Philippians 2 - Edited March 2003

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Philippians 2 - Edited March 2003 Powered By Docstoc
					                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                              Chapter 2


2:1     If therefore there is any                    saving her life and giving new meaning to
        encouragement in Christ, if there is         their one-flesh relationship.
        any consolation of love, if there is
        any fellowship of the Spirit, if any         Love like this also gives new meaning to the
        affection and compassion,                    concept of putting other people‘s interests
        If you have any encouragement                ahead of our own. If you know your Bible,
        from being united with Christ, if            you know where Paul was going with his
        any comfort from his love, if any            plea for humility on the part of believers.
        fellowship with the Spirit, if any           Even though verses 5-11 are not part of our
        tenderness and compassion,                   reading, we need to keep in mind that Jesus
        If there be therefore any consolation        is the perfect example of self-sacrifice
        in Christ, if any comfort of love, if        instead of self-interest.
        any fellowship of the Spirit, if any
        bowels and mercies,                          The apostle‘s call for selfless living was
                                                     prefaced by a plea for unity among believers
2 Corinthians 13:14                                  based on the blessings that are ours as
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the          Christians. The ―if‖ statements in verse 1
love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy          don‘t suggest doubt, but certainty. There is
Spirit, be with you all.                             encouragement,       comfort,     fellowship,
                                                     tenderness, and compassion in Christ.
Colossians 3:12
And so, as those who have been chosen of             Take another look at this list in light of God‘s
God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of             plan for marriage, and you‘ll see that these
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness           are also qualities which should characterize
and patience.                                        a loving, strong, and growing one-flesh
                                                     relationship. These blessings are a basis for
2:1-5 Many people—even Christians—live               unity in a marriage as well as unity in the
only to make a good impression on others or          church, which makes sense because
to please themselves. But ―selfish ambition          marriage is an earthly picture of Christ‘s
or vain conceit‖ brings discord. Paul                heavenly relationship with His bride, the
therefore stressed spiritual unity, asking the       church.
Philippians to love one another and to be
one in spirit and purpose. When we work              We would have to be hard-hearted, and soft-
together, caring for the problems of others          headed, to accept the love and sacrifice of
as if they were our problems, we                     our spouses, and then insist on fulfilling our
demonstrate Christ‘s example of putting              own desires no matter what. But that‘s what
others first, and we experience unity. Don‘t         happens in all too many marriages, Christian
be so concerned about making a good                  and otherwise.
impression or meeting your own needs that
you strain relationships in God‘s family.            R.C. Sproul
TODAY IN THE WORD                                    He who is King of all creation humbled
The story of Bob and Marjorie White                  Himself, submitted to the will of His Father,
poignantly illustrates sacrificial love. Marjorie    served sinful, rebellious human beings,
was in critical condition with kidney failure,       washed their dirty feet, and ultimately died
and the prospect of losing her was very real.        the death of a criminal to bring glory to God.
As they waited for a possible kidney donor,          Here we have an exalted portrait of how
Bob asked to be tested for tissue                    Christ maintained His rank and station, His
compatibility with his wife. The tests showed        equality with God, and yet subordinated
a perfect match, which rarely happens                Himself to a role of submission and service.
between people who are not related. Bob              Can a wife do any less? Is she too grand,
White gladly donated a kidney to his wife,
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too self-reliant, too noble to submit to the       them, by their love to him, to love each
authority of her husband? Does she lose her        other. He does as much as say, ―If you really
character, her personality, her equality, her      do love me, if it is not a sham, if you have
status as a human being when she submits           any sympathy with me, and with my labors
to her husband? Did Christ lose His dignity,       and sufferings, if you really have the same
His worth, His nobility, His divinity when He      spirit that burns in my breast, make my heart
humbled Himself and became obedient even           full of joy by clinging to one another, by
to death on a cross? No, quite the contrary.       being like-minded, ‗having the same love,
His submission to the will of His Father           being of one accord, of one mind.‘‖
brought Him even greater glory. And in like
manner, the wife who submits to the                Paul's exhortation:
authority of her husband brings honor not          External threats (1:27-30) to the church
only to herself but to the man she loves and       have always proven less dangerous than
the God she adores.                                internal. Shared
                                                   union with Christ, love for one another, and
God created Eve out of the side of Adam.           mutual participation in the Spirit should
There was a never a time when the woman            encourage all Christians to draw together in
existed alone, separate from her husband,          a supportive fellowship.
just as the church has never existed outside
of Christ as its head. Like the vine that has      Comfort in Christ
its own root, but wraps itself around the          Matthew 9:22
sturdy oak, the wife is a distinct person with     But Jesus turning and seeing her said,
an identity all her own, but she is dependent      "Daughter, take courage; your faith has
on her husband for support and strength.           made you well.‖ And at once the woman
This arrangement of the husband-wife               was made well.
relationship does not dishonor the woman
any more than Christ's role as our                 Luke 7:13
Redeemer dishonors Him. Through her                And when the Lord saw her, He felt
submission, the wife brings honor to her           compassion for her, and said to her, "Do not
husband. Through her submission, she               weep."
instructs her children by way of example on
how to respect those in authority. Through         John 14:1
her submission, she shows a rebellious             Let not your heart be troubled; believe in
world the honor, peace, and dignity that           God, believe also in Me.
come through willing obedience to God.
                                                   John 14:18
Through her submission, the wife conforms          I will not leave your as orphans; I will come
to the image of her Redeemer "who being in         to you.
the form of God, did not consider it robbery
to be equal with God, but made Himself of          John 16:33
no reputation. . . . humbled Himself and           These things I have spoken to you, that in
became obedient to the point of death, even        Me you may have peace. In the world you
the death of the cross." As B.M. Palmer            have tribulation, but take courage; I have
writes, "It is enough for her, if she, like Him    overcome the world.
is exalted through submission to a station of
privilege and glory."                              C. H. Spurgeon
                                                   Paul did not mean to doubt that there is ―any
C. H. Spurgeon                                     consolation in Christ, any comfort of love,
He knew that these saints at Philippi loved        any fellowship of the Spirit, any bowels and
him. They had sent once and again to               mercies,‖ for no one knew better than he did
relieve his necessities, so he pleaded with        how those blessings abound to them that
                                                   are in Christ Jesus. He put it by way of
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argument. If there be consolation in Christ,
since there is consolation in Christ, since           Humility is both the means and motive for
there is comfort of love, since there is              obeying this command, and is defined as
fellowship of the Spirit, be one in Christ; be        considering others better than ourselves (vv.
not divided; love one another: ―be                    3-4; cf. Rom. 12:10; 1 Peter 5:5). This
likeminded, having the same love, being of            principle is reinforced by the ―golden rule,‖
one accord, of one mind.‖                             Christ‘s guideline to ―do to others as you
                                                      would have them do to you‖ (Luke 6:31).
TODAY IN THE WORD
You may know that the planet‘s best-selling           2:2     make my joy complete by being of
book is the Bible. But do you know which                      the same mind, maintaining the
book is the second most widely read                           same love, united in spirit, intent on
worldwide? The answer is The Imitation of                     one purpose.
Christ, ascribed to Thomas à Kempis.                          then make my joy complete by
Written in the late 1300s, this devotional                    being like-minded, having the
classic has been translated into more than                    same love, being one in spirit and
fifty languages and enjoyed by millions of                    purpose.
readers.                                                      Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-
                                                              minded, having the same love,
The title of the book sums up its purpose--                   being of one accord, of one mind.
Christlikeness. Chapter headings include
―Imitating Christ and Despising All Vanities          A Plea for Unity
on Earth,‖ ―The Intimate Friendship of                The apostle Paul was a great theologian,
Jesus,‖ and ―Few Love the Cross of Jesus.‖            which meant he often addressed important
                                                      doctrinal issues. He opposed the legalism of
No doubt one reason the book has endured              the Judaizers (Phil. 3:2) and the libertine
so long is that it addresses what should be           views of other false teachers (vv. 18–19). He
every    Christian‘s    consuming   priority.         knew such teachings perverted the doctrine
Specifically, ―imitating Christ‖ is the               of salvation and threatened the church‘s life.
underlying idea in today‘s reading.                   Yet he also realized that discord in the
                                                      church was an equal threat to its life. That‘s
The passage begins with an overview of the            because conflict robs the church of its power
riches we have in Christ (v. 1). ―If‖ should be       and destroys its testimony. Enemies of
read as ―since‖ because these spiritual facts         Christ are eager to find ways to discredit the
are a certainty--we do have encouragement             church.
from being united with Christ, comfort from
His love, and fellowship with the Spirit.             Apparently, disunity in the Philippian church
These are not conditional ―ifs‖ but truths            was about to destroy the integrity of its
rooted in our relationship with Christ that are       testimony. So Paul said to them, ―Only let
stated rhetorically for emphasis.                     your conduct be worthy of the gospel of
                                                      Christ, so that whether I come and see you
As a result of these truths, believers are to         or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that
exhibit unity and love (v. 2). We don‘t have          you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind
to achieve these on our own--they don‘t flow          striving together for the faith of the gospel‖
from human striving but from divine                   (1:27). We have one Spirit within us, so
enablement. God has already done the                  there‘s no reason for disunity.
work. Because we have been already united
with Christ, we should be ―one in spirit and          Devotional
purpose.‖ We should act toward one another            At the end of this verse, Paul says
with Christ‘s sacrificial love. If the Philippians    something very unique: "thinking the one
could do that, Paul would feel even more              thing." Although some versions translate this
joy!                                                  phrase as "having the same mind," the
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Greek construction is properly translated as       Such was the case in Paul‘s letter to the
"thinking the one thing." Thus, from the           Philippians, where he had to plead with
supply of the encouragement in Christ in           Euodia and Syntyche to ―be of the same
verse 1, something happens to us. There is         mind‖ (4:2). Their personal friction created a
the harmony of the Spirit between us to the        roadblock to their spiritual service, and their
extent that we think the same thing, have          ―tug-of-war‖ was harming the life of the
the same love, are joined in soul, and think       church.
the one thing. We are thinking the one thing.
It does not simply say, "thinking one thing."      Paul‘s appeal was for them to pull together
There is a definite article before the word        and work for the honor of the Master. It is an
"one." Thus, it is translated properly             appeal that serves us well today. When we
"thinking the one thing." That means there is      feel distanced from our fellow believers, we
one unique thing to think. This is the burden      must look for the common ground we have
Paul opens up in Philippians. It is that in the    in the Savior.
supply of the Spirit we are reduced to being
saints who have a common factor between            Church is no place for a tug-of-war. It‘s
us - we think the one thing.                       imperative that we work together for the
                                                   advancement of God‘s kingdom. He can use
What is this one thing that we are thinking?       us in wonderful ways when we lay aside our
To answer this we must understand                  personal differences and pull together on the
something about the Greek word for                 rope.
"thinking," phroneo. This word, used
primarily in Philippians and Romans, is one         A believer at war with another Christian
of the most spiritually rich words in the New         cannot be at peace with the Father.
Testament. First, this word means a
supplied kind of thinking. It is not something     Devotional
we come up with on our own. It is a thinking       The way you can tell that you have applied
supplied to us by the Spirit (Rom. 8:5-6). To      the cross is that others are happy with you.
think the one thing is something that God          You may ask what this means. To fulfill my
enables us to do. He dispenses into our            joy means to make me happy. And how are
being an inclination to think the one thing.       you going to make me happy? It is by being
                                                   like-minded, having the same love, being of
Tug-Of-War                                         one accord, of one mind. This kind of
Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having        oneness in the Body requires the cross.
the same love, being of one accord, of one
mind. —Philippians 2:2                             In Philippians 2:6-8 Paul speaks of the Lord
                                                   Jesus taking the way of the cross. Then he
A college in our area has an interesting           applies this cross-taking mind to the
annual rite—a tug-of-war. Two teams train          believers in the verses that follow. He
and prepare to pull together on their end of       speaks of God operating in us both the
the rope to win the competition, hoping to         willing and the working for His good
avoid the mud-pit between the teams and            pleasure. This operation has to do with the
gain campus bragging rights for another            inward application of the cross. And the way
year. For a fun competition, it can become         Paul would know that the saints at Philippi
intense.                                           had inwardly applied the cross is that
                                                   harmony would be among them, the flow of
As believers in Jesus, we often face the           fellowship would be between them. This
challenge of learning how to pull together.        would make his joy full. This would make
Self-interest, personal agendas, and power         him happy.
struggles get in the way of genuine ministry
and hinder the work of Christ.                     Sometimes in the church life we have not
                                                   made the Body happy because we have
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been so "crossless" in our experience. So           genuine humility can build it. Being humble
the joy in the church is not full. The Body is      involves having a true perspective about
a barometer. Are we making the Body                 ourselves (see Romans 12:3). It does not
happy? Are the saints full of joy because of        mean that we should put ourselves down.
us? When the saints think about us, when            Before God, we are sinners, saved only by
the saints consider us, when they see our           God‘s grace, but we are saved and therefore
face, do they get happy, full of joy? This is a     have great worth in God‘s kingdom. We are
good way to tell whether we have applied            to lay aside selfishness and treat others with
the cross inwardly - do we make the saints          respect and common courtesy. Considering
full of joy? Paul was saying, "Make my joy          others‘ interests as more important than our
full. Encourage me. Fellowship with me.             own links us with Christ, who was a true
Bring some consolation to me. Make me               example of humility.
happy." Such an atmosphere comes from
the inward application of the cross. Make           TODAY IN THE WORD
your wife happy. Make your husband happy.           Arlington National Cemetery has been
Make the brothers happy. How do you do it?          rightly called ""America's memorial."" The
By inwardly applying the cross to                   Tomb of the Unknowns, honoring all men
murmurings, to reasonings, to right and             and women who died serving their country,
wrong. Get out of the realm of the self and         is guarded twenty-four hours a day by
into the spirit. Be constituted with Christ, and    sentinels from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry
the joy in the church will be full.                 stationed at Fort Meyer, Virginia. The
                                                    changing of the guard occurs every half hour
2:3     Do nothing from selfishness or              in summer and every hour during the fall
        empty conceit, but with humility of         and winter, and the guards take their duties
        mind let each of you regard one             seriously. One soldier says, ""Being a tomb
        another as more important than              guard is the highlight of my career. This
        himself;                                    comes from my heart.""
        Do nothing out of selfish
        ambition or vain conceit, but in            Our nation's military has always done an
        humility consider others better             outstanding job of honoring its comrades.
        than yourselves.                            While the church doesn't need to post
        Let nothing be done through strife or       sentinels or put up memorials, we do need
        vainglory; but in lowliness of mind         to take our job of honoring one another just
        let each esteem other better than           as seriously.
        themselves.
                                                    It's amazing how the Bible's ""one another""
Galatians 5:26                                      commands build on themselves. We've
Let us not become boastful, challenging one         already    discussed    the    practice   of
another, envying one another.                       submission and the pursuit of peace, and
                                                    these are very helpful for one who is intent
Romans 12:10                                        on honoring other believers rather than on
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love;        grabbing the spotlight.
give preference to one another in honor.
                                                    We have a good biblical example in 1
1 Peter 5:5                                         Thessalonians of what Paul means by this
You younger men, likewise, be subject to            command. He urged the church at
your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves      Thessalonica to respect their spiritual
with humility toward one another, for GOD           leaders, to ""hold them in the highest regard
IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD BUT GIVES                   in love because of their work"" (1 Thess.
GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.                                5:12-13).

