Faithlife Sermons

Philippians - The Humble Hero

Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  25:01
0 ratings
· 78 views
Files
Notes
Transcript
Handout
Introduction:
Everyone loves a good hero story, right? What makes them a true hero? I think most of us would agree that it is their selflessness and service to others. No one thinks of a taker as a hero. If Superman came in and used his power to dominate everyone and make much of himself, he wouldn’t be thought of as a hero. However, we see him as a hero because he gave up his free time in the evenings and during the day and spent his time protecting the public. He wasn’t just sitting back watching television like everyone else at the time. He was out fighting crime.
Yet, there is a humble hero that is far beyond our imagination. As cool as it is to think about heroes on earth that can protect the least of these and those who are too weak to fight for themselves, nothing can compare the with the greatest hero - Jesus Christ.
Let’s get into our Scripture for today and get started.
Philippians 2:5–11 ESV
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Prayer
Last week we discussed humility in great detail. We learned how important it is to put others above ourselves. Today we are going to see the best example of humility we could ever imagine. The humility of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the only hero we are told to emulate. Paul gives us this beautiful Scripture to help guide us as we look at Christ’s life of humility. First we see that...

I. Christ’s Obedience to the Father...Was Humble in Heart (5-7)

Philippians 2:5–7 ESV
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Verse 5 is a transition verse. It does not actually refer backwards to what has just been said. Instead, it looks forward to what is about to be said. It is actually an interesting phrase in the original Greek and lacks an actual verb. The word “is” there is added to help it make sense in English. But the heart of the verse is this:
Have the same mind and attitude that Jesus has.
Right after giving us an admonition to be humble and consider others before considering ourselves, Paul moves into talking about the most humble person to ever live. And He charges us in verse 5 to be like Christ. Think like Christ. Have the same attitude of Christ. This is quite the command my friends!
As the transition verse, verse 5 does not make up what is commonly referred to as the Christ Hymn. Verses 6-11 make up one the most beautiful parts of Scripture you will ever read. Commentators are puzzled by the beautiful poetic hymn that is inserted in this Epistle. Some think that Paul was quoting an already known first century Christian hymn while others believe he came up with the hymn through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Frankly, neither matters as the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write it down at this point in the Scriptures!
Luckily for you all, I am not an English major and I’m not going to spend a ton of time talking about the beautiful parallelism as well as the rhetorical devices applied. But there are plenty of resources out there that go through this hymn and help you appreciate the beauty of the poetry involved.
Philippians 2:5–7 ESV
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Getting back to the end of verse 5 and starting at Christ Jesus, we see this hymn begin. The first thing we are told about Christ is that he was in the form of God. This word for form is morphē (mor-fay) and literally means nature or form. This word refers to an inward nature that never changes. The way He manifested Himself to the world changed, but the nature of God never changed. It means his basic nature is God. Don’t misinterpret this to mean that He is separate from God. He and the Father are One.
John 10:30 ESV
30 I and the Father are one.”
What Paul is saying is paralleled in the book of Colossians:
Colossians 1:15 (ESV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God
Jesus is God. He is the form of God that we can see.
If we look further into the first chapter of Colossians we see a beautiful explanation of how Jesus is the Creator and sustainer of the universe. Everything was made by Him and through Him (Col 1:16-17).
Philippians 2:6–7 ESV
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
So Paul has just told us that Jesus is in the form of God. He has in essence just said Jesus is God. Yet he doesn’t stop there. The first half of the hymn is all about the humble heart of Christ. Christ had every right to be worshiped for all eternity. He had every right to enjoy the comforts of heaven. Yet He let go of his comforts and glory for a time in order to come down to earth as a God-man.
The end of verse 6 tells us that Jesus did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. This doesn’t mean that Jesus was less God at any point. He was fully God and fully man. But Paul uses this word grasped which means a thing to be held on to. Jesus let go of His comforts in heaven in order to come to earth.
Paul then says Jesus emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Again, don’t misunderstand Paul in this poetic verse. Jesus did not empty Himself of his form of being of God. He remained God. But He poured Himself out for mankind. He gave up, for a time, His divine riches and his constant worship in heaven and poured Himself into a human body.
This is the ultimate act of humility my friends. No one has ever humbled themselves as far as Christ did. He went from from the highest of glory to the lowest of servitude. And He did this voluntarily!
There is a difference between being humbled and being humble. Sometimes we are humbled in certain situations because our abilities don’t measure up to our pride! We sometimes put ourselves in a position where we are humbled because we can’t make happen what we said we could make happen! I’m sure we have all been there a time or ten!
Christ was not humbled by any external force. He humbled Himself. He gave us the most beautiful picture of true humility. He had the power and the ability to destroy all evil while on earth. He could have wiped out mankind as He saw all of the sinfulness around Him. Yet, He had compassion and love for us.
He humbled Himself by taking on the form of a servant. The God in Whom everything was created humbled Himself to the point of where He washed the feet of his disciples (John 13:1-17). The God Who deserved to be served became a servant to many.
Brothers and sisters, we are never more like Christ than when we voluntarily humble ourselves for the benefit of the Kingdom of God and others. Let us follow our Humble Hero.
Scripture References: John 10:30, Col 1:15-17, John 13:1-17

