The Example of Christ
Phil. 2:5 – 11
Unity and humility plays an important role and we should always give importance or preference to others. A very solid sign of spiritual maturity for me is when we are less concerned for ourselves. As we have seen previously, we must look at others as better than us. Today we will be looking at the example Christ had done for us.
Illustration: To Be Like Christ
When the wife of missionary Adoniram Judson told him that a newspaper article likened him to some of the apostles, Judson replied, “I do not want to be like a Paul or any mere man. I want to be like Christ. I want to follow Him only, copy His teachings, drink in His Spirit, and place my feet in His footprints. Oh, to be more like Christ!”
I. Christ’s humility
A. “Let this mind be in you”. The word mind does not mean mental acuity or intelligence but “attitude”. His self-giving and selfless attitude dying in the cross for the sins of the whole world is the best example for giving preference and love for others. Humility is for me is sacrificial because you have to prefer and give more concern to your fellowmen than to yourself. Christians must have this kind of attitude which is very essential or fundamental to unity.
B. Verse 6 tells us Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: The word “form” here means essence, not outward shape. Jesus was not identical to God but He was God in essence. He has the same nature and attributes with God the Father. The word “being” refers to the original state of existence. He was God in His original state. The Greek word for “robbery” here is used only once in the NT, which means something seized by stealing. Since Christ was already equal with God, He considers it not robbery to claim equality with God. He did not have to cling to His deity as a robber would to his stolen goods. He already possessed those things. From eternity He is always God. The most important thing in His humility He voluntarily set aside his glory to die for sinners like us. Deity cannot die on the cross only humanity.
C. Verse 7 tells us “He made himself of no reputation”. The Greek word is “kenoo” which means to make empty, this is where we get the kenosis doctrine. His setting aside his glory and heavenly majesty, to become a man. Fully God and fully man he never stopped being God.
D. The expression “form of a servant” uses similar language to “form of God”. The One who was God became a slave! The emphasis in the expression is on his humanity and the fact that as a man he functioned as a slave, one without privileges who came to serve others (Mark 10:45). So He is the supreme example to the Philippians and to us who were admonished to refrain from selfish ambition and doing things with only their own interests in mind. We all should have a servant attitude.
E. The term “being found in fashion as a man”, serves to strengthen the fact that even He is a God Jesus took on a human nature. His birth was like any other man but distinct. His virgin birth meant that He did not have a sinful nature. He did not commit any sin, and that qualified Him to be our saviour, to die for our sin as the
spotless Lamb of God. To most people, He was just another man, a carpenter from Galilee. (Isa. 53:2). He humbled Himself and subjected Himself to persecution and sufferings in the hands of His enemies. He became like a guilty criminal condemned to die in what have been said to be the most painful and shameful death, to die in the cross. His death on the cross is the ultimate obedience to the father (Mat. 26:39, Acts 2:23).
Illustration: The Paradox of Christ
He is the King of kings, the radiance of His glory, the Lord of the spaceless, fabulous, infinite universe, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, unspeakable holy, dwelling in light, unapproachable, changeless … and yet He condescended to be enclosed in lowly human flesh, to be born a despised Judean, in a filthy stable, in the womb of a simple Israeli woman and without display or spectacle.
II. His Exultation (Phil. 2:9-11)
A. Jesus was highly exalted by God the Father Himself. This is God’s response to His obedience to die in the cross. To be exalted is something, but to be highly exalted is another thing. God has given Jesus superiority over anyone else. Humility comes before honor (Prov. 15:33). He was gloriously exalted in His resurrection, ascension, and heavenly position.
B. God has given Him a name that is above all names. Jesus name is unique above all else. His name is set apart from others. Becoming a Christian has to do with Jesus name (Jn. 1:12). Prayer is to be done in Jesus name (Jn. 14:13, 14). Salvation is in Jesus name (Jn. 3:18, Acts 4:12). In His Second Advent, as He rides upon the white
horse, we read: “He had a name written, that no man knew but He Himself.”
C. God has commanded that every knee should bow, and every tongue should confess Jesus Christ is Lord. The Bible teaches that one day every person will face the Lord Jesus. When this happens every knee will bow and acknowledgement of His Lordship. Everyone will acknowledge Him as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”. He
has the right of absolute sovereignty in our lives.
When we worship, we bow our knees. Jesus is worthy of our worship. (Rev. 5:12). We worship Him for what He hath done. When we sing our hymnals we worship Him. Music that does not mention about Jesus Christ’s incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension, falls short. It’s a sad thing that modern or contemporary Christian music focuses on emotional aspects of believers, and does not really worship the true God of heaven.
Illustration 2: Reaching the Summit by Way of the Valley
The Christian is to find exaltation by humility. Christ advised his hearers, when they went to a great dinner, not to go early and get the best places, but to go in modestly and take a humble seat; and
then if it was proper for them to have the higher place, the host would honor them by public invitation to the better seat. It is by being, and not by seeming to be, that one really comes to be
exalted. Christ emptied himself of all reputation, laid aside his glory and his riches, and came to the earth to be born among the lowly in the manger of an inn stable; but it was the way toward
exaltation, for Paul says: “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above
every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to
the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9–11). We, too, shall come to our highest through sacrificing ourselves in humility for the blessing of others. (Heart-warming Bible Illustrations.)
After Christ’s humility He was exalted. He died for our sins and He is worthy to be praise and honoured, and glorified in our lives. One day we will all acknowledge Him as the true King of Kings and Lord of Lords, why not begin now?