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January 6, 2022 7:00 am
This kind of humility is otherworldly. It is godly it is that humility which marks the very deity of our Lord Jesus.
And let's consider it now. This is the truth pulpit with John Green, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio high until right you know all through Scripture we are told to live a life of humility to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord. But what is that actually look like in the life of a Christian friend. There's no better example of humility in the one set by Jesus Christ himself today as we continue in our series called the glorious person of Christ, Don is going to take a look at that example with part one of a message called the humble Christ open your Bible once again to Philippians chapter 2.
Let's get started with our teacher given fruitful in the book of Philippians, Paul opens up and congratulates and thanks the Philippians 4 for their faith for their kindness to him and he tells them a little bit about his situation as he sits in a Roman prison and he says that he is full of hope. He's full of hope, he says in chapter 1 verse 19 look at it there with me. He says I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers, and the provision of the spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in anything but the with all boldness, Christ will even now is always be exalted in my body whether by life or by death for me to live is Christ and to die is gain. He says if the Roman Empire executes me going to be gain for me because I will go into the immediate presence of Christ. If I live that's going to that's going to be great also because it will extend my time of ministry to you. He says in verse 22. If I live on in the flesh. It's fruitful labor for me that verse 23 it's my desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better so he says whatever comes in the future. I'm at peace. I am content. I will serve Christ now. Every one of us, in which this passage come to us should have that mindset as well were not facing prison were not facing immediate execution and we should have the attitude of Paul says whatever comes in this I am content because I am in Christ and Christ is everything to me and I rest my hope utterly and completely in him, and to know him is my highest joy and no one can take that away from me. So we see how the object of our faith defines the way that we respond to life. The Paul goes on as he addresses the Philippian readers and he says in verse 27 as he pivots toward them. He's given a report on his circumstances and now he tells them what their object and their occupation ought to be in their thinking and in their lifestyle and he says this in chapter 1 verse 27 very important verse really frames the next 2 1/2 chapters of what follows, he says this only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel in no way alarmed by your opponents, which is a sign of distraction for them, but of salvation for you and that too from God.
He says I am writing with apostolic authority to tell you this on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ. He says you must walk in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ, we must live in a way that reflects his glory must live in obedience and what exactly is the obedience that he has in mind the particular aspect of obedience that this church needed to hear about well he raises it in the first four verses of chapter 2 when he says this, he says. Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ. If there is any consolation of love. If there is any fellowship of the spirit, if any affection and compassion make my joy complete by being of the same mind maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. He is writing for the purpose of of cultivating unity within the body of Christ. There were conflicts. There were grumblings in the church you see that in chapter 2 verse 14 where he says do all things without grumbling or disputing.
In chapter 4, verse two, he highlights he calls out to particular women in the church and he says I urge you already and I urge send techie to live in harmony in the Lord there was conflict and division and strife that was going on in the people, probably to some extent within the body itself corporately speaking and if there strife in the body.
You know you over the years. You learn that that means that somewhere there strife and individual homes as well. What Paul says is is that that is not walking in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ, he says.
And so I'm writing to you I'm urging you to be united in spirit. He says you've given me so much joy already make my joy complete by being of the same mind the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. You see how concerned he is about this unity that is taking place. This is a matter of enduring eternal significance. This matter of unity.
This is what Scripture refers to. Often you see it in Ephesians 4. For example, verses one through three, that this matter of unity within the body is of supreme importance to the apostle Paul now let's understand what that means to talk about something being of supreme importance to the apostle Paul means that it's of supreme importance to the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Paul writes, as the as the authorized representative of Christ. And so Paul here is giving the word of Christ to his church to be united in spirit know that and when Scripture speaks of this theme repeatedly.
It means we need to take it earnestly and to take it seriously goes on in verse three he says 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 is a pattern that I've seen that takes place in different realms of authority if it's in.
Whether it's in government or in the workplace or rent a marriage.
Husband wife with parents, parents and children and all of these things were people with authority people in the position of God-given authority like to exercise that in a way that is oppressive that rules over people in order to get exactly what the person with authority wants for themselves what you and I must understand in the spirit of unity that Paul is speaking about here is that that that is a completely wrong and distorted way to think about life and to think about whatever position you might have in in life. God does not give you authority in a relationship so that you can just do and get whatever you want.
That's not the way that it works. God gives you authority so that you are in a position to provide blessing to those that are around you that are under you.