2:3 Selfish ambition can ruin a church, but         Honoring one another doesn't mean we
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have to wear ourselves out patting other            others" (Philippians 2:3-4). Our example of
believers on the back or compete to see             such living is Jesus Christ, who left the glory
who can issue the most compliments. Paul            of heaven to share our humanity and die on
gives us the heart of this command in               the cross so that we can have eternal life
Philippians 2, where he contrasts honoring          (vv.5-8).
others with pushing to get ourselves noticed
and praised.                                        If the encouragement of our example helps
                                                    another person to flourish and be
We honor other believers when we look out           successful, we should rejoice. When the
for their interests. This may mean helping          eternal prizes are awarded for faithful
another Christian to succeed, whether we            service to God, a lot of "pushers" will be
get credit or not. It may involve setting aside     wearing blue ribbons. Until then, let's keep
our desires or priorities to extend a helping       running so that others can win.
hand to a brother or a sister in need.
                                                    You can't lose when you help others win.
C. H. Spurgeon
This would be a good motto for those who            Humility:
are intending to build new places of worship.           Soul                  of contentment
Let them not be built through strife, because           Flower                of grace
of a squabble among the people of God, but              Secret                of service
make sure that all concerned are actuated               Badge                 of obedience
by right motives, and seeking only the glory            Lesson                of grace
of God. Then, sometimes, if one gives a                 Mind                  of lowliness
guinea, another feels that he must give two             Example               of Christ
so as to excel him; this is giving out of
                                                        Livery                of heaven
vainglory. Let nothing be done in this way,
                                                        Securer               of blessing
but as unto the Lord, and as in his sight, let
us do all our works, and give all our gifts.            Harbinger             of reward

Running For Others                                  Our Daily Bread
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition        The aquatic creature called the blowfish has
or conceit, but . . . let each esteem others        no particular value to the one who catches it
better than himself. —Philippians 2:3               except that it may help to develop the
                                                    angler's patience because it often seizes
Tom Knapp never won a race during his               bait intended for better fish. The blowfish is
entire high school track career. Tom was a          unattractive; it has a large mouth and a
"pusher." It was his task to set the pace for       wrinkled body that looks like worn-out
his fellow team members, who would then             leather. When you turn it over and tickle it,
beat him to the finish line. When he ran a          the flabby fish puffs up until it is swollen like
successful race, he was enabling a fellow           a globe.
teammate to win. Even though Tom never
had enough reserve energy for the final             People can be like that. A little flattery, a
sprint to victory, the coach considered him a       little tickling of their vanity and they swell up,
valuable member of the team.                        giving the semblance of greatness. Pride
                                                    inflates them, and they puff up like the
In a similar way, the New Testament tells us        blowfish. But there's nothing substantial
to run our race of faith with the success of        about them; they are all air.
others in mind. "Let nothing be done through
selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness       This condition takes other forms with more
of mind let each esteem others better than          serious consequences. For example, the
himself. Let each of you look out not only for      Christians to whom Paul wrote in 1
his own interests, but also for the interests of    Corinthians 5 were tolerating immorality.
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Instead of being grieved over sin in their         What did John the Baptist and the music
midst, they were actually puffed up. Here          professor have in common? They were able
was a sure sign of carnality and immaturity;       to set aside selfish ambition. They were
they were proud when they should have              happy to see others elevated above
been mourning. God desires that we be built        themselves when it was for the common
up in Christ; never puffed up with pride.          good. Can the same be said about us?

The continual attitude of God's children                         Many Christians
should be the one Paul recommended to the                   conduct their lives on the
Philippians. He said, Let nothing be done               Cafeteria plan: Self-Service Only.
through selfish ambition or conceit, but in
lowliness of mind let each esteem others           C. H. Spurgeon
better than himself. If we take this seriously,    There is some point in which your friend
we won't have the characteristics of the           excels you. Notice that rather than the point
puffed-up blowfish.                                in which you excel him. Try to give him the
                                                   higher seat; seek yourself to take the lowest
C. H. Spurgeon                                     room.
―Nothing‖: never give to exceed other givers.
Never preach that you may be a better              Forbidden
preacher than anybody else; never work in          Proverbs 3:30
the Sunday-school with the idea of being           Do not contend with a man without cause, if
thought a very successful teacher. ―Let            he has done you no harm.
nothing be done through strife or vainglory.‖
                                                   Proverbs 17:14
Our Daily Bread                                    The beginning of strife is like letting out
People who can set aside selfish ambition          water; so abandon the quarrel before it
and genuinely seek the good of others, even        breaks out.
at their own expense, have an attitude that
pleases God. A music professor with a well-        Proverbs 20:3
trained voice usually sang the major male          Keeping away from strife is an honor for a
solo parts in the choir of a large church. A       man, but any fool will quarrel.
young man named Bob with no training
sometimes took a few shorter solos. As the         Proverbs 25:8
choir director prepared for the Christmas          Do not go out hastily to argue your case;
cantata, she felt that Bob's voice and style       otherwise, what will you do in the end, when
made him a natural for the lead role.              your neighbor puts you to shame?
However, she didn't know how she could
give it to him without offending the older         Proverbs 26:17
man.                                               Like one who takes a dog by the ears is he
                                                   who passes by and meddles with strife not
Her anxiety was unnecessary, however,              belonging to him.
because the professor had the same
thoughts as she did, and he told her that          Philippians 2:3
God should take the part. He continued to          Do nothing from selfishness or empty
sing faithfully in the chorus and was a            conceit, but with humility of mind let each of
source of much encouragement to Bob.               you regard one another as more important
                                                   than himself.
Do you remember how John the Baptist
reacted when the crowds left him and began         2 Timothy 2:14
following Jesus? He probably surprised             Remind them of these things, and solemnly
many people when he said, He must                  charge them in the presence of God not to
increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30).         wrangle about words, which is useless, and
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leads to the ruin of the hearers.                    lead to dissension. Showing genuine interest
                                                     in others is a positive step forward in
2 Timothy 2:24                                       maintaining unity among believers
And the Lord's bond-servant must not be
quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to             C. H. Spurgeon
teach, patient when wronged.                         Have a large heart, so that, though you care
                                                     for yourself in spiritual things, and desire
C. H. Spurgeon                                       your own sod-prosperity, you may have the
Consider how you can help others, and in             same desire for every other Christian man or
what way you can prosper them both in                woman.
temporal things and in spiritual. You are
members of a body, so one member is not              Believer:
to think for itself alone, the unity of the whole         Look and be saved
body requires that every separate and                     Look and obey
distinct part of it should be in harmony with             Look and imitate
the whole.                                                Look and ponder
                                                          Look and consider
2:4     do not merely look out for your own               Look and beware
        personal interests, but also for the              Look and expect
        interests of others.
        Each of you should look not only             R. C. Sproul
        to your own interests, but also to           As Christians, our joy is not to be restricted
        the interests of others.                     to our own circumstances or achievements.
        Look not every man on his own                We are to be able to find joy in the
        things, but every man also on the            achievements, successes, and bounty of
        things of others.                            others, not just in fames but in job
                                                     promotions, business contracts, financial
Romans15:1,2                                         windfalls, and other circumstances. We are
Now we who are strong ought to bear the              to enter into others‘ joy, to empathize with
weaknesses of those without strength and             them,     in    fact,    we‘re   emphatically
not just please ourselves. Let each of us            commanded to do so. Unfortunately, we
please his neighbor for his good, to his             often find it impossible to rejoice unless
edification.                                         things go the way we want them to go, the
                                                     way that will benefit us.
2:4 Philippi was a cosmopolitan city. The
composition of the church reflected great            We teach small children that the secret of
diversity, with people from a variety of             joy lies in spelling it J-O-Y, where the letters
backgrounds and walks of life. Acts 16 gives         form an acrostic meaning Jesus, Others,
us some indication of the diverse makeup of          Yourself. This reminds children to put Jesus
this church. The church included Lydia, a            first in all things, then others, and finally
Jewish convert from Asia and a wealthy               themselves. This is an easy lesson to teach
businesswoman (Acts 16:14); the slave girl           but a difficult one to learn, for it embodies a
(Acts 16:16-17), probably a native Greek;            profound truth. And all too often we spell joy
and the jailer serving this colony of the            Y-O-J because we focus on ourselves. We
empire, probably a Roman (Acts 16:25-36).            must rearrange our focus.
With so many different backgrounds among
the members, unity must have been difficult          Jesus was ―A Man of sorrows and
to maintain. Although there is no evidence of        acquainted with grief.‖ That was because He
division in the church, its unity had to be          acquainted Himself with our sorrows and
safeguarded (Phil. 3:2; Phil. 4:2). Paul             griefs. Yet He was certainly the most joyful
encourages us to guard against any                   human being who ever lived. Why? He was
selfishness, prejudice, or jealousy that might
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more in tune with the will of God than any         for our own interests but also for the
other man and was utterly obedient to His          interests of others.
Father‘s will. He put obedience to His Father
before all other considerations. It was              Looking out for the interests of others
obedience to God and love for His people                   Pays eternal dividends.
that drove Him to face the suffering of the
cross. Praise God that He did not set His          Today
own desires first. Like Him, we must obey          Most people agree that there's a general
God and empathize with others. Then joy            attitude today that undermines our society.
will be ours.                                      But people do not agree on what attitude we
                                                   need to strengthen our society. The apostle
Rules:                                             Paul prescribed the attitude of those who
        Deny            yourself                  reflect Christ. You should look not only to
        Love            brothers                  your own interests, but also to the interests
        Look            others                    of others.
        Minister        faithful
        Sympathize      sorrow                    About a hundred years after the time of
        Allow           preferred                 Paul, a non-Christian described these
        Seek            Lord                      strange people who were in the world but
                                                   not of the world: Christians follow local
Our Daily Bread                                    customs in clothing, food, and the other
Billy, a 9-year-old, had a dog he loved very       aspects of life. But at the same time, they
much. One day as he was playing with his           demonstrate to us the unusual form of their
pet, the dog gave him a great big lick on the      own citizenship.
face. Billy responded by kissing the dog on
the tip of his cold, wet nose. The boy's           They marry and have children just like
mother, seeing what had happened, was              everyone else, but they do not kill unwanted
horrified. Billy noticed her shocked               babies. The offer a shared table, but not a
expression and commented, Don't worry,             shared bed. They obey the appointed laws
Mom, I won't give the dog my cold. I'm all         and go beyond the laws in their own lives.
over it. Billy never gave a thought to the         They are poor and yet make many rich.
germs he might get form his pet. His               They are dishonored and yet gain glory
concern was focused entirely on his dog.           through dishonor. Their names are
                                                   blackened, and yet they are cleared. They
That's a far cry from the me first, others last    are mocked, and they bless in return.
philosophy of so many people today. We are
told, don't worry about the other person. Do       More recently, a reader thanked Time
what's best for you. Your own happiness is         magazine for its feature on twentieth-century
the important thing. Look out for number           saints. I realize now the difference between
one: You!                                          me and them. I get emotional. Saints get
                                                   involved. Those who believe in Jesus have
Christ never displayed such a self-centered        an attitude that our world needs much more
attitude. Paul said in Philippians 2 that Jesus    of.
took the form of a servant and became
obedient to the point of death, even the           Unselfishness
death of the cross. He was willing to leave        Abraham
the glories of heaven, become a man, take          Genesis 13:9
our sin on Himself, and pay its awful price at     Is not the whole land before you? Please
Calvary. He did it all because of His deep         separate from me; if to the left, then I will go
love for us. May we as Christians strive to        to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to
be more like Christ by looking out not only        the left.

