…Jesus Christ.
2:6-11: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Vs 6-11 Message: “Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death and the worst kind of death at that a crucifixion. Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.”
Here Paul Ask Us to Think of Ourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself.
- When the time came, He set aside the Privileges of Deity and Took on the Status of a Slave, Became Human!
- Because of that Obedience, God lifted Him high and Honored Him far beyond anyone or anything.
OUR PATTERN…Is To BE LIKE CHRIST…We are to Humble Ourselves!
- To Be Humble is to Put Another’s Interest Ahead of Ours!
- It’s Not Easy or Normal…It is Not Always Comfortable…Convenient…Or Pleasant!
**To Possess Christ’s Humility is the Most Difficult Thing for Any Christian!
- When Someone hurts You…You are to Forgive and Pray for Them.
- When Someone Else Get’s a Position or Raise You Think Should Have Been Yours…With a Full Heart YOU are to Congratulate Them and be Happy for them!
- When A Dirty Job Needs to be done and When No One Else Steps Up…You Quietly Take Care of it…with a Thankful Heart…AS UNTO THE LORD!
- Humility Chooses to Die to Self-Interest …And Put Another’s Interest First!
Vs 9 Says “God Gave Him a Name”. It’s Been Asked, What’s in a name? From a Biblical Perspective — Everything!
- A name was believed to Represent the Essence of a person’s Character. The name Jesus, of course, is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Joshua, which means “He Saves”
- Benjamin My Eldest means: “Son of my Right Hand”
- Joshua as we stated means: “The Lord is my Salvation.” He Saves!
- Isaac means: “He laughs/will laugh.” Abraham fell on his face and laughed when God imparted the news of their son’s eventual birth. JOY COMES FROM THE LORD
- Aaron Means: “Mountain of Strength” Katie “Ruth”: Ruth means “Friend”
“The Name that is Above Every Name…” In Phil 2:6-11, Paul incorporates into his letter what is most likely an “Early Christian Hymn or Confession”.
- In these Verses we see how Jesus Embodies His Given Name, “HE SAVES.”
Being “in the form of God,” he did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped or exploited, as something to be held onto at all costs and used to his own advantage. Rather, he willingly “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point to death — even death on a cross” (2:6-8).
Jesus is Not a Passive Victim…But Enters Fully and Willingly into His Mission.
- He empties himself of all claims to divine glory and honor to become a human being not of high status and honor, but a lowly slave serving other human beings.
- He humbles himself to the point of dying a slave’s death, the shameful and tortuous execution by crucifixion was reserved for slaves and rebels against Roman rule.
- Summarizing: Paul incorporates into the Philippian letter an early Christian Hymn or Confession of Faith, Describing Christ as an Obedient Servant.
KEY POINT: The Hymn-Confession is Not a Call to “Imitate Christ”, which would be Humanly Impossible… Rather, it is a Call to Believers to “LIVE IN THE IDENTITY OF WHO THEY ARE IN JESUS CHRIST”!
- The Philippians were Already Familiar with the Words of this Hymn or Confession, NOW Paul cites them to indicate Not Only the Centrality of the Philippians’ Faith in Christ but also the Identity that is Theirs in Christ. More than Words…ACTIONS!!!
Earlier in the letter, Paul prepares the Philippians for singing this hymn or confessing this creed with four statements that express the reality of who they are in Christ.
- When he says, “If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love [in Christ], any sharing in the Spirit [in Christ], any compassion and sympathy [in Christ]” (2:1), Paul Says In Christ, “There Is to be” Each of These 4 Things.
- Here, Paul Admonishes Readers to Live Out their Identity in Christ (2:2-4).
- The final words preceding the hymn or Confession, focus on living in light of verse 5: “Let the same Mind [Heart-Action] be in you that was [that you have] in Christ Jesus”
The hymn or confession itself is one of the most significant depictions of Christ in the New Testament. The poetic language expresses the two natures of Christ, who was “in the form of God” and “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave” or servant.
- In this “human likeness” and “human form,” Christ “humbled himself and became Obedient to the Point of Death–Even Death on a Cross.”
THIS IS WHAT GOD EXPECTS OF US…NOT JUST TO HAVE FAITH IN CHRIST…NOT TO JUST TRY TO IMITATE CHRIST…RATHER…WE ARE TO LIVE IN THE IDENTITY OF WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST!
- This is What Will Draw People to Jesus Christ…When they See Him in US!
Now…At its midpoint, Our Text turns to the Action of God’s Exaltation, giving Christ “the name that is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus” All of Creation is Called to Bow in Homage and Every Tongue Proclaim, “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
VS 9-11 This Jesus is the one whom God highly exalts and to whom God gives “the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend… and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.
- In exalting Jesus, God gives Jesus his own name …“Lord” and Confers on Him Lordship Over All Creation. Through Jesus Death, Burial and Resurrection Satan was “Rendered Inoperative”!
- One day every knee will bend before him, “in heaven and on earth and under the earth,” and every tongue join in confessing together that Jesus Christ is Lord.