God gives you authority so that you can make it good for those that are underneath your authority, were going to see how clear and how plain that is in just a moment, but I want to enforce and emphasize the point here is that this is a matter of great significance, and so regardless of our station in life.
Look at chapter 2 verse four where Paul tells this church do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Paul has called the church to unity and is called the church to a unity that is based on humility now we might toss that word around about humility and humble and what does that look like and what does that mean Paul understands Paul's knew his audience needed an illustration, just like you and I do and so that call to be a unified humble church brings us to our vital text which is verses five through eight.
Now before I read it I want you to understand what is happening here. Paul has called the church to walk in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is his overarching call. That is the introductory command in chapter 1 verse 27 the frames. These other things and follow walk in a manner worthy of Christ. He says that he says let me tell you specifically what I'm talking about unity built on humility, where does that come from. Then he gives them an illustration he gives to undergird this call to unity that is grounded on humility. He illustrates with a person who was humble to the supreme degree that person with whom he illustrates this point is no one less than our Lord Jesus Christ. Chapter 2 verse five functions as a hinge verse here have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus. Now this is a hinge verse he's going from his exhortation to his illustration. He says have this attitude in yourselves what attitude is he talking about as we begin our text.
What is this attitude that he is speaking right now. Well the attitude is the one that he was just talking about the one of humility.
Verse three, with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. That's the attitude that he says you are to adopt as your own. Now listen when Scripture comes to us like this.
Sometimes we miss the significance of what is being said. This verse is presenting to us a command from God. That is to define the entire way that we look at all of our relationships, but especially in the body of Christ. This is not a passing incidental matter of which he speaks. This is a matter of defining central importance that shapes the way that you view every person in your life and which defines the way that you respond to every person in your life. There is no one there is not thing in your life that is unaffected by the things we are considering here today from God's word, I will. I want you to understand before we go any further that everything in your life is on the table with what is being discussed here because he's talking about your attitude, your mindset the way that you consider others in your life. He says in verse five have this attitude. The one I was just talking about how that attitude inside yourselves. Let it frame your heart. In other words, and he says this attitude of which I'm speaking, it's the attitude which was also in Christ Jesus.
While while in other words, in other words, horizontally, everything is been placed on the table for consideration here today and then it's elevated in a vertical way to say that this is this is what was manifested in the life of Christ. This is what Christ is like, and so so there's this vertical dimension that defines things as we are in submission to Christ and then it has a horizontal application that goes everywhere.
This is a most searching passage, maybe in times past you've read through it fairly quickly but we see here. We understand that we are seeing something that asserts a dominant authority over us to define the kind of person that we are friends, brothers and sisters, distinguished guest. Are there any distinguished guests in here what I want you to see… It is the significance and the transcendent nature of of this passage that were considering any time you talk about Christ are talking about something transcendent here. What we find is that transcendence of Christ is being applied to define for us the way that we are to think about all of life. It's that significant. You could spend the rest of the day. The rest of the week thinking about these things. Thinking going through cataloging in but doing an inventory of your life and everything that you would think of would be affected by the things that we find in God's word, and so Paul is illustrating in Christ and what is it about Christ. Let me read the text.
Finally, there were going to consider here.
Verse five 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 being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Now before we get into the text. My three points I want you to see how this attitude of humility is the central theme of the passage were considering here, look at it.
He says in chapter 2 verse three do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. Humility is what he is teaching here and he illustrates with Christ and is he closes up the illustration which is of profound theological death. He says in verse eight talking about Christ. What did Christ do being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. So humility here is the defining virtue that is being discussed and explained in the passage that we are considering and so Paul illustrates with Christ, the nature of humility so that the people of Christ would apply it to their hearts and and adopted in their relationships and what we find. I believe as we go through these things as we talk about humility in Christ's humility, we find that which humbles ourselves. By contrast, as the perfect humility of Christ is held up as a spotless mirror before our own characters.
It inevitably exposes the pride and selfishness of our own lives.