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                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                             Chapter 2


Joseph                                              him. Nurses showed their anger for having
Genesis 50:21                                       to clean up the mess. One slapped him.
"So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide
for you and your little ones." So he                The next night the old man tried again to get
comforted them and spoke kindly to them.            up, but again fell backward. He began to cry.
                                                    Doug, weak himself, went over, picked him
Moses                                               up, and carried him to the bathroom and
Numbers 11:29                                       back to his bed.
But Moses said to him, "Are you jealous for
my sake? Would that all the LORD's people           What a change came over that hospital
were prophets, that the LORD would put His          ward! One patient gave Doug a steaming
Spirit upon them!"                                  cup of Indian tea, motioning that he wanted
                                                    a tract. Nurses, interns, and doctors asked
Jonathan                                            for booklets or gospels of John. And several
1 Samuel 18:4                                       eventually received Christ.
And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe
that was on him and gave it to David, with          What changed their attitude? Doug had
his armor, including his sword and his bow          exemplified the Savior, who made Himself of
and his belt.                                       no reputation but took the form of a
                                                    bondservant and humbled Himself. We are
Daniel                                              called to do the same. Sometimes loving is
Daniel 5:17                                         unpleasant, but that's when it speaks the
Then Daniel answered and said before the            loudest.
king, "Keep your gifts for yourself, or give
your rewards to someone else; however, I                  Love without action is not love.
will read the inscription to the king and make
the interpretation known to him."                   2:5     Have this attitude in yourselves
                                                            which was also in Christ Jesus,
Paul                                                        Your attitude should be the same
1 Corinthians 10:33                                         as that of Christ Jesus:
Just as I also please all men in all things, not            Let this mind be in you, which was
seeking my own profit, but the profit if the                also in Christ Jesus:
many, that they may be saved.
                                                    Matthew 11:29
Christ                                              "Take My yoke upon you, and learn form
2 Corinthians 8:9                                   Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus            YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR
Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your       SOULS.
sake He became poor, that you through His
poverty might become rich.                          1 Peter 2:21
                                                    For you have been called for this purpose,
Our Daily Bread                                     since Christ also suffered for you, leaving
Missionary Doug Nichols was a patient in a          you an example for you to follow in His
tuberculosis ward in India in 1967. Patients        steps.
and staff saw him as a rich American taking
up space in their hospital. Their hostility was     2:5 Jesus Christ was humble, willing to give
evident as they refused the gospel tracts he        up his rights in order to obey God and serve
offered them. One morning a 2 o'clock, a            people. Like Christ, we should have a
very sick Indian man struggled to get out of        servant‘s attitude, serving out of love for
bed to go to the bathroom, but he was too           God and for others, not out of guilt or fear.
weak to make it. Soon the stench from his           Remember, you can choose your attitude.
bed filled the room. Other patients yelled at       You can approach life expecting to be
                                                                                              10
                                 PHILIPPIANS
                                            Chapter 2


served, or you can look for opportunities to                obedience;
serve others. See Mark 10:45 for more on                   God raised Christ to his original
Christ‘s attitude of servanthood.                           position at the Father‘s right hand,
                                                            where he will reign forever as our
2:5-7 The incarnation was the act of the                    Lord and Judge. How can we do
preexistent Son of God voluntarily assuming                 anything less than praise Christ as
a human body and human nature. Without                      our Lord and dedicate ourselves to
ceasing to be God, he became a human                        his service!
being, the man called Jesus. He did not give
up his deity to become human, but he set           2:5-11 Often people excuse selfishness,
aside the right to his glory and power. In         pride, or evil by claiming their rights. They
submission to the Father‘s will, Christ limited    think, ―I can cheat on this test; after all, I
his power and knowledge. Jesus of                  deserve to pass this class,‖ or ―I can spend
Nazareth was subject to place, time, and           all this money on myself—I worked hard for
many other human limitations. What made            it,‖ or ―I can get an abortion; I have a right to
his humanity unique was his freedom from           control my own body.‖ But as believers, we
sin. In his full humanity, Jesus showed us         should have a different attitude, one that
everything about God‘s character that can          enables us to lay aside our rights in order to
be conveyed in human terms. The                    serve others. If we say we follow Christ, we
incarnation is explained further in these          must also say we want to live as he lived.
passages: John 1:1-14; Romans 1:2-5; 2             We should develop his attitude of humility as
Cor. 8:9; 1 Tim. 3:16; Hebrews 2:14; and 1         we serve, even when we are not likely to get
John 1:1-3.                                        recognition for our efforts. Are you selfishly
                                                   clinging to your rights, or are you willing to
2:5-11 These verses are probably from a            serve?
hymn sung by the early Christian church.
The passage holds many parallels to the            TODAY IN THE WORD
prophecy of the suffering servant in Isaiah        On May 21, 1946, a government scientist in
53. As a hymn, it was not meant to be a            Los Alamos, New Mexico, was carrying out
complete statement about the nature and            an experiment in preparation for an atomic
work of Christ. Several key characteristics of     test in the South Pacific. But at a crucial
Jesus Christ, however, are praised in this         point in the experiment, two hemispheres of
passage.                                           U-235 uranium came together accidentally,
                                                   triggering a chain reaction that could have
       Christ has always existed with God;        killed all eight people in the room.
       Christ is equal to God because he is
        God (John 1:1ff; Col. 1:15-19);            The young scientist pulled the hemispheres
       Though Christ is God, he became a          apart with his hands, stopping the reaction
        man in order to fulfill God‘s plan of      but exposing himself to a lethal dose of
        salvation for all people;                  radiation. The other seven people were
       Christ did not just have the               saved, but he died in agony just nine days
        appearance of being a man—he               later.
        actually became human to identify
        with our sins;                             No one can make a greater sacrifice for
       Christ voluntarily laid aside his          others than to give his life (Jn. 15:13). Jesus
        divine rights and privileges out of        made this sacrifice for us, but He yielded
        love for his Father;                       much more than His life. He laid aside all the
       Christ died on the cross for our sins      privileges and glories of heaven to subject
        so we wouldn‘t have to face eternal        Himself to the weakness of human flesh.
        death;                                     We could call today's passage in Philippians
       God glorified Christ because of his        2 the ""Servant Song"" of the New

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                                 PHILIPPIANS
                                            Chapter 2


Testament. When these verses are read              service had already started, so he walked
against the backdrop of Isaiah's four Songs,       down the aisle looking for a seat. Finding
the similarities in content and language are       none, he sat down cross-legged on the
very apparent.                                     floor—right in front of the pulpit!

The most obvious parallel is in Paul's use of      The congregation became noticeably
the word servant itself. When he came to           uneasy. Then, from the back of the church,
summarize the earthly life of Christ, Paul         an elderly deacon got up and with his cane
drew on this term that expresses the               slowly made his way to the front. Every eye
epitome of selflessness and ministry to            followed him. The minister paused and there
others.                                            was total silence. As the old gentleman
                                                   approached Bill, he dropped his cane and
The humiliating and excruciating death             with great effort lowered himself and sat
Jesus suffered was also prophesied in              down beside him so the young man wouldn't
amazing detail in Isaiah's Servant Songs.          have to worship alone. Many in the
And the Servant's exaltation was foretold as       congregation were deeply moved.
well--an encouragement to those who trust
in Him and a warning to those who would            Paul wrote that Christ, being equal with God,
reject Him.                                        set aside His reputation, and became
                                                   obedient unto death—the ultimate act of
How should we close our studies this               humility (Philippians 2:6-8). Why? To come
month? Praise, wonder, and adoration at the        to us in our loneliness, to forgive our sins,
sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf are certainly     and to teach us a new way to live and
called for. But Paul calls us to take a further    worship.
step, that of serving others with the same
selfless attitude that marked Jesus Himself        When we learn to think as Jesus thought,
(v .5).                                            we see people through the same eyes as
                                                   that godly deacon. May we learn how to
C. H. Spurgeon                                     humble ourselves for the benefit of others.
He humbled himself, so be you not unwilling
to humble yourself. Lower than the cross           We can do great things for the Lord if we
Christ could not go, his death was one of          are willing to do little things for others.
such extreme ignominy that he could not
have been more disgraced and degraded.             Pride of:
                                                        Birth
Be you willing to take the lowest place in the          Wealth
Church of God, and to render the humblest               Respectability
service, count it an honor to be allowed to             Appearance
wash the saints feet. Be humble in mind;                Independence
nothing is lost by cherishing this spirit, for          Learning
see how Jesus Christ was honored in the                 Superiority
end.
                                                        Success
                                                        Self-reliance
He Humbled Himself
Let this mind be in you which was also in               Ability
Christ Jesus. --Philippians 2:5                         Self-will
                                                        Intellect
Bill, a college student, was a new Christian.           Allegiance
According to author Rebecca Manley                      Resentment
Pippert, one Sunday he visited a church                 Reserve
near campus. He walked in barefoot and                  Sanctity
was wearing a T-shirt and jeans. The
                                                                                             12
                                 PHILIPPIANS
                                               Chapter 2


A.W. Tozer                                                     servant.
There is great need for us to learn the truths                Was made in the likeness of man.
of the sovereignty of God and the Lordship                    Became obedient unto death.
of Christ. God will not play along with Adam;                 Became obedient even unto death
Christ will not be used by any of Adam's                       on the cross.
selfish brood. We had better learn these
things fast if this generation of young               His Exaltation
Christians is to be spared the supreme                Because of His voluntary humility and
tragedy of following a Christ who is merely a         suffering, in the fulfilling of His Father's
Christ of convenience and not the true Lord           purpose, He hath highly exalted Him as the
of glory at all! I confess to a feeling of            Son of Man, as the Eternal Son of God. He
uneasiness about this when I observe the              could not be exalted above
questionable things Christ is said to do for
people     these     days.    He     is  often        C. H. Spurgeon
recommended as a wonderfully obliging but             What an example we have set before us in
not too discriminating Big Brother who                the Lord Jesus Christ! We are to have the
delights to help us to accomplish our ends,           mind of Christ; and that in the most Christly
and who further favors us by forbearing to            way, for here we have Christ set out to the
ask any embarrassing questions about the              life.
moral and spiritual qualities of those ends.
                                                      Christmas Spirit
In our eagerness to lead men to accept                Let this mind be in you which was also in
Christ we are often tempted to present for            Christ Jesus. —Philippians 2:5
acceptance a Christ who is little more than a
caricature of that holy thing which was               How would you define ―the Christmas
conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the              spirit‖? Would it be a friendly smile between
virgin Mary, to be crucified and rise the third       strangers, the sound of familiar carols, a tree
day to take His place on the right hand of            with twinkling lights in a sea of brightly
the Majesty in the heavens. The whole                 wrapped packages, or just that good feeling
purpose of God in redemption is to make us            you get this time of the year?
holy and to restore us to the image of God!
To accomplish this, He disengages us from             None of these elements captures the real
earthly ambitions and draws us away from              meaning of the phrase. They represent
the cheap and unworthy prizes that worldly            feelings that may be a response to the
men set their hearts upon.                            commercialism that distorts the real spirit of
                                                      Christmas.
Seven Greatest Things:
    Love of Christ               force               J. I. Packer goes to the heart of this matter
    Faith of Christ              faith               in his book Knowing God. He writes, ―We
    Gentleness of Christ         fruit               talk glibly of the Christmas spirit, rarely
    Power of Christ              factor              meaning more by this than sentimental jollity
    Word of Christ               fulcrum             . . . . It ought to mean the reproducing in
    Mind of Christ               fabricator          human lives of the [temperament] of Him
    Afflictions of Christ        fellowship          who for our sakes became poor, . . . the
                                                      spirit of those who, like their Master, live
His Humiliation                                       their whole lives on the principle of making
The pre-incarnate position and glory of the           themselves poor—spending and being
Lord Jesus Christ is frequently referred to in        spent—to enrich their fellowmen, giving
the Scriptures.                                       time, thought, care, and concern to do good
     Made Himself of no reputation.                  to others . . . in whatever way there seems
     Took upon Him the form of a                     need.‖

                                                                                                  13
                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                              Chapter 2


