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January 7, 2022 7:00 am
The work for all of the rich theological truth that are seeing here today from the text I want you to understand something really important. This is a complicated hello and welcome again to the truth pulpit with John three founding pastor of Creek community church in Cincinnati, Ohio by Bill Wright. Imagine a vastly powerful and sovereign King sitting on his when he speaks, people drop everything they're doing to obey his commands.
Now imagine one day this King rising from his throne and coming down to his people in order to live among them serve and ultimately to give his very life, so that they might be saved from a terrible eternal punishment. Well today as Don brings us part two of his message called the humble Christ will see that this is exactly what Jesus did for us by coming down from heaven in order to give his life as payment for our sins. So open your Bible to Philippians chapter 2 will begin today's lesson here is done. The book of Philippians verse six with me who, although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped here. He was fully equal with God, but in his mindset in his mind. He did not review it as something to be grasped. What is that mean well. This phrase is referring to something that was that was present in his being, and something that was at full disk at his full disposal of our Lord Jesus Christ had full equality with God before his incarnation, and it was fully adheres disposal to do with as he pleased. There was no external higher authority instructing Christ on what to do with being God there is no higher authority.
There is no Supreme Court above him were grass raises the issue can stated in the question. When we grasp it, meaning would he take that position that he has and use it to his own advantage. He is God. Would he take it all to himself, had the right to stating the question differently would Christ exploit his deity to somehow further his own interests or to avoid suffering.
To avoid service from that position of absolute authority would Christ actually let that go. I'll explain what I mean by that in a moment, would Christ actually let that go in order to become a servant and the answer is he did stated in the negative. Christ did not use his status as God to take what was his and keep it for himself and to secure his own benefit, thereby instead he did something remarkable here is Christ existing in the form the essence of God, what did he do with that with that position of supreme unchallenged authority what to do with it. He laid it aside. He laid aside his privileges for his people. We know that Christ left heaven in order to be born a babe of a virgin and to live a life of humble incarnation that was headed toward the cross you know any human leader like that you don't pay the high King the highest King became a servant in order to secure good for others.
Jesus said this very plainly in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 20 verse 28 when he said this, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for men. Eight. This eternal paying laid aside the privileges of his essence stepped into humanity stepped down from heaven to come to earth and he did it not so the subjects would serve him and recognize and honor him in his first Advent. He did it so that he could serve them. He did not come to be served but to serve the simplicity of the difference between the passive voice and the active voice is everything there. Christ did not come to receive service during his time on earth he came to give it.
He came to serve. What Paul is saying here is this.
He says that that example of Christ is the attitude that should prevail in the church.
It's the attitude that should prevail in the people of Christ.
If you are here naming the name of Christ. God's word is telling you this is the preeminent attitude that should define the way that you think about everything else.
You are not here to get your own any more than Christ was here to get his own. You are here to be a humble servant. What is that mean well my friends, brothers and sisters Boys and Girls Club to 1° or another, God has blessed you with time with giftedness with resources and for some of you with authority what you are to understand is is that's not for self-promotion. That's not given to you so that you can get your way in, what you want and disregard for others. Whatever package God is given you in life. He is given it to you so that you could adopt the same attitude toward toward your position in life.
In your last surround you adopt the greater attitude that Christ had in his greater attitude and you view everything this been given to you from that perspective. Man, you're not here to be served here to serve.
Serve not to be served. The position of Paul that he saying is Christ served us. Now you go and do likewise understand the mindset that motivated Christ to do that what Christ did was was he laid aside what was his in order to serve his own people say.that is your mindset and then go and do likewise and yeah I emphasize the man without apology here today. I look for all of the rich theological truth that were seeing here today from the text I want you to understand something really important.
This is not complex.
All it's it's it's deep and it's profound. But Paul's point here is not complex at all.
Christ was like this. Christ was humble enough to lay aside his position in order to come to earth and serve as the supreme act of humility you can get that says you get that this is what Christ did. Now you be the same way.