I want to tell you in advance that when the spirit of God breaks your heart today when the arrow of the spirit lands in the middle of your heart. Don't resist that embrace it. This is something that God brings to us from his word in order to change as to cleanse us in the confession of repentance to be cleansed by the blood of Christ and then to be changed going forward in a way that produces permanent results within our lives within our hearts within our homes and within the body of Christ, a divided church is somehow a proud church police segments of the church are marked by pride because humility could never produce division. The humility of which we speak here today. So Paul uses the person of Christ, to show us three principles of humility that apply to us that we are to consider. That's what were going to look at in by way of review is just so striking the think that Christ who is truly supreme shows an attitude which none of our politicians ever manifest this kind of humility is otherworldly. It is godly it is that humility which marks the very deity of our Lord Jesus.
And let's consider it now.
First of all I want you to see the service of humility the service of humility when Jesus Christ was on the earth. He was God in human flesh. He still is but when Christ came in his incarnation God became a man full deity took on full humanity and two natures resided in the one person of Jesus Christ.
Now think about the significance of that for just a moment. One aspect of the significance of it that when we talk about the Lord Jesus Christ were talking about. He who is of the very essence of God, he is DFT he is Lord of all and you know, step back from that somewhat familiar truth, perhaps, and ask yourself kind of a preliminary question what is God doing on this cursed planet doing math. Why would God leave heaven in order to walk in humanity. On this accursed side. Well there something in him there something in Christ.
There something about his character that prompted him to do that. Verse six look at it with me who, speaking of crises now going to in this relative clause is going to describe something about Christ to us, who, although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped now when it says that he existed in the form of God, that's really an important word. This word form refers to the essential nature of something what he saying is that Christ before his incarnation existed in the essential nature of God. He shares the very essence of God himself. Everything that God the father is in perfect deity is true of Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 14 you know if any man is seen me. He is seen the father he can say that because there is there is no distinction in essence between the father and his son, God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit all share in the one indivisible perfect essence of God, that eternal uncreated essence that is by very nature who God is. That's who Christ was and is and always will be Christ look at it there in verse six, although he existed in the form of God, he he lived in the essence of God. He had the essence of God is what that is referring to Christ was like that, that's his essence you want to talk about authority you want to talk about being a boss or be in the head of your home or be in the header your children. Talk about your little realm of authority and who you are, Bob Loblaw, well let's let's multiply authority by infinity and look at the Lordship of Christ.
And that's who were talking about before his birth Jesus Christ shared in the glory of heaven. Angels worship him and and we struggle to find the vocabulary to express these things adequately to talk about the majesty of who he was in his essence before his incarnation uncreated God no beginning. The full essence of God, the one through whom God made the heavens and the earth. John chapter 1 says that nothing is come into being apart from him. This is the want of whom we speak.
Hi exalted glorious deity, and that's who he was before his incarnation all of the sharing and all of the attributes of God. All of the prerogatives of deity were at his disposal. What you and I must understand, as were walking through this text is that that deity that is Christ's is the foundation for everything that follows and that instructs us in what humility looks like. The question is then what did Jesus do, so to speak. What did he do with that deity. How did he handle the fact that he was God and is God.
We say wise only because were looking back to that which in time precedes us understanding that he always is. God always was, always will be. Even our verb tenses start to fail us.
When we talk about the majesty of Christ.
What did he do with his deity that's done green bringing you part one of a message called the humble Christ friend if you've missed any part of today's teaching.
You can listen again at your convenience simply by going to the truth. Pulpit.com. You'll find this message along with all of Don's teaching as well as a host of other helpful resources. Again, that's all at the truth. Pulpit.com before we leave you here again is done with a closing word of encouragement done, you know, my friends, I recently did a little Google search and found that there are more than 7.5 billion people living on our planet. That's a lot of people. You'd think there'd be no room for anyone to be lonely, but you and I both know that it's not like that all of those people are no comfort at all.
If you are personally discouraged or finding yourself in despair. You know, sometimes the weight of isolation can make you wonder whether it's worth the effort to keep living my friend.
I want you to know this is a Jesus Christ speaks kindly to you. If you are in that condition of heart.
Today he said come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. My friend even in the midst of your discouragement.
Know this. Jesus Christ graciously receives guilty sinners and offers mercy and love to them who have nowhere else to turn. So do this find a Bible read the Gospel of John. And as you do that asked the Lord Jesus Christ to make himself known to you, he is promise that he who seeks will find my friend there is hope for you in Christ today, and I pray that the spirit of God would lead you to that one who loves your soul and freely offers his kindness, mercy and care to you.
Even today, thanks. Done in friend that's all the time we have for today. I built right inviting you back. For more from the truth