                                                     humility, and obedience in you?
In Philippians 2, Paul described the God of
heaven and earth as laying aside His divine          The Mind of Christ
glory and becoming our servant by dying on           Resignation
the cross for our sins. Then he urged us to          Willing to be absent from the body of self-
duplicate that same mind of humble service           interest and to be present with the will of
to others. That‘s the true Christmas spirit.         God. Seeking not our own will, but the will of
                                                     God.
       The spirit of Christmas giving
      should be seen in all our living.              Devotedness
                                                     His Father's business was the highest and
Sermon Note                                          most important concern in the world. His
His Pre-Natal Position:                              meat was to do His will and to finish His
     A Pre-Eminent Name.                           work.
     Universal Authority.
     Universal Worship                             Meekness
                                                     Where this Christ-likeness is lacking there is
Today                                                suitable soil for the growth of pride and
The Bible is the best-selling book of all time.      presumption,         selfishness,       envy,
But guess what's in second place, among              covetousness, high-mindedness, and the
Christian books? I'll give you three clues.          love of pleasure more that the love of God.
First, it was written more than 500 years
ago. Second, it was written by a monk who            Prayerfulness
lived in a Dutch monastery. Third, it has            Christ was the busiest man on earth, but He
been translated into hundreds of languages           always found time to pray, and sometimes
and has gone through more than 3,000                 continued all night in prayer.
editions. The book is The Imitation of Christ,
written by Thomas a Kempis in the early              Sympathy
1400s.                                               We are also taught to "weep with those that
                                                     weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice."
That title, The Imitation of Christ, captures a      The grace of God never saves us from
fundamental truth about the Christian life:          human brotherliness.
that we are to be imitators of Christ. Paul
gives this command; Your attitude should be          Grief At Unbelief
the same as that of Christ Jesus. Another            He looked around and about on the staring
translation puts it this way: Have this mind         and skeptical crowd, and was grieved for the
among yourselves, which is yours in Christ           hardness of their hearts. He knew their need
Jesus. We are to imitate Jesus. We are to            and also His own ability to help them and
have the mind of Christ.                             grieved at their madness in committing
                                                     spiritual suicide.
We have seen some powerful pictures about
the attitude, or mind, of Christ. He showed          Benevolence
an attitude of self-sacrifice in willingly giving    What a power the Church of God would be if
up his rights as the Son of God. He showed           all belonging to it were possessed with the
an attitude of servanthood in washing the            mind of Christ.
feet of others. He showed an attitude of
humility in becoming fully human like us;            Today
except without sin. He also showed an                A good friend of many years has been my
attitude of obedience, even to death on a            mentor in an important area of life:
cross. What about you? Can others see an             controlling my temper. Part of his job
attitude of self-sacrifice, servanthood,             involves resolving customer complaints. This
                                                     involves dealing with many unhappy, angry,
                                                                                              14
                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                              Chapter 2


indignant people, and sometimes enduring             torment Jesus endured for our sake, so that
abusive language.                                    we might have true life in Him. To reflect on
                                                     the depth of Jesus' suffering, we must first
These people enter the room red-faced and            recognize the height of his former glory.
ready for a fight, anxious to point out every        Perhaps you've heard the saying The bigger
way in which they have been disappointed             they are, the harder they fall, in other words,
or poorly served. After introducing himself in       the more important one's position is, the
a quiet tone of voice, he invites his visitors to    harder it is to experience the loss of that
tell their story. Then he asks them to tell it       position.
again. By the time their tale has been told
twice, the complainers are speaking more             If that saying is true, then Jesus fell harder
calmly. In a calm, deliberate way, my friend         and suffered more than any person who
then asks the pertinent questions, offers an         ever lived. Why? Because he had the
explanation or a solution, and finally,              highest position to fall from. Paul writes that
concludes with a sincere apology. By this            Jesus was in very nature God" Jesus did not
time his Christian spirit has soothed his            merely resemble God in some ways; he was
visitors' feelings, and they part with a smile       God.
and a handshake.
                                                     John also declares that Jesus was God
I adopt my friend's approach when I                  (referring to Jesus as the Word): In the
encounter an angry or upset person: speak            beginning was the Word, and the Word was
quietly, listen carefully, and bring Christian       with God, and the Word was God. So Jesus
charity to bear. Offering a silent prayer and        is fully God. Is God all-powerful? So is
recalling my friend's strength of spirit have        Jesus. Is God all-knowing? So is Jesus. Is
often helped me to defuse a potentially              God perfect and holy? So is Jesus.
explosive encounter.                                 Everything that God is, Jesus is. What a
                                                     glorious and exalted position Jesus had; he
His Attitude:                                        was equal with God! Yet Jesus willingly
A Lowly Mind                                         accepted the most humiliating demotion of
Having or expressing feelings of humility.           all time: The Word became flesh. What a
                                                    fall! What a Savior!
A Pure Mind
Free from evil or corruption.                        Spiritual Mind
                                                    Romans 8:6
A Strong Mind                                        For the mind set on the flesh is death, but
Firmly settled or positioned.                        the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.

A Fruitful Mind                                      1 Corinthians 2:16
Quality or state of being fertile.                   For who has know the mind of the LORD,
                                                    that he should instruct Him? But we have
An Unselfish Mind                                    the mind of Christ.
Generous and selfless.
                                                    Philippians 2:5
A Prayerful Mind                                     Have this attitude in yourselves which was
Devout, godly and pious.                             also in Christ Jesus.

A Loving Mind                                        Devotional
Feeling and expressing affection.                    The Christian life is not imitation. It is
                                                     participation. God has not called you to
Today                                                imitate Christ as if you were a person
Lent is a time to remember the terrible              detached from Him. God has called you to
                                                     participate in Christ as one attached to Him.
                                                                                                15
                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                             Chapter 2


"The one who joins himself to the Lord is           disease, and He used it to heal the sick. He
one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17, NASV). To         had power over the sea, and He used it to
join ourselves to the Lord is to merge with         remove fear. He had power to create, and
Him. It is merging our mind, emotion, and           He fed thousands. He had power over sin,
will with the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Cor.       and He forgave sinners. He had power over
3:17). This merging is for our mind, emotion,       His own life, yet He willingly gave up His life
and will to have direct participation in His        to save all who would call upon Him
life, nature, and disposition.                      (Romans 10:13).

Paul does not mean to imitate Christ's              Jesus possessed all power, but He used it to
disposition. He means to let or allow yourself      serve others. He was called "Lord" by the
to merge with Christ's disposition. There is a      disciples in the Upper Room, yet He was the
big difference. To imitate depends on               only servant there (John 13:2-17). He
coming up with "the goods" to perform. To           washed their feet! When Peter protested,
merge is the exact opposite. It is receiving        Jesus answered, "If I do not wash you, you
"the goods" by direct participation in them.        have no part with Me" (v.8).
For example, if an actor tries to play the part
of a drunk, that is imitation. However, if he       Instead of using money or anything else for
actually drinks wine and feels its effects, that    selfish means, use it to serve others. That's
is direct participation. In Ephesians 5:18          the right use of power.
Paul says, "And do not be drunk with wine,
in which is dissipation; but be filled with the             The more we serve Christ,
Spirit." In the same way that there is direct               the less we will serve self.
participation in wine, there is direct
participation in Christ as the Spirit. This         TODAY IN THE WORD
participation in Christ is for us to live Christ    In book 3 of John Milton‘s epic Paradise
by merging with His disposition. Paul says in       Lost, God the Father tells the Son and
Philippians 1:21, "For to me, to live is            angels of His plan of grace and salvation for
Christ." This is the one unique goal of all our     soon-to-fall humanity. But there is a price to
participation in Christ - to merge with Him         be paid--divine justice must be satisfied.
and live Him.                                       God needs someone to become human and
                                                    pay that price. He asks: ―Where shall we find
The Power Of Service                                such love . . . Dwells in all Heaven charity so
Christ Jesus . . . made Himself of no               dear?‖
reputation, taking the form of a bondservant.
--Philippians 2:5,7                                 Heaven is silent, waiting, holding its breath.
                                                    Then the Son volunteers for His mission of
"Money is power." That principle drives most        incarnation and redemption, death and
cultures of the world. People scramble for          resurrection. The Father responds that the
wealth, often at the price of personal              Son is the only One worthy to do so and that
integrity, in order to gain the power to live       mankind will ―live in thee transplanted, and
where and how they want, drive the kind of          from thee receive new life.‖
vehicle they want, and get whatever else
they want.                                          In narrative poetic form, Milton was
                                                    attempting to capture the same truths
In a culture that worships money, believers         expressed in Philippians 2. The humility
in Jesus Christ are in danger of doing the          Paul     commanded     (see    yesterday‘s
same. Some use their money to control their         devotional) was ultimately an imitation of
family, or they may threaten to stop giving to      Christ (v. 5).
their church if they don't get their way.
                                                    Arriving at the ultimate destination of Christ,
How unlike Jesus! He had power over                 Paul then broke off for extended praise for
                                                                                                16
                                PHILIPPIANS
                                          Chapter 2


our Redeemer (vv. 6-11). This section of         For this cause therefore the Jews were
Scripture may have been based upon an            seeking all the more to kill Him, because He
early hymn. Even if it does not reflect a        not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also
current hymn, it is certainly one of the most    was calling God His own Father, making
classic   pieces     of    Christology   ever    Himself equal with God.
expressed.
                                                 Today
The first point to notice is Christ‘s servant    There's a new god on the market today.
nature. Although He is God, He voluntarily       Competing hard with the ever-popular god of
took on human nature (vv. 6-7). Why? So          money is the new god called my rights.
that He as a man could repair what the first     Every day we hear more and more about
man had destroyed (Rom. 5:15). Christ had        worker's rights, minority rights, children's
nothing to gain from this action and acted       rights, gay rights, and even the right to die.
solely out of love, for our salvation (Matt.
20:28).                                          Aren't you glad that Jesus never insisted on
                                                 his     rights?    Imagine    the   following
These verses indicate that in the Incarnation    conversation between God the Father and
the Son surrendered the visible aspects of       his Son, Jesus. God says, My son, the
divinity. ―Made Himself nothing‖ literally       human race that I have created has rebelled
means ―emptied Himself.‖ In other words,         against me. They are so sinful that there's
He laid aside His glory. This does not mean      no way they can save themselves. So here's
He ceased being God. Jesus was both fully        my plan. I'd like you to become one of them,
God and fully man!                               live among them, and then die to pay for
                                                 their sins. Jesus replies, Father, you can't
Another key point is Christ‘s obedience          ask me to do that. I've got my rights, you
(Phil. 2:8). He freely spoke and acted only      know. I'm just as much God as you are. I
as His Father directed (John 5:19; 8:28-29;      have a right to my divine status and to the
14:31), up to and including a humiliating        glory that my divine position involves. You
public execution. His will was in perfect        can't take that right away from me!
submission to His Father‘s.
                                                 The good news of the gospel is that Jesus
2:6     who, although He existed in the          did not selfishly insist on his rights. He did
        form of God, did not regard equality     not consider equality with God something to
        with God a thing to be grasped,          be grasped. Instead, he self-sacrificially took
        Who, being in very nature God,           upon himself human form. As John simply
        did not consider equality with           puts it, The Word became flesh. And
        God something to be grasped,             because Jesus became like us and suffered
        Who, being in the form of God,           for our sins, we have all received one
        thought it not robbery to be equal       blessing after another. Have you committed
        with God:                                your life to this Savior?

John 1:1                                         7 Steps to Humiliation:
In the beginning was the Word, and the                Consecrated to humble Himself.
Word was with God, and the Word was God.              Laid aside His divine form.
                                                      Made Himself of no reputation.
2 Corinthians 4:4                                     Took the form of a servant.
In whose case the god of this world has               Was made in likeness of men.
blinded the minds of the unbelieving that             Humbled Himself.
they might not see the light of the gospel of         Became obedient unto death.
the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
                                                 Image of God
John 5:18
                                                                                             17
                                PHILIPPIANS
                                           Chapter 2


2 Corinthians 4:4                                 claims to be the only true church, has
In whose case the god of this world has           additional scripture, redefines Christian
blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that        terms, denies the existence of hell and
they might not see the light of the gospel of     renders insufficient a simple faith in Jesus.
the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.     They gain most of their new members by
                                                  proselyting.
Philippians 2:6
Who, although He existed in the form of           III. They believe God forced Adam to sin,
God, did not regard equality with God a           and that his sin was really a blessing in
thing to be grasped.                              disguise.

Colossians 1:15                                   IV. Mormonism is deceptive. To them the
And He is the image of the invisible God, the     end justifies the means. Any way to obtain
first-born of all creation.                       converts is acceptable. Most claims to
                                                  morality, a superior family life, etc., are
Hebrews 1:3                                       grossly overstated. Utah, where they
And He is the radiance of His glory and the       comprise over 70 percent of the state's
exact representation of His nature, and           population, is not a Utopia.
upholds all things by the word of His power.
When He had made purification of sins, He         Conclusion: Those who would invite
sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on      Mormon missionaries into their homes
high.                                             violate 2 John 9-11 ("If there come any unto
                                                  you, and bring not this doctrine, receive
Form of God:                                      them not into your home, neither bid them
    Eternal character                            God speed; For he that biddeth him God
    Humble state                                 speed is partaker of his evil deeds").
    Risen glory
    Indwelling power                             Some have mistakenly excused themselves.
    Spirit‘s teaching                            When knowing little of Mormonism they
    Word‘s healthfulness                         invite Mormon missionaries in "to give their
    Sinner‘s lack                                testimonies to them." The missionary has
                                                  perhaps heard more testimonies than you
Why Mormons Should Not Be In Your                 have. Their different understanding of terms
Home                                              makes it most unlikely that you will
I. Mormonism is not Christianity! It              communicate. Hundreds who, with good
contradicts    the   basic  premise   of          intentions, gave their testimonies are now
Christianity—that God became a man (Phil.         Mormons. Beware of the devil's tactics. He
2:6).                                             is deceptive (Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Tim. 4:3-4).