This is this is a complicated you might resist it. You don't want.
Like the implications of it is not because you can't intellectually comprehend what's that look like, how to set apply. Well, maybe a simple act of love. Maybe you let go of an argument saying a lot. It doesn't really matter who is right here. I don't care I just want to be reconciled. We can do it your way. Sure, why not humble yourself to that point in those practical kinds of ways for young people for young people like to say these things. This active humility of Christ.
It might change and redefine your life ambition what you want to do with the one life that you have. That's the service of humility or how does that play out what's going point number two the sacrifice of humility. The sacrifice of humility. Paul goes on to show how Christ acted upon his humility. In verse seven existed in the form of God.
Remember from verse six right now look at verse seven, but he emptied himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men. He emptied him self that word.
But at the beginning of verse seven introduces a really sharp contrast verse six. He was like this, high and exalted, before his incarnation actually was where he was. He did something that should never expect on human terms.
By contrast to two the highness of his position, he took on this humble position in stead.
He was existing as God, but he emptied himself sent me. Paul immediately explains what he means by that. He says, he emptied himself, taking the form of a bondservant, you could translate it this way, he emptied himself by taking the form of a bondservant. In other words, he emptied himself in this manner by taking the form of a bondservant, same word, he was at the very form of God, the very nature of God. Verse six did this he took on the form of a slave. The very essence of a slave. And that's how he emptied himself, his incarnation was his active self emptying now understand that when Christ became a man, he did not surrender or or give up any of the attributes of deity. God cannot change. And so Christ did not change in any of that nature as it pertains to his deity. Rather, what he did was he took on something new. He took on humanity. He took on human flesh.
Theologians use the term hypostatic union here if you can't remember that that's okay will be time for that. Another in another place. It simply means that that the one person of Jesus Christ has two natures fully God and fully man full deity, full humanity. When Christ took on that humanity. He did something that Paul describes as an act of self emptying what he did was he laid aside the independent use of his privileges of deity during his earthly life he was still God, but he was not asserting his rights as God. He was not displaying his unveiled glory as he walked about in humanity.
He looked like anyone else. His contemporaries thought he was just the son of Joseph, to give you an idea of how humbled his position was. They looked and saw a man and he was really a man was so much more.
As we saying in the Christmas hymn veiled in flesh the Godhead see hail the incarnate deity in the self emptying about the self emptying in this way, when Jesus Christ left heaven to come to earth. What did he do but this he took a great step down from his from his position in the royal throne room of the universe. Christ stepped out step down came to earth, walked about as a man with human limitations not using the deity that was at his disposal to change his circumstances, he submitted to the incarnation for over 30 years in order to fulfill the mission of redemption in a vicarious substitutionary sacrifice for Center City came to do.
He left heaven to dwell in human flesh who would do that. Who would do that. I ask you what is what is the nature of Christ. What is the mind the character of him who did that just to leave heaven to come to earth. Not only that, I mean I mean maybe you could say maybe if he came in his first add. Then he came so that he could he could prove and manifest that he was the king, and he could he could hover about humanity at 50 feet in the air, with great purple royal roasted to prove who he was. I was and how he did it. He walked on earth is a slow faith. He was fully obedient to the will of his father.
He had submitted himself completely to the will of his father involuntarily had no rights of his own to assert to his own benefit. Think about it. Early in his earthly ministry, Jesus said this. Speaking of himself. He said the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.
The one who created the heavens and the earth voluntarily took on form a life humanity in which he lived without the most basic of human comforts while he was here this is who God is.
This is who Christ is. This is what he did. What does that say about what he is like is the point in you and I are to reflect on these cruise and come to this conclusion. He is profoundly perfectly humble.