II. Christ’s Obedience to the Father...Was Heroic in Hardship (8)

Philippians 2:8 ESV
8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
We see the word form again preceded by the word human. This is where it is very helpful to understand the original Greek. This Greek word for form, schēma (scay-ma), has to do more with outward appearance than nature. He was 100% God by nature but He was also 100% man by form of outward appearance. Although He was 100% man, he was not by nature man. He was not born with a sinful nature. He did not ever sin. He wasn’t selfish or jealous. He wasn’t conceited and didn’t practice selfish ambition as we discussed before. He was God my nature and man by appearance. 100% both.
Moving through verse 8 we see that Jesus humbled Himself. Remember how we discussed being humbled and humbling yourself? Jesus was not able to be humbled by anyone since He was 100% God. No one could stand against Him. He could have wiped out any enemy in sight in the blink of an eye. But, instead, He chose to humble Himself in obedience to His Father - to the point of death - even death on a cross.
Jesus Christ not only lived a humble life, but also led a heroic life. He spoke truth in the face of death threats. He touched lepers and healed them. He cast out demons from the most intimidating of situations. He was obedient to the Father to the point of bleeding through his sweat glands in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). He displayed heroic obedience. And this heroic obedience led Him to His final earthly mission - to the cross. He had humbled Himself throughout His life. And now was His final humble and heroic act on earth - the cross.
There are two wonderful lessons for us in this powerful verse.
1- Verse 8 is the climax of this Hymn. It separates the humility of Christ and the coming exaltation of Christ in the next few verses. The first is the beautiful humility of Christ. He spent 30 years living in a religious system that blasphemed Him. They made up rules and put words in His mouth that He never said. Yet, He remained silent during these first 30 years. He humbled Himself before the Father and did not start His earthly ministry until it was time.
How many of us wait on the Lord like that? We can learn a big lesson from Jesus here. We must humble ourselves before God and wait on the Lord. Obedience to God is the greatest humility you can ever exert. Wait on the Lord. Follow His plans for you and His Word.
2- Our Great Hero gave up His life for us. I pray that we never gloss over the Gospel. The fact that Jesus gave up all of His heavenly comforts in order to come and live the most humble life ever lived and die the most gruesome death ever died (not only was the physical suffering great but the spiritual weight of the sin of the world was more than anyone has ever borne). But praise God it didn’t stop there. This brings us to our third point...
Scripture References: Luke 22:44