Mormonism says a man became god and               2:7     but emptied Himself, taking the form
that men now living can become gods. Its                  of a bond-servant, and being made
most oft-quoted assumption is, "As man is,                in the likeness of men.
God once was; as God is, man may                          but made himself nothing,
become." Mormonism says Christ and the                    taking the very nature of a
devil are brothers that Jesus was the result              servant,
of an intimate (incestuous) relationship                  being made in human likeness.
between God and His own daughter with                     But made himself of no reputation,
whom he associated as a husband.                          and took upon him the form of a
                                                          servant, and was made in the
II. Mormonism is a cult! Like the other cults,            likeness of men:
Mormonism requires faith in its founder,
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                                PHILIPPIANS
                                          Chapter 2


John 1:14                                        Salvation comes only when we receive by
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt             faith the gift of God‘s grace. Hell will be full
among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as      of people who tried to reach heaven some
of the only begotten from the Father, full of    other way.
grace and truth.
                                                 The apostle Paul said, ―The law entered that
Galatians 4:4                                    the offense might abound. But where sin
But when the fullness of the time came, God      abounded, grace abounded much more, so
sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born        that as sin reigned in death, even so grace
under the Law.                                   might reign through righteousness to eternal
                                                 life through Jesus Christ our Lord‖ (Rom.
Hebrews 5:8                                      5:20–21). The first provision of the gospel is
Although He was a Son, He learned                grace, which is neither earned nor deserved.
obedience from the things which He
suffered.                                        Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse said, ―Love that
                                                 gives upward is worship; love that goes
A Mysterious Union                               outward is affection; love that stoops is
The humanity and deity of Christ is a            grace.‖ God has stooped to give us grace.
mysterious union we can never fully              Will you receive it?
understand. But the Bible emphasizes both.       A Christmas Story
Luke 23:39–43 provides a good example. At         [Jesus] made Himself of no reputation,
the cross, ―… one of the criminals who were      taking the form of a bondservant. --
hanged blasphemed Him, saying, ‗If You are       Philippians 2:7
the Christ, save Yourself and us.‘ But the
other, answering, rebuked him, saying, ‗Do       "Suppose there was a king who loved a
you not even fear God, seeing you are            humble maiden," begins a parable by
under the same condemnation? And we              Danish philosopher Sören Kierkegaard
indeed justly, for we receive the due reward     (1813-1855). How could he declare his love
of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing      for her? She might respond out of fear or
wrong.‘ Then he said to Jesus, ‗Lord,            coercion, but he wanted her to love him for
remember me when you come into Your              himself.
Kingdom.‘ And Jesus said to him,
‗Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be      So the king, convinced that he could not
with me in Paradise.‘‖                           appear as a king without crushing his loved
                                                 one's freedom, resolved to descend. He
In His humanness, Jesus was a victim,            stepped off his throne, took off his royal
mercilessly hammered to a cross after being      robes, and wrapped himself in a shabby
spat upon, mocked, and humiliated. But in        cloak. It was no mere disguise, but a new
His deity, He promised the thief on the cross    identity. He took on the life of a servant to
eternal life, as only God can.                   win the young woman's hand.

John MacArthur Jr.                               What a gamble! She might love him or she
Salvation does not come by confirmation,         might spurn him and send him away, and he
communion, baptism, church membership,           would lose her love forever! But that's a
church attendance, trying to keep the Ten        picture of the choice God gave to mankind,
Commandments, or living out the Sermon           and that, of course, is what the parable is all
on the Mount. It does not come by giving to      about.
charity or even by believing that there is a
God. It does not come by simply being moral      Our Lord humbled Himself in an effort to win
and respectable. Salvation does not even         our love. "Christ Jesus, who, being in the
come by claiming to be a Christian.              form of God, did not consider it robbery to

                                                                                              19
                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                             Chapter 2


be equal with God, but made Himself of no           my mind cleared, and I felt led to pray. As I
reputation" (Philippians 2:5-7). That is the        knelt, the thought hit me that this was an
story of Christmas: God in a manger; God            unclean place to pray. I got up. Then I
found in a form that no one could possibly          thought ... It was in a stable that Jesus was
fear.                                               born, surrounded by cattle, other animals,
                                                    and stable odors. He did not come to earth
Now the question is this: Will we love Him,         in a flaming chariot and set up residence in
or will we spurn Him and send Him away?             a regal palace. Furthermore, He grew up
                                                    amidst the sweat and toil of his father's
   God made His home with us that we                carpentry work, mingling with the world's
    might make our home with God.                   little people in humble places.

A. W. Tozer                                         With these thoughts, I knelt more
Because change is everywhere around us at           comfortably in my barnyard tabernacle,
all times on this earth and among human             thanked God for His blessings, and asked
beings, it is difficult for us to grasp the         for strength and guidance for the day. Such
eternal and unchanging nature and person            assurance we have that we can pray
of Jesus Christ. Nothing about our Lord             anywhere. The glorious Son came as a
Jesus Christ has changed down to this               servant in the form of common man that we
every hour. His love has not changed. His           might know Him. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
compassionate understanding of us has not
changed. His interest in us and His                 Sermon Note
purposes for us have not changed. He is                 Downward
Jesus Christ, our Lord. He is the very same               (upward)
Jesus. Even though He has been raised                   God exalted Him
from the dead and seated at the right hand                (Lord over all)
of the Majesty in the heavens, and made                 Above all names
Head over all things to the Church, His love              (left heaven's glory)
for us remains unchanged. It is hard for us             Jesus Savior
to accept the majestic simplicity of this                 (emptied Himself)
constant, wonder-working Jesus. We are                  Above heaven
used to getting things changed so that they               (became a servant)
are always bigger and better!                           Above earth
                                                          (was fully a man)
He is Jesus, easier to approach than the                Above hell
humblest friend you ever had! He is the sun               (humbled Himself)
that shines upon us, He is the star of our
                                                        Obedient to death
night. He is the giver of our life and the rock
of our hope. He is our safety and our future.
                                                    Today
He is our righteousness, our sanctification,
                                                    Most people like a rags to riches story; the
our inheritance. You will find that He is all of
                                                    kind in which a lowly person becomes
this in that instant that you move your heart
                                                    fabulously wealthy. But as fascinating as
towards Him in faith! This is the journey to
                                                    stories like that can be, I like better the
Jesus that must be made in the depths of
                                                    riches to rags story of the gospel. This is the
the heart and being. This is a journey where
                                                    story of Jesus, who, though he was rich, yet
feet do not count!
                                                    for our sakes became poor. Jesus had it all.
                                                    He was fully divine and enjoyed all the
Open Windows
                                                    power, glory, perfection, and knowledge that
Under a large barn in a cattle feedlot I
                                                    the Father has. And yet this Jesus came to
shoveled natural fertilizer. The task was not
                                                    earth as a helpless baby, born in a barn,
pleasant, but I knew it would make my lawn
                                                    raised in a carpenter's shop, rejected by his
green. Nearby, cows watched. As I sweated,
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                                   PHILIPPIANS
                                               Chapter 2


people, and nailed to a cross to die a                there on the night Jesus washed his
horrible death. In contrast to what Jesus had         disciples' feet. And the Bible makes clear
in glory, he truly made himself nothing.              that Jesus already knew who was going to
                                                      betray him. Jesus knew that Judas was
But the wonderful part of this riches to rags         going to leave early and betray his Lord to
story is that it contains the key to our gaining      the religious authorities. Yet Jesus still bent
fabulous riches. What are these riches? We            down and washed the feet of Judas. You
have freedom from judgment: There is now              see, Jesus served others regardless of the
no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.            person involved. After all the disciples' feet
We have forgiveness: In Jesus we have                 had been washed, Jesus said, "I have set
redemption, the forgiveness of sins. We               you an example that you should do as I
have membership in God's family: In Christ            have done for you." What will you do today
Jesus you are all children of God. We have            to show that you are following the example
eternal life: The free gift of God is eternal life    of Jesus?
in Christ Jesus our Lord. We have
protection: Jesus will strengthen and protect         Great Text
you from the evil one. You see, Jesus'                He could do nothing of Himself in all His
poverty has made believers the richest                earthly life. He attributed all His works,
people in the world!                                  doctrines, powers, etc., to the Father
                                                      through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This
Sermon Note                                           is proved by the following facts.
    Christ emptied Himself:
    Equality with God                                Sermon Note
    God-form or God-body                                 He was limited to the status of a
    Immortality of body                                    man.
    The glory He had with the Father                     He was God's agent using God's
      before the world.                                     power of attorney.
    His authority in heaven and in earth.                He was our example that we should
    His divine attributes and outward                      walk in His steps.
      powers.                                             The temptations prove that He was
                                                            limited as a man so that He could
Today                                                       overcome as a man.
Have you ever seen President Bill Clinton                 He was born without knowledge
cutting the grass at the White House? How                   enough to know to refuse evil and
about Queen Elizabeth scrubbing the floors                  choose good.
of her palace? Or the Prime Minister of                   He was limited as an ordinary baby.
Canada washing the dishes? We don't                       He was not born of high standing or
expect people of high position to do lowly                  academic credentials.
and seemingly unimportant tasks. Yet                      He received the power of divine acts
Jesus; the Lord over all royalty and                        through the Holy Spirit.
government leaders, did just that. You see,               He grew in body, mind and spirit.
Jesus served others regardless of his status.             He did not claim the attributes of
                                                            God but rather the anointing of the
In John 13 we read about Jesus washing the                  Holy Spirit.
dirty feet of his disciples. Do you know                  Christ promised believers the power
whose job that was among the people of                      to do the works He did through the
Jesus' day? It was a lowly, undignified job of              Holy Spirit.
the household servant, a slave. Despite this
fact, Jesus willingly washed the feet of his          Christ as Servant
disciples. You see, Jesus served others               Matthew 20:28
regardless of the task involved. Judas was            Just as the Son Man did not come to be
                                                                                                  21
                               PHILIPPIANS
                                          Chapter 2


served, but to serve, and to give His life a     Paradise.‖
ransom for many.
                                                 In His humanness, Jesus was a victim,
Luke 13:4                                        mercilessly hammered to a cross after being
For who is greater, the one who reclines at      spat upon, mocked, and humiliated. But in
the table, or the one who serves? Is it not      His deity, He promised the thief on the cross
the one who relines at the table? But I am       eternal life, as only God can.
among you as the one who serves.
                                                 C. H. Spurgeon
John 13:14                                       He had not descended low enough yet,
Rose from supper, and laid aside His             though he had come down all the way from
garments; and taking a towel, He girded          the Godhead to our manhood: ―he humbled
Himself about.                                   himself.‖

John 13:3                                        2:8     And being found in appearance as a
Then He poured water into the basin, and                 man, He humbled Himself by
began to wash the disciples' feet, and to                becoming obedient to the point of
wipe them with the towel with which He was               death, even death on a cross.
girded.                                                  And being found in appearance
                                                         as a man,
Philippians 2:7                                          he humbled himself
But emptied Himself, taking the form of a                and became obedient to death--
bond-servant, and being made in the                      even death on a cross!
likeness of men.                                         And being found in fashion as a
                                                         man, he humbled himself, and
C. H. Spurgeon                                           became obedient unto death, even
What a cruel and ignominious death for the               the death of the cross.
Son of God to suffer! Did he lose anything
by all this wondrous condescension? Will         Matthew 26:39
you lose anything by any dishonor that may       And He went a little beyond them, and fell
come upon you for Christ‘s sake, for the         on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father,
truth‘s sake? No; listen to what followed our    if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet
Savior‘s humiliation                             not as I will, but as Thou wilt."