Humble in the sense that he comes as a servant becomes to sacrifice himself for others who hated him for rebels against his will, Jesus Christ spent most of his earthly life in obscurity, working with his hands. He was known as the son of the carpenter. Think about the creator the creator. The created creator was working as a carpenter in the first century would shop whatever else you say about it. That's emptying yourself that's humbling yourself. Christ laid aside all of the prerogatives and benefits of deity at the attributes the benefits position, so to speak, in order to do that Jesus Christ sacrificed heaven in order to sacrifice himself on the cross for sinners like you and me.
That's the sacrifice of it profound.
What you must understand is that the greatness and the depth of the love within the three members of the Trinity. We tend to dismiss this because it's so alien to our existence and our understanding that for Christ to leave heaven was was told to leave the place for the fullness of that is that intron deity fellowship took place. So we see the service. The sacrifice finally received the submission of humility. The submission of humility. You know, if we just stopped.
We just stopped with what I just said we would have every reason to honor and glorify Christ forever and ever, that he that just that he did that for a time would be inactive of profound humility that surpasses anything that we've ever seen in our lifetimes or in any place in the course of human history.
No one is done anything like that in humanity to do what he did just there, but closed in prayer that would be enough for us to be astonished at the majesty of who Christ is less. Not all it keeps going in verse eight we see the submission of humility. Christ humbled himself by coming to earth, but there's so much more to this inverse say he being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself even further by becoming obedient to the point of death. He didn't just come and live in go back up to heaven, he humbled himself to enter into the experience of death itself, but all humanity faces since the fall of Adam and even more at the end of verse eight, even death on a cross. My my lips are not worthy to describe the things that I'm about to say Jesus Christ not only step down from heaven, he stepped down into humanity not only step down into humanity.
He stepped down to die not only step down the die he stepped down to die a degrading death on the cross of Calvary not only to die a death on the cross, but to to bear the penalty of sin, the wrath of God against against the sins of all of his people.
Christ, the one who was perfectly innocent, perfectly righteous step down down down down down in order to make the.
The ultimate sacrifice of giving his lifeblood to pay for the sins of all of his people. Beloved. That's humility. Jesus Christ submitted himself to his father to the uttermost. And as he hung exposed to the world, marked by those who crucified him hanging there is God in human flesh. The ultimate act of humility was being completed. Beloved, he did it for us morally bankrupt rebels against him. That's how much he served question 27 of the Westminster shorter catechism asked this question, wherein did Christ's humiliation consist but in modern language. What we mean when we say the Christ humbled himself what we mean when we talk about the humiliation of Christ, the answer is this. Can't say it any better.
Christ's humiliation consisted in his being born and that in a low condition made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God and the curse of death of the cross in being buried and continuing under the power of death for a time.
That's what Christ's humiliation is a step down into humanity in a low condition obeyed the law on behalf of his people underwent the miseries of this life subjected himself to the wrath of God that he did not deserve, but his people did. Can you imagine the living God placed in the tomb that kind of humiliation continued under the power of death for time will beloved. But here's here's Paul's point is using this as an illustration about what humility looks like in the body of Christ and in the life of an individual Christian the messages. This humility serves humility, sacrifices, humility submits the whole point going back to verse five have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. Here's what you and I are to do as we contemplate this humiliation of Christ we are to meditate on it. We are to think about it and take it seriously and honestly and as we do. Then we adopted as our own attitude toward our own life in the years that the Lord has left for us. Charles Spurgeon put it this way again you quote others when you can't say it better yourself. I should quote a lot more than I do.
Spurgeon said this may the Lord bring us in contemplation to Calvary. Then our position will no longer be that of the pompous man of pride that we shall take the humble place of one who loves much because much has been forgiven him. Pride cannot live beneath the cross, let us sit there and learn our lesson and then rise carried into practice will you do that that's done green with part two of his message called the humble Christ will friend.
We hope this lesson is blessed you that you will share it with a friend or loved one. It's really easy to do, just go to the truth.
Pulpit.com once you're there you'll find this message along with all of Don's teaching again. That's the truth. Pulpit.com brings our time for today to a close find Bill right hope you'll join us next year on the truth