KEY: This Hymn-Confession makes the Astonishing Claim that the One we Call God and Lord is Most Fully Revealed in the Crucified One…Jesus Christ. The One who Humbled Himself and Took the Form of a Slave Shows Us Who God Is and How God Acts.
KEY: God’s Essential Character is Shown to be One of Self-Emptying Love Rather than Self-Aggrandizement or Grasping for Power and Glory. God’s high Exaltation of Jesus Confirms the Divine Nature of His Mission and Ensures that One Day Jesus will be Acknowledged by All for Who He Truly Is.
- Jesus, the one who Saves, is God’s Anointed one (the Messiah), and Lord of All
“Let the Same Mind be in You…” Paul incorporates this hymn-confession into his letter as Pastoral Counsel to the Church. He’s concerned about dissension among its members.
- Paul Previously Urges the Philippians to Live “in a Manner Worthy of the Gospel” so that he will know that they are “Standing Firm in One Spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel” (1:27).
- Paul continues on this theme of Unity of Mind and Spirit, urging the Philippians to “be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (2:2).
In Encouraging the Community to be “of One Mind,” Paul Expects Differences of Opinion within the Church…So, he implores them to be United in a Spirit of Love and Concern for the Common Good.
- So…In Vs 3-4 as he urges them to “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves,” And further exhorts them: “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others”.
- Paul then says, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus” (Vs 5). The phrase “in you” is plural (en humin), and perhaps better translated…
- Let the same mind be “Among You.” that was in Christ Jesus”
Paul Envisions the Life of the Church Community being Formed by the Mind of Christ — by a Spirit of Humility and Loving Service to one another Rather than Competition and Grasping for Power and Control.
- Let’s Explore What it Means to Bear this Name Above All Other Names.
- Does our life together reflect “the same mind that was in Christ Jesus”? Are we looking to the interests of others rather than our own interests? Are Humility & Servanthood Evident Among Us?
Having the Mind of Christ ought to Shape Not Only the Internal Life of our Congregation, but its Relationship with its Community and the World.
The mind of Christ is something All Believers have, as the Apostle Paul said, when speaking to the Christians in Corinth, “We have the Mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).
- Those who have the mind of Christ are able to discern spiritual things that the natural man (or the unbeliever) cannot understand or see. Having the mind of Christ is the same as being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and both are attained through faith at the moment of salvation (Romans 5:1-2; Acts 2:38)
Through the Holy Spirit, God made us “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pe 1:4) so that we can have all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Himself.
- Think of the human mind as a computer, and the Holy Spirit as a sort of anti-virus program that can be uploaded to the human hard drive.
- Once the program is uploaded, that “mind” can then affect all the computer’s systems, taking out harmful applications and replacing them with good, functional applications.
- Continuing the analogy, the mind of Christ rewrites our hard drives so that we are capable of understanding, or interfacing with, God Himself. With the Mind of Christ We gain new desires and qualities, like Humility (Phil 2:5), Compassion (Matt 9:36) and other Godly “Fruit” (Gal 5:22-23).
- We have a new Purpose that is Aligned with God’s (Luke 19:10) We can see clearly that this world is temporal and flawed, and that we are meant for an Eternal world (1 Jn 2:15-17)
The mind of Christ is only accessible through faith in Jesus Christ (Jn 1:12; 3:16 & 1 Jn 5:12).
- Once we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes to the believer, filling him or her with understanding and hope of a future inheritance, which is a glorified existence Col 1:27
- “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (Rom 5:2).
Having the mind of Christ is not something that is reserved only for “perfect” people. Every believer has access to the mind of Christ through faith. However, we also still have the Old Mind-Old Nature. We still give in to the lure of sin. We Can Choose to use our Freedom in Christ in unhealthy ways (Gal 5:13-15)
This is why Paul exhorts the Roman believers 12: 2-3, “ Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
- Our minds need to be consistently renewed, moving away from the mind of the flesh and into the mind of Christ.
- All those who belong to God & have the mind of Christ, will be Sanctified, or changed by the new program that has been installed by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 2:19; He 10:10, 14).
- The Process Will Take a Lifetime. But God is Faithful to bring it to Completion Phil 1:6
We See the Waning Influence of the Church on America. Getting Weaker. This is Because the Church in America is Not Standing Firm on What God is Asking of Us! Making Christ Central In Our Lives. Making His Purpose Our Purpose and Being Willing to Sacrifice for Others as we have seen here today in Christ!
- Paul calls us to Relinquish our Grasping for the Things of this World. Seeking Position of Influence instead of Embracing the role of Servant.
- Power Struggles and Seeking Self-Glory do NOT Honor the Name of Jesus.
- Rather, by following Jesus in identifying with the lowly and giving ourselves away in humble service to a suffering world, we honor “the name that is above every name.
- When We Do This…People Will Be Drawn to Jesus Christ!
- In John 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain [Abide] in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”.
Life Point: “Christlikeness is Not Produced by Imitation, but by Inhabitation!”