A Mysterious Union                               John 10:18
Phil 2:7                                         "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay
The humanity and deity of Christ is a            it down on My own initiative. I have authority
mysterious union we can never fully              to lay it down, and I have authority to take it
understand. But the Bible emphasizes both.       up again. This commandment I received
Luke 23:39-43 provides a good example. At        from My Father.
the cross,‖ one of the criminals who were
hanged blasphemed Him, saying, If you are        Hebrews 5:8
the Christ, save Yourself and us. But the        Although He was a Son, He learned
other answering, rebuked him, saying, Do         obedience from the things which He
you not even fear God, seeing you are            suffered.
under the same condemnation? And we
indeed justly, for we receive the due reward     2:8 Death on a cross (crucifixion) was the
of our deeds, but his Man has done nothing       form of capital punishment that Romans
wrong. The he said to Jesus, Lord,               used for notorious criminals. It was
remember me when you come into Your              excruciatingly painful and humiliating.
Kingdom. And Jesus said to him, Assuredly,       Prisoners were nailed or tied to a cross and
I say to you, today you will be with me in       left to die. Death might not come for several
                                                                                           22
                                 PHILIPPIANS
                                            Chapter 2


days, and it usually came by suffocation           Through her submission, the wife conforms
when the weight of the weakened body               to the image of her Redeemer ―who being in
made breathing more and more difficult.            the form of God, did not consider it robbery
Jesus died as one who was cursed                   to be equal with God, but made Himself of
(Galatians 3:13). How amazing that the             no reputation; humbled Himself and became
perfect man should die this most shameful          obedient to the point of death, even the
death so that we would not have to face            death of the cross.‖ As B.M. Palmer writes,
eternal punishment!                                ―It is enough for her, if she, like Him is
                                                   exalted through submission to a station of
R.C. Sproul                                        privilege and glory.‖
He who is King of all creation humbled
Himself, submitted to the will of His Father,      One Giant Leap For God
served sinful, rebellious human beings,             [Christ] humbled Himself and became
washed their dirty feet, and ultimately died       obedient to the point of death. --Philippians
the death of a criminal to bring glory to God.     2:8
Here we have an exalted portrait of how
Christ maintained His rank and station, His        On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts
equality with God, and yet, subordinated           landed on the moon. It was an
Himself to a role of submission and service.       unprecedented       human       achievement.
Can a wife do any less? Is she too grand,          Millions remember the words of Neil
too self-reliant, too noble to submit to the       Armstrong: "That's one small step for man,
authority of her husband? Did Christ lose          one giant leap for mankind." President Nixon
His dignity, His worth, His nobility, His          declared, "All humanity is one in their pride."
divinity when He humbled Himself and
became obedient even to death on a cross?          Two thousand years earlier, the Creator of
No, quite the contrary. His submission to the      the moon made a giant leap of a vastly
will of His Father brought Him even greater        different kind. He descended from heaven to
glory. And in like manner, the wife who            earth (Philippians 2:5-8). God the Son, the
submits to the authority of her husband            eternal Word (John 1:1,14), stepped down
brings honor not only to herself but to the        from heaven to become fully human, while
man she loves and the God she adores.              remaining fully God. It was an amazing
                                                   "leap," which showed us God's heart of love.
God created Eve out of the side of Adam.           He became one of us so that He could die
There was a never a time when the woman            on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.
existed alone, separate from her husband,
just as the church has never existed outside       By trusting Him as our Savior, we are
of Christ as its head. Like the vine that has      forgiven. We also receive His Spirit, who
its own root, but wraps itself around the          enables us to overcome selfish ambition and
sturdy oak,, the wife is a distinct person with    conceit, and to care for others (Philippians
an identity all her own, but she is dependent      2:3-4).
on her husband for support and strength.
This arrangement of the husband-wife               A leap into space may unite mankind in the
relationship does not dishonor the woman           pride of achievement, but it pales in
any more than Christ‘s role as our                 comparison with what God accomplished
Redeemer dishonors Him. Through her                when Jesus came from heaven to earth. He
submission, the wife brings honor to her           now unites all who trust Him, producing in
husband. Through her submission, she               them a growing humility and love that
instructs her children by way of example on        replaces selfishness and pride. Going to the
how to respect those in authority. Through         moon is nothing compared to that.
her submission, she shows a rebellious
world the honor, peace, and dignity that                   Christ was born here below
come through willing obedience to God.                  that we might be born from above.
                                                                                               23
                                 PHILIPPIANS
                                              Chapter 2


                                                     paraphrased, and looking as though He
Follow Me to the:                                    were merely human. Jesus was a true
     Manger             of humility                 human being. Paul's point is that He was
     Nazareth           of ministry                 much more: one who in very nature was
     Jordan             of surrender                God and equal with Him.
     Wilderness         of temptation
     Mount              of instruction              From Servant To Savior
     Place              of transfiguration          He humbled Himself and became obedient
     Field              of service                  to the point of death, even the death of the
                                                     cross. --Philippians 2:8
     Garden             of Gethsemane
     Cross              of Calvary
                                                     Some Bible scholars believe that Philippians
     Tomb               of resurrection             2:6-11 may have been part of an early
     Throne             of ascension                Christian hymn. Believers praised the Son of
     Hope               of glory                    God because He "made Himself of no
                                                     reputation" (v.7) and chose to put aside His
Days of Praise                                       own rights and privileges to become a man.
A Christmas carol which has ministered to            Not just any man, but a lowly servant. As a
many over the decades is entitled Thou               man, Jesus gave Himself to be murdered as
Didst Leave Thy Throne. It tells the story of        a criminal on a Roman execution rack. How
Christ's incarnation, birth, life, and death,        high He was, and how low He came!
ending with hope for the future and
assurance of salvation. Its five verses will         Yet look at what the early Christians sang
focus our attention these next five days. Our        about. They praised Jesus Christ, who will
text sets forth how God the Son set aside            one day be acknowledged by everyone as
His kingly crown and came to earth as a              Lord and King, and will reign in glorious
man, to live a sinless life and die a perfect        triumph (v.11).
sacrifice. The passage continues And being
found in fashion as a man, He humbled                A Christmas card a few years ago captured
Himself and became obedient unto death,              the truth of this hymn and the irony of what
even death of the cross. The song declares           Jesus did. On the front of the card was a
that He did this for me, and so He did, for          montage of many kings and dictators who
Christ Jesus came into the world to save             have      appeared     throughout    history:
sinners, of whom I am chief (1 Timothy               Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar,
1:15). Neither is there salvation in any other;      Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, Vladimir
for there is none other name under heaven            Lenin. The caption on the front of the card
given among men, whereby we must be                  said: "History is crowded with men who
saved (Acts 4:12). His status was kingly and         would be gods." Then on the inside were the
His mission gracious, but His birth in               words: "But only one God who would be
Bethlehem was very lowly, from a human               man."
perspective. And she brought forth her first-
born son, and wrapped Him in swaddling               We still sing about and worship that God
clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because           who became a servant to become our
there was no room for them in the Inn (Luke          Savior. His example inspires us to follow in
2:7). Nevertheless, we can make room for             His steps, die to self, and serve the needs of
Him. O come to my heart Lord Jesus. There            others.
is room in my heart for Thee.
                                                            In Christ, God veiled His deity
Appearance:                                                to serve and to save humanity.
The Greek word is skemati. The word
speaks of outward appearance, so the                 Pride of:
phrase may be
                                                                                                24
                                PHILIPPIANS
                                           Chapter 2


       Birth
       Wealth                                    Sermon Note
       Respectability                                Incarnation
       Appearance                                    Crucifixion
       Independence                                  Resurrection
       Learning                                      Ascension
       Superiority                                   The Return
       Success
       Self-reliance                             C.H. Spurgeon
       Ability                                   Jesus is the great teacher of lowliness of
       Self-will                                 heart. We need daily to learn of Him. See
       Intellect                                 the Master taking a towel and washing His
                                                  disciples' feet! Follower of Christ, wilt thou
       Allegiance
                                                  not humble thyself? See Him as the Servant
       Resentment
                                                  of servants, and surely thou canst not be
       Reserve
                                                  proud! Is not this sentence the compendium
       Sanctity                                  of His
                                                  biography, He humbled Himself? Was He
Today                                             not on earth always stripping off first one
In the time of Lent we focus so much on           robe of honor and then another, till, naked,
Jesus' final weeks of suffering that we may       He was fastened to the cross, and there did
tend to forget how much he suffered               He not empty out His inmost self, pouring
throughout the earlier part of his life. Jesus    out His life-blood, giving up for all of us, till
suffered from the very moment he was              they laid Him penniless in a borrowed
conceived in Mary's womb. For the divine          grave? How low was our dear Redeemer
Son of God to become one of us required a         brought!
level of humiliation that we cannot fully
understand. C.S. Lewis compared Jesus'            How then can we be proud? Stand at the
incarnation to our being reborn as a bug or a     foot of the cross, and count the purple drops
worm. Jesus suffered throughout all his life      by which you have been cleansed; see the
as he face the temptations of the evil one.       thorn-crown; mark His scourged shoulders,
That's why Hebrews says, He has been              still gushing with encrimsoned rills; see
tempted in every way, just as we are; yet         hands and feet given up to the rough iron,
was without sin. Jesus is truly like us!          and His whole self to mockery and scorn;
                                                  see the bitterness, and the pangs, and the
When we hurt, we often feel as if others          throes of inward grief, showing themselves
don't really understand our pain. In our          in His outward frame; hear the thrilling
frustration and loneliness we may cry out to      shriek, My God, my God why hast Thou
those around us, You don't know what I am         forsaken Me? And if you do not lie prostrate
going through! But these are words that we        on the ground before that cross, you have
can never say to Jesus. He is fully human         never seen it: if you are not humbled in the
and like us in every way, except without sin.     presence of Jesus, you do not know Him.
He has been tempted in every way as we
are. That means we are never alone in our         You were so lost that nothing could save
pain. That means our High Priest, Jesus           you but the sacrifice of God's only begotten.
Christ, is able to sympathize with our            Thing of that, and as Jesus stooped for you,
weaknesses. Do you hurt? Do you                   bow yourself in lowliness at His feet. A
experience heartache? Do you struggle with        sense of Christ's amazing love to us has a
temptation? Whatever your burden may be,          greater tendency to humble us than even a
go to Jesus. Boldly go to our sympathetic         consciousness of our own guilt. May the
Savior to receive grace and mercy in your         Lord bring us in contemplation to Calvary,
time of need.
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                                 PHILIPPIANS
                                            Chapter 2


then our position will no longer be that of the    He stooped, who can tell how low? He was
pompous man of pride, but we shall take the        raised, who shall tell how high? ―Wherefore
humble place of one who loves much                 God also hath highly exalted him.‖
because much has been forgiven him. Pride
cannot live beneath the cross. Let us sit          Sermon Note
there and learn our lesson, and then rise              Creator was creature
and carry it into practice.                            With lowly men
                                                       Humility and obedience
Death:                                                 Death as a criminal
    Shameful
       (deplorable, disgraceful)                   Today
    Voluntary                                     We all operate with something called a
       (spontaneous, uncompelled)                  threshold level of pain. Take, for example,
    Predicted                                     our fingers. Just under the skin are
       (anticipated, foreknown)                    thousands of nerve endings that are
    Substitutionary                               sensitive to pressure. God has designed our
       (replacement or surrogate)                  fingers to withstand a lot of pressure so that
                                                   we can use our hands for hard, physical
Today                                              work. But at some point, the pressure
Some years ago a minister friend of mine           becomes too great and turns into pain. If we
led a joyful service in which ten young            accidentally hit our thumb with a hammer or
people publicly professed their faith in Jesus     get our fingers caught in a car door, we cry
Christ. After the service a man about 55           out in pain. Then we clearly have gone
years old came up to him and said, Pastor,         beyond our threshold level of pain!
I'm glad that God gave me two eyes. To
explain what he meant, the man said, When          In a somewhat similar way, we also operate
I saw those ten young people profess their         with a threshold level of obedience. We're
faith in Jesus, that brought tears of gladness     obedient to God, but only up to a certain
to my eyes. But then I began to think of my        limit. We'll tell the truth. But if that means
own son, who has refused to accept Jesus           getting into trouble, we'll bend the truth.
his Savior, and that made me cry a tear of         We'll support our church financially as a sign
sadness. That's why I'm glad God gave me           of our devotion to Christ. But if money is
two eyes. With the one I can shed tears of         tight, we'll keep back some for ourselves.
joy, and with the other I can shed tears of        We'll honor our parents. But if they ask us to
sorrow. And in a sense we have been crying         do something we don't like, we won't bother
during this month with two eyes. During the        listening to them. You see, when the
first half of this month we have used one eye      pressure of obedience gets too high, we
to shed tears of sadness as we have                back off. We become disobedient. Jesus,
reflected on the deep suffering of Christ,         however, didn't have a threshold level of
who humbled himself and became obedient            obedience. He became obedient to death.
to death; even death on a cross! And during        And not just any kind of death but even
the second half of the month we have used          death on a cross! That's the awesome price
the other eye to shed tears of gladness as         Jesus had to pay to become the source of
we have celebrated the reality that God            eternal salvation for all who obey him.
raised Jesus from the dead and exalted him
to the highest place so that we can now            Sermon Note
make the wonderful confession of faith                 No doubts
Jesus Christ is Lord!                                    (firmness of faith)
                                                       Sin killed Jesus
C. H. Spurgeon                                           (hatred of sin)
                                                       Self denial
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                                  PHILIPPIANS
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        (humility)                                   physical suffering was also horrible beyond
       Crown of thorns                              comprehension.
        (contempt)
       His Life                                     In his book Dare To Believe, Dan Baumann
        (love of God)                                shares some thoughts that can deepen our
                                                     gratitude for what the Savior did for us. He
Suffered and Died                                    wrote, "We have perhaps unwisely and
John 10:11                                           sometimes unconsciously glamorized the
I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd            cross. Jewelry and steeples alike are often
lays down His life for the sheep.                    ornamental and attractive but carry nothing
                                                     of the real story of crucifixion. It was the
John 12:23-24                                        most painful method of public death in the
And Jesus answered them, saying, "The                first century. The victim was placed on a
hour has come for the Son of Man to be               wooden cross. Nails . . . were driven into the
glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a      hands and feet of the victim, and then the
grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it     cross was lifted and jarred into the ground,
remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears    tearing the flesh of the crucified and racking
much fruit.                                          his body with excruciating pain. Historians
                                                     remind us that even the soldiers could not
Romans 5:6                                           get used to the horrible sight, and often took
For while we were still helpless, at the right       strong drink to numb their senses."
time Christ died for the ungodly.
                                                     With a fresh awareness of our Savior's
1 Corinthians 15:3                                   physical agony, let's thank Him anew for His
For I delivered to you as of first importance        sacrifice at Calvary. He loved us so much
what I also received, that Christ died for our       that He was willing to die for us—even the
sins according to the Scriptures.                    painful death of the cross.

