Philippians 2 Lesson

The humility of Jesus

Philippians 2 is a chapter about humility.

Humility is defined as, “Being free from pride or arrogance.”

It is easy to read that definition and simply say to ourselves, “I will try not to be proud or arrogant,” and leave it at that. But that would be missing the point.

Paul is not talking about small, incremental changes to become humbler. Paul is talking about something much bigger than that!

The example that he gives us is Jesus. Paul writes in Philippians 2:5-7:

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men.”

Jesus gave up a lot when He left heaven to come and save us. Paul says that Jesus, “Emptied Himself,” and took the form of a bondservant or slave.

To empty oneself requires giving everything that you have to give. In sports they might refer to this as, “Leaving it all on the field.”

Think about what that must have been like for Jesus. He exchanged a heavenly life with His Father, for an earthly life that was full of adversity, pain, rejection, betrayal, and ultimately, death on a cross.

That is a massive change!!!!

The type of humility that Paul is writing about requires a massive change as well.

This type of change requires a new way of thinking each day.

Instead of waking up in the morning and asking ourselves, “What do I want to do?” - we are to wake up and ask ourselves, “What does God want me to do?”

Instead of waking up in the morning and asking ourselves, “How can I make my life better today?” - we wake up and ask ourselves, “How can I make somebody else’s life better today?”

Can you imagine the type of world that we would live in if everybody shared these values? Can you picture a world where we all left home each day looking for opportunities to make other people’s lives better? That is the type of world that God wants us to create on earth. We are to lead by example and show others the humility of Jesus.

In Mathew 5:48, Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” That is the goal that He set for us.

There is an old expression that says, “If you chase perfection, you just might catch excellence.”

Although we will never be perfect on our own, we can try to be perfect. The character is in the trying.

Consider these four scriptures:

  1. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3.
  2. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” – John 3:30.
  3. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mathew 22:39.
  4. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17.

As we consider these four scriptures, we need to ask ourselves, “What changes do we need to make to have the humility of Jesus in our lives?”

Earlier we talked about how much Jesus gave up in heaven to be with us on earth. Why would He do that?

The answer is simple.

Because He loved us!

The two greatest commandments in the Bible are to love God, and to love our neighbor (Mathew 22:37-39).

If that sounds like a lot of “work” to you right now, let the Spirit continue to work in you.

Pray for a softer heart.

Ezekiel 36:26 says:

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

As we mature in our faith, our actions should more closely mirror those of Jesus. While we will never approach the humility that Jesus demonstrated, we can make incremental improvements to be more like him. The character is in the trying. When we do this, we will someday hear the precious words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Comments

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Heather Ann

This serves as a reminder to all of us to LOVE our neighbors, to serve others and care for others. The study encourages us to put off selfish ways and to wake up in the morning and live throughout the day a life that is reflective of GOD's loving way of caring for others.

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David

This is by far one of the most challenging chapters of scripture since our standard is Jesus as we examine not only our actions but our mindset directly related to our heart. It should continue to give us pause for reflection and spur us to action.

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Heather Ann
David

This is part of our overall sanctification process on our journey through this life. What makes it challenging for us is that it is a choice we make each day of our lives. We can choose to walk in offense and arrogance or we can choose to humble ourselves.

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CC
Heather Ann

This serves as a reminder to all of us to LOVE our neighbors, to serve others and care for others. The study encourages us to put off selfish ways and to wake up in the morning and live throughout the day a life that is reflective of GOD's loving way of caring for others.

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Michael
CC

Outstanding Heather Ann. Thank you!!

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