III. Christ’s Obedience to the Father...Is and Will Be Heralded Forever in Heaven (9-11)

Philippians 2:9–11 ESV
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
As I am sure you can tell, there is a huge hinge that swings between verses 8 and 9. We go from the Humble Hero to the Exalted and Risen Savior! You can’t help but feel the emotion and power as this hinge swings open!
Therefore…what a transition word! Because Christ was the Humble Hero and was obedient even unto death on the cross - therefore God has highly exalted Him. Humility is what God exalts. Jesus was the greatest example of humility in the history of the world and His name is exalted above every name.
I find it very interesting that this term highly exalted actually literally means superexalted. It bridges the paradigm from Christ being the most humble ever to now back to His place of Honor and Glory for all eternity! Jesus does not change position or rank. He has always been fully God and the Second Person of the Trinity. Yet, Paul makes the claim that He is exalted to the highest degree possible. We must realize that in God’s timing (which is not limited by time and space), the work of Christ had already occured! Jesus is living transcendent to time. That is why He is able to know the future…because He is already there! That is why every prophesy in Scripture comes true. In Genesis 3:15, we see the first mention of the Gospel - called the proto-evangelium (First Gospel).
Genesis 3:15 ESV
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
This is the first prophesy of Christ. The future offspring of man, eventually being Jesus Christ, would come and bruise, or crush the head of Satan and destroy evil for all time.
It is also why when you read Isaiah 53 (written 8th century BC) and see the crucifixion spelled out a couple centuries before crucifixion was invented by the Persians (6th century BC), you see God’s omniscience (all-knowing) and transcendence (existence beyond the physical) yet again!
We must have an accurate view of the Greatness of God. Only then can we more fully understand the Scriptures.
Philippians 2:10–11 ESV
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Looking at verses 10-11...
Not only has God exalted our humble and heroic Savior - He will also humble the proud who have already and in the future will rail against Him and His rule. Philippians 2:10 is the scariest verse in the Bible for unbelievers in my opinion. No, the actual word Hell is not here. Nor is Lake of Fire. But it is easily seen in this verse. Because at the name of Jesus - when He judges the righteous and the wicked - listen up here for a minute - at the name of Jesus - say this with me
EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, in heaven and on earth and under the earth
Please say this with me as well
EVERY TONGUE CONFESS THAT...what? THAT JESUS CHRIS IS LORD!
Wow again. Don’t be confused by the word should here. It is added for English understanding. It is better translated will or shall. It is not an if statement - it is a when statement in the Greek.
What this says is that Satan, his demons, and every unbeliever will be forcibly humbled before such a mighty Savior!
You see - we have two choices in this life. We can bow our knee now and share in the wonderful glory of Christ at His coming. Or we can stand in pride now and feel the fear and wrath of the Lord Almighty which will knock us to our knees and we will be unable to do anything but confess His Deity!
We get a quick glimpse of this glory and power when the religious leaders arrest Jesus.
John 18:4–6 ESV
4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Did you see what just happened here? The Great I Am just said He is! And what happens? They all fall back and fall to the ground!
Sometimes people get so wrapped up in the humble Jesus that they may miss the way Jesus is now and the way Jesus will be in the end times. Revelation 19:11-16 gives us a further glimpse of the glory and power of Christ:
Revelation 19:11–13 ESV
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.
Revelation 19:14–16 ESV
14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Verse 15 there shows that from His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. There is no fight against evil at the end. Jesus wins without a fight. All evil and wicked will be eternally destroyed and cast into the Lake of Fire which is Hell.
Brothers and sisters - humble yourselves before our great and powerful and awesome God before it is too late. Jesus will come and judge the wicked. However, He is loving and gracious and merciful to those who humble themselves before Him and repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Him.
As we discussed last week -His yoke is easy and His burden is light. But know this:
James 4:6 - But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
If you refuse to humble yourself before Him in this life, He will humble you. It is much better for us to voluntarily humble ourselves than to experience the wrath of His humbling us.
Jesus Christ’s obedience will be heralded forever in Heaven. He is exalted…better yet, superexalted… by the Father.
Scripture References: Gen 3:15, Isaiah 53, John 18:4-6, Revelation 19:11-16, James 4:6
Conclusion
As we come to a close, I pray that you have gotten a more firm grasp on how wonderful Christ is. His earthy life was the perfect example of humility. He put all others interests before his own. He sacrificed all of the comforts that He truly deserved and lived in poverty throughout His earthly life. And He did all of this for the glory of His Father and for the salvation of human souls who would put their faith in Him.
He has given us a way to salvation. But the way is difficult. Not difficult in the way you may think. It is actually so simple that a small child can do it. But the difficulty is dying to your pride and humbling yourself before Christ. Only when you are willing to humble yourself before Christ and repent of your sins and recognize Him as Savior can true salvation come.
Let us pray.
Prayer
If you would like to learn more about salvation through Jesus Christ or want to obey Jesus by obeying the first commandment of a believer in going through the waters of baptism - please let me know.
Have a blessed week.
Related Media
Related Sermons