2 Corinthians 5:15                                     We can never sacrifice enough for the
And He died for all, that they who live should          One who sacrificed His all for us.
no longer live for themselves, but for Him
who died and rose again on their behalf.             2:9     Therefore also God highly exalted
                                                             Him, and bestowed on Him the
Romans 5:9                                                   name which is above every name,
And they sang an new song, saying,                           Therefore God exalted him to the
"Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to                    highest place
break its seals; for Thou wast slain and didst               and gave him the name that is
purchase for God with Thy blood men from                     above every name,
every tribe and tongue and people and                        Wherefore God also hath highly
nation.                                                      exalted him, and given him a name
                                                             which is above every name:
The Agony Of The Cross
[Jesus] humbled Himself and became                   Acts 2:33
obedient to the point of death, even the             "Therefore having been exalted to the right
death of the cross. —Philippians 2:8                 hand of God, and having received from the
                                                     Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has
As Christians, we understand the spiritual           poured forth this which you both see and
significance of Christ's sacrifice at Calvary,       hear."
but it's easy to forget about the tremendous
agony He endured there. The worst aspect             Hebrews 2:9
was separation from the Father, but the              But we do see Him who has been made for
                                                     a little while lower than the angels, namely,
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                                PHILIPPIANS
                                           Chapter 2


Jesus, because of the suffering of death          ―therefore‖--because of Jesus‘ actions, God
crowned with glory and honor, that by the         exalted Him to the highest place. Everyone
grace of God He might taste death for             will one day acknowledge that His name is
everyone.                                         above all other names (v. 9).

Ephesians 1:20,21                                 History will end and the kingdom of God will
Which He brought about in Christ, when He         come in power. Christ will return! Every knee
raised Him from the dead, and seated Him          will bow and every tongue will confess that
at His right hand in the heavenly places, far     He is Lord (v. 10; cf. Isa. 45:21-23; Rev.
above all rule and authority and power and        5:9). To what end? ―To the glory of God the
dominion, and every name that is named,           Father‖ (v. 11).
not only in this age, but also in the one to
come.                                             While on earth, Jesus had prayed for this
                                                  very thing--―I have brought you glory on
2:9-11 At the last judgment even those who        earth by completing the work you gave me
are condemned will recognize Jesus‘               to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your
authority and right to rule. People can           presence with the glory I had with you
choose to regard Jesus as Lord now as a           before the world began‖ (John 17:4-5).
step of willing and loving commitment, or be
forced to acknowledge him as Lord when he         The last book of Scripture reveals another
returns. Christ may return at any moment.         incredible picture of that day. ―Then I heard
Are you prepared to meet him?                     every creature in heaven and on earth . . .
                                                  singing: ‗To Him who sits on the throne and
TODAY IN THE WORD                                 to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory
In the final months of World War II, after        and power, for ever and ever!‘‖ (Rev. 5:13).
Germany‘s surrender, the United States
dropped atomic bombs on the cities of             C. H. Spurgeon
Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. Just days        Some foolish and superstitious persons
later, Emperor Hirohito agreed to surrender.      make this passage a pretext for bowing their
On August 14, 1945, President Harry               heads at the name of Jesus whenever it is
Truman announced the end of the war!              mentioned. Nothing can be more senseless,
                                                  because the passage means no such thing.
Within minutes, the festivities began. In New
York, two million people poured into Times        What we are taught here is the great truth
Square. In Washington, 75,000 gathered in         that Jesus Christ, though once he stooped
front of the White House. In Chicago,             to the lowest shame, is now exalted to the
500,000 danced and celebrated in                  very highest glory, and even the devils in
downtown streets. Thousands gathered in           hell are compelled to own the might of his
churches to worship and thank God for the         power.
war‘s end and to remember loved ones who
had died in military service.                     We are also to learn from this passage that
                                                  the way to ascend is to descend.
If that kind of party breaks out for winning a
war, imagine the heavenly celebration for         He who would be chief must be willing to be
Christ‘s ultimate victory! The second half of     the servant of all. The King of kings was the
the Philippians 2 ―hymn‖ gives us some            Servant of servants; and if you would be
interesting insights into that day.               crowned with honor by-and-by, you must be
                                                  willing to be despised and rejected of men
The early verses focus on Christ‘s                now. The Lord give us this gracious
incarnation and redemption, praising His          humbleness of mind, for Jesus Christ‘s
love for humanity and obedience to His            sake! Amen.
Father (vv. 6-8). Now we turn to the
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                                 PHILIPPIANS
                                            Chapter 2


The Name                                           being true and being known to the heavenly
God also has highly exalted Him . . . , that at    intelligences, the methods we use to
the name of Jesus every knee should bow. -         persuade men to follow Christ must seem to
-Philippians 2:9-10                                them extremely illogical if not downright
                                                   wrong.
Jesus! No other name draws people
together so closely, while at the same time        Evangelical Christians commonly offer
evoking hatred in others.                          Christ to mankind as a nostrum to cure their
                                                   ills, a way out of their troubles, a quick and
In 1999, a political candidate answered a          easy means to the achievement of their
question about who had the greatest effect         personal ends. The message is often so
on his life by saying, "Jesus Christ. He           presented as to leave the hearer with the
changed my heart." This person's honest            impression that he is being asked to give up
answer was met with disdain from people            much to gain more. And that is not good,
who detest the name of Jesus.                      however well intentioned it may be! We are
                                                   not called to be salesmen, pointing out the
On the other hand, people all over the world       good things that will accrue if the right
who love Christ meet every week to honor           choice is made. No one can come to Christ
and praise Jesus' name. To them, His name          with the idea of selfish gain in the
means love, joy, peace, hope, and                  transaction. Salvation comes not by
forgiveness.                                       accepting the finished work or deciding for
                                                   Christ. It comes by believing on the Lord
What is it about this name that divides            Jesus Christ, the whole, living, victorious
people so clearly? Why do some treat the           Lord who, as God and man, fought our fight
name of Jesus with contempt while others           and won it, accepted our debt as His own
hold it in highest esteem? I think the reason      and paid it, took our sins and died under
some people can't stand Jesus' name is that        them and rose again to set us free. This is
they don't want to be reminded of their sins.      the true Christ, and nothing less will do!
Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life"
(John 14:6), the One who saves us from our         Today
sins (Matthew 1:21). People who refuse to          Weddings are a time of mixed emotions.
ask for forgiveness from sin cannot love the       The bride and groom are bursting with
name of Jesus. Yet His name "is above              excitement that this great day has finally
every name," and one day "every tongue             arrived. Yet they also experience some
[will] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord"          nervousness over what it will be like to be
(Philippians 2:9,11).                              married to each other till death do us part.
                                                   Parents often experience mixed emotions at
Jesus! Do you love that name? Praise God           weddings as well. Their feelings of
for that holy name—and tell others what            happiness are mingled with some feelings of
Jesus has done for you.                            sadness, because they realize their baby is
                                                   now leaving the nest for good. On the one
     We honor God's name when we                   hand, There is a time of sadness and
call Him our Father and live like His Son.         shame; a time to remember the sufferings of
                                                   Jesus. Our sense of sadness and shame
A.W. Tozer                                         comes from knowing that Jesus died for us
The humblest man who heeds the call to             because of our disobedience against God.
follow Christ has an honor far above that          But, on the other hand, this is a time of
given to any king or potentate, for the            incredible joy and thanksgiving; a time to
nations of the earth can bestow only such          remember Jesus' victory over Satan and sin.
honor as they possess, while the honor of          Our sense of Joy and thanksgiving comes
Christ is supreme over all. God has given          from knowing that we share in the victory
Him a name that is above every name! This          that Christ has won.
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                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                             Chapter 2


                                                    with the Hebrews. He is writing the book of
Dear friend, I pray that your devotions this        Genesis, giving the people their history. And
month will create mixed emotions in your            Moses tells the people of Abraham's trip to
heart: that you will experience in a deeply         Egypt. Remember that Pharaoh took
personal way both the pain of Christ's              Abraham's wife Sarah hostage. The future
suffering for your sake and the confident joy       of Abraham's children, the future of the
that you share in his victory over Satan and        promise, was in mortal danger. God,
sin.                                                however, sent grave punishment down on
                                                    Pharaoh, and he relented, allowing Abraham
7 Steps to His Exaltation:                          and Sarah to move on to Canaan. Do you
     God highly exalted Him.                       see Moses' point? He is telling the people
     Gave Him a name above all.                    that God has done this before. Our children
     At His name every knee must bow.              were in danger, Moses is saying, when
     Everything in heaven.                         Pharaoh ordered them killed. Then God sent
     Everything in earth.                          down the plagues, and Pharaoh relented.
     Everything under the earth.                   The message to the worried wanderers was
     Every tongue confess His Lordship.            this -- Abraham and Sarah made it with
                                                    God's blessing: so will we.
R.C. Sproul Jr.
                                                    What is so astounding about God's novel,
It was probably the conch shell in Golding's        however, is not the subtlety of the symbols,
Lord of the Flies that first ensnared me. It        but that it is fact and not fiction. God's
was a symbol of authority, of law. When             providence is the unfolding of the drama of
Golding cleverly caused it to be smashed I          redemption. His theater is not some stuffy
knew barbarism was coming to the English            dark room with flickering pictures but the
school boys stranded on a tropical island.          whole of His creation. His characters are not
Something about his use of symbols caught           two dimensional, but literal flesh and blood.
me and instilled in me a love of fine               His plot is not some cleverly devised tale,
literature. I wanted to unlock the hidden           but all of history.
meaning of everything. I spent two years in
graduate                                            The trouble with our preoccupation with
                                                    earthly amusements, with other lesser
school in English trying to learn the fine          stories, is that they don't much matter. When
priest-craft of lifting and interpreting symbols    I find myself weeping for the victim on some
in literature. I came to respect and admire         disease-of-the-week television movie, yet
these great writers who could subtlety slip a       lacking compassion for the man at the end
message into their stories, who could weave         of the pew whose wife is battling cancer, I
together a lesson and a tale.                       know I'm not paying attention to the real
                                                    story.
My feeble attempts at fiction are always too
much lesson, not enough tale. The fiction I         If I go to the movies looking for some
write ends up more like well illustrated            powerful climax, that rush of adrenaline,
sermons. I keep trying though. Writing fiction      what will Hollywood provide? Insignificant,
is an avocation of mine, a type of                  insipid dreck. I am entirely too breathless
entertainment or recreation. It wasn't until I      waiting to find out if Rocky will win the
began training for my vocation, until I began       boxing match, if Luke will quell temptation
studying the Old Testament in seminary,             and out-duel Darth Vader, his wicked father.
that I realized how much fiction is re-             These are not the climaxes which should
creation.                                           excite us. In the first place Rocky and Luke
                                                    are stuck in celluloid limbo. They are
God is the consummate writer. Consider this         figments of the imagination. God's story
symbol: Moses is traveling in the wilderness        involves only the real and includes no
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                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                             Chapter 2


destiny in limbo. In the second place, even if      Luke 24:47
the characters were real their conflicts are of     And that repentance for forgiveness of sins
little import. They would still be time bound       should be proclaimed in His name to all the
and at best mere footnotes in history.              nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

God's story, the unwinding of His                   John 14:13
providential plan, is heading for something         And whatever you ask in My name, that will I
far more cataclysmic than who wears the             do, that the Father may be glorified in the
heavyweight crown or who rules some                 Son.
piddling distant galaxy. The story is one that
matters. It involves not just some real flesh       John 20:31
and blood characters, but a cast of billions.       But these have been written that you may
And each and every cast member will have            believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
their moment of curtain call, bowing at             God; and that believing you may have life in
story's end.                                        His name.

The bowing at the end, in fact, is the end. It      Acts 3:6
is the climax for which we should be waiting        But Peter said, "I do not possess silver and
in eager anticipation. Are you excited, are         gold, but what I do have I give to you; In the
you watching the skies to see when this part        name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene; walk!"
of the story will be released in a theater near
you? Are you going back to the screen play,         Acts 3:16
reading and re-reading the ending just for          And on the basis of faith in His name, it is
the joy of anticipating its fulfillment?            the name of Jesus which has strengthened
                                                    this man whom you see and know; and the
He is the one true writer, He who ordained          faith which comes through Him has given
whatsoever comes to pass. This is the one           him this perfect health in the presence of
true story, history. We are all, least to           you all.
greatest, the players upon His stage. And all
of it exists to lead to the one true climax, the    Acts 16:18
drama above every drama. At that great              And she continued doing this for many days.
curtain call the truth will be spoken, the          But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned
mystery ended. For then, the screenplay             and said to the spirit, "I command you in the
tells us, in unison the cast speaks the name        name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!"
on the top of the marquee, the reason for           And it came out at that very moment.
the story ... "Therefore God also has highly
exalted Him and given Him the name which            Ephesians 5:20
is above every name, that at the name of            Always giving thanks for all things in the
Jesus every knee should bow and every               name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even
tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is          the Father.
Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil.
2:9-11).                                            C. H. Spurgeon
                                                    Note how the apostle, after writing on this
C. H. Spurgeon                                      high theme, again seeks the practical good
He threw away his name; he emptied                  of his friends at Philippi:
himself of his reputation. How high is his
reputation now! How glorious is the name            TODAY IN THE WORD
that God hath given him as the reward of his        For centuries audiences have loved George
redemptive work!                                    Frideric Handel‘s oratorio, Messiah, which
                                                    was composed in just twenty-four days.
Mighty Name of Jesus                                Music historians say that the rather worldly
                                                    Handel claimed the leading of the Holy Spirit
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                                PHILIPPIANS
                                           Chapter 2


and often wept as he composed the piece. It               in heaven and on earth and under
is well-known that the music mirrors the                  the earth,
Scripture verses it accompanies. Consider                 That at the name of Jesus every
the famous Hallelujah chorus: ―Lord of                    knee should bow, of things in
Lords‖ is sung with sure, steady beats; the               heaven, and things in earth, and
entire chorus blends stately majesty and                  things under the earth;
joyous exaltation.
                                                  C. H. Spurgeon
What a fitting way to begin looking at this       Now is he higher than the highest. Now
lofty title of Jesus: the Lord of Lords. As we    every one must confess his divinity. With
have seen, the entire Old Testament pointed       shame and terror, his adversaries shall bow
to the coming of God‘s Messiah. But as we         before him; with delight and humble
have also seen, Jesus‘ death on the cross         adoration, his friends shall own him Lord of
seemed to prove that the Man from                 all: ―that every tongue should confess that
Nazareth could not have been the Messiah          Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the
after all. Even the disciples were downcast,      Father.‖ See how the greatest glory of Christ
fearful that all their hopes had been in vain     is the glory of the Father.
(Luke 24:17). But Jesus‘ resurrection from
the dead declared to the world that He            He never desired any other glory but that.
indeed was--and is!--the Lord, the Almighty       The highest honor you can ever have, O
One.                                              child of God, is to bring honor to your Father
                                                  who is in heaven.
So important was it to acknowledge that
Jesus of Galilee was the Lord God that the        Do you not think so? I know you do.
first creed of the church was simply, ―Jesus
is Lord‖ (Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor. 12:3).                Devotional
                                                  In the first part of this verse, Paul mentions
One of the highest affirmations of Jesus‘         the word obey. In Greek this is a compound
lordship is found in Philippians 2:9–11. We       word formed by the two words "hear" and
have already looked at this passage (see          "under." Thus, to obey means "to be under a
December 9) when we considered Jesus‘             hearing." Hearing the Lord's voice is integral
willingness to take on the nature of a            to obeying or following Him, even as He
servant. Today‘s passage shows the                indicated in John 10:27: "My sheep hear My
Father‘s response to that obedience--             voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."
complete vindication and exaltation.
                                                  To hear the Lord under the new covenant
Not only is Jesus the exalted Lord, but He is     means to recognize promptings within our
Lord of Lords. We don‘t often think of other      heart. The prompting is God Himself
lords, but in the Greco-Roman world of the        operating within us. It is this prompting that
first century, there was a terrifying array of    Paul refers to in Philippians
gods and goddesses. Even the Caesar took          2:13: "For it is God who works in you both to
on the title dominus, or lord, and demanded       will and to do for His good pleasure." When
allegiance. In our own day, people who            we respond positively to the prompting, we
attain athletic prowess or business success       are actually obeying Him. It is at the point of
vie for the status of lordship in our culture.    obeying Him that we need to see the
                                                  difference between Old Testament and New
2:10    that at the name of Jesus EVERY           Testament obedience. Old Testament
        KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who             obedience is man responding to the outward
        are in heaven, and on earth, and          law of God without the supply of life that is
        under the earth,                          necessary to carry it out (Gal. 3:21). New
        that at the name of Jesus every           Testament obedience is man responding to
        knee should bow,                          God from the very responses and
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                                PHILIPPIANS
                                           Chapter 2


promptings inwardly produced by God               Lordship‖ view maintain that it is possible to
Himself out of the riches and supply of His       be saved and yet live like a demon. They
grace.                                            separate that which God has joined together
                                                  when he made Christ the Savior and Lord of
2:11    and that every tongue should              all who believe.
        confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to
        the glory of God the Father.              It is significant that Paul teaches in 1
        and every tongue confess that             Corinthians 12:3 that no one can say Jesus
        Jesus Christ is Lord,                     is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. This means
        to the glory of God the Father.           that only someone who has been changed
        And that every tongue should              by the Spirit confesses that Christ is
        confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to     sovereign over every area of their lives. It is
        the glory of God the Father.              a humble confession of obedience, of
                                                  subjection, of recognition that Christ rules
John 13:13                                        over every area of our lives.
"You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are
right, for so I am."                              The Scriptures teach that Christ is Lord, that
                                                  He is Adonai, absolute sovereign over all
R.C. Sproul                                       things. Only those who recognize this,
Much of our society believes that man             submit to His rule, and rejoice in His
determines laws for himself and is subject to     kingship can truly be called Christians.
no higher authority than the general will of
the people. This democratic mindset, for          Today
from being a great gift to man, has               Throughout human history, people have
contributed to our generation‘s general           struggled with how to answer the question,
unwillingness to recognize, much less             Who is Jesus? The majority of Jewish
submit to, God‘s laws. Sadly, the church has      people believe that Jesus is simply a good
not escaped this corrupting philosophy.           Jew. They argue that Christians have
People want Jesus as their Savior, but they       wrongly turned Jesus the good Jew into
do not want to be subject to Him as their         Jesus the divine Son of God. Many
King. The practical results of this heretical     theologians in Third World countries believe
view is that a Christian can live like the        that Jesus is a social revolutionary. They
world. He can be saved but continue to live       argue that Jesus was primarily concerned to
in sin without any regard to his duty as a        fight against oppression and injustice and
subject in Christ‘s kingdom.                      that he showed the persecuted masses how
                                                  to rise up against their tyrannical rulers.
This, of course, is totally contrary to the       Many theologians in North America and
teaching of Scripture, which says that a          Europe believe that Jesus is merely a great
Christian will no longer follow the ways of       example. They argue that Christians should
the world. Instead, he will live unto holiness    not be so concerned whether Jesus was the
and set his mind on spiritual things (Rom. 8).    divine Son of God. What's really important,
Of course, he will not be perfect, but he will    they say, is that we be more like Jesus so
not continue to practice sin: ―And you know       that this world will be a kinder and gentler
that He was manifested to take away our           place to live in.
sin, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever
abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins          The Bible, however, claims that Jesus is
has neither seen Him nor known Him‖ (1            much more. The Bible says Jesus is Lord.
John 3:5-6). John, of course, is not saying a     When Jesus walked out of the tomb, he won
Christian is sinless (for he says in chapter 1    the right to rule as Lord and King over all.
that if we say we do not sin, we are liars),      Paul says that after God exalted, or raised,
but he is saying that a Christian does not        Jesus from the dead, he gave him the name
live a life of sin. Those who uphold the ―No-     that is above every name, that at the name
                                                                                            33
                                PHILIPPIANS
                                          Chapter 2


of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven        ___________________________________
and on earth and under the earth, and every      ___________________________________
tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.        ___________________________________
Who is Jesus? Praise God that he is our          ___________________________________
Lord and King!                                   ___________________________________

His Lordship                                     04. How can Christians show their unity in
Luke 6:5                                         Christ in practical ways? (2:2)
And He was saying to them, " The Son of          ___________________________________
Man is Lord of the Sabbath."                     ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
Acts 2:36                                        ___________________________________
Therefore let al the house of Israel know for    ___________________________________
certain that God has made Him both Lord          ___________________________________
and Christ; this Jesus whom you crucified."
                                                 05. What did Paul say about self-
1 Corinthians 8:6                                centeredness? (2:3-4)
Yet for us there is but one God, the Father;     ___________________________________
form whom are all things, and we exist for       ___________________________________
Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom         ___________________________________
are all things, and we exist through Him.        ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
1 Colossians 12:3                                ___________________________________
Therefore I make known to you, that no one
speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is    06. What did Paul exhort believers to have?
accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is         (2:5)
Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.                ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
OPEN IT                                          ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
01. When was the last time you had a             ___________________________________
squabble with a family member?                   ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________              07. What did Christ set aside when He
___________________________________              became a man? (2:6-8)
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
02. How much of a peacemaker are you?            ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________              08. How did Jesus limit Himself? (2:6-8)
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
EXPLORE IT                                       ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
03. What four qualities mark unity with
Christ? (2:1)                                    09. How was Christ fully God and fully man
___________________________________              at the same time? (2:6-8)
                                                                                         34
                                PHILIPPIANS
                                          Chapter 2


___________________________________              GET IT
___________________________________
___________________________________              15. How does your life show that you count
___________________________________              on Christ?
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
10. How is Christ the best example of            ___________________________________
humility and unselfishness for us? (2:6-8)       ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________              16. How do petty quarrels hold you back in
___________________________________              your Christian walk?
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
11. Why did Christ take on the limitations of    ___________________________________
being human even though He was of the            ___________________________________
same nature as God? (2:7)                        ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________              17. How can Christ help you keep peace
___________________________________              with others?
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
12. How did God exalt Jesus? (2:9)               ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________              18. What hinders unity in your church?
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
13. How did Christ win sovereignty over all      ___________________________________
people and over everything? (2:10)               ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________              19. What kind of disposition does Christ
___________________________________              want us to have?
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
14. What confession will every person            ___________________________________
make? (2:11)                                     ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________              20. How does Christ's example of humility
___________________________________              challenge our natural self-centeredness?
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
                                                                                          35
                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                             Chapter 2


___________________________________                 Christ.
___________________________________
                                                    2:12 ―Therefore‖ ties this verse to the
APPLY IT                                            previous section. ―Work out your salvation,‖
                                                    in light of the preceding exhortation to unity,
21. What practical steps can you take this          may mean that the entire church was to
week to demonstrate humility in your                work together to rid themselves of divisions
relationships?                                      and discord. The Philippian Christians
___________________________________                 needed to be especially careful to obey
___________________________________                 Christ, now that Paul wasn‘t there to
___________________________________                 continually remind them about what was
___________________________________                 right. We too must be careful about what we
___________________________________                 believe and how we live, especially when we
___________________________________                 are on our own. In the absence of cherished
                                                    Christian leaders, we must focus our
22. For the sake of unity in Christ, what petty     attention and devotion even more on Christ
squabbles should you clear up right away?           so that we won‘t be sidetracked.
How?
___________________________________                 TODAY IN THE WORD
___________________________________                 Daniel did his job so well as a civil official in
___________________________________                 the Persian Empire that the other
___________________________________                 administrators were jealous. They watched
___________________________________                 him carefully, looking for a ―skeleton in his
___________________________________                 closet‖ so they could run to King Darius and
                                                    tattle. But Daniel, dedicated to his God, lived
                                                    blamelessly. His rivals could find nothing
2:12    So then, my beloved, just as you            wrong. That didn‘t stop them, however, from
        have always obeyed, not as in my            concocting a plot leading to the famous story
        presence only, but now much more            of Daniel in the lions‘ den, which you can
        in my absence, work out your                read in Daniel 6.
        salvation with fear and trembling;
        Therefore, my dear friends, as              Daniel lived a godly life, being light in a dark,
        you have always obeyed--not                 pagan environment. In today‘s reading, Paul
        only in my presence, but now                wanted the Philippians to be ―Daniels‖ and
        much more in my absence--                   ―christs‖ to the world around them.
        continue to work out your
        salvation with fear and trembling,          Paul‘s exhortation here was a follow-up to
        Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have           his earlier command to imitate Christ (v. 5).
        always obeyed, not as in my                 The intervening verses are an inspiring
        presence only, but now much more            ―detour,‖ but they also form the foundation
        in my absence, work out your own            for Paul‘s teachings that follow.
        salvation with fear and trembling.
                                                    How can believers have the same attitude
Philippians 1:5                                     as Christ? Through obedience and
Some to be sure, are preaching Christ even          blameless living (v. 12; cf. Phil. 1:10).
from envy and strife, but some also from
good will;                                          Living this way honors the salvation Christ
                                                    has won. That‘s what it means to ―work out
Ephesians 6:5                                       your salvation with fear and trembling‖ --not
Slaves, be obedient to those who are your           to be afraid or fearful, but to cooperate in
masters according to the flesh, with fear and       reverence and awe with God‘s sanctifying
trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to    work in your life. Salvation is not by works. It
                                                                                                36
                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                             Chapter 2


is wholly by God‘s grace, and we have a             Word as our means of grace, He also
part to play after we are saved (Eph. 2:8-          employs prayer and worship, fellowship, and
10).                                                service in the church. by making diligent use
                                                    of such means, we move on from the
That‘s why Paul immediately balanced ―work          starting point of our new birth to a greater
out your salvation‖ with ―for it is God who         experience of God‘s love for us.
works in you‖ (Phil. 2:13). We are never on
our own. We don‘t have to complete what             C. H. Spurgeon
God started. The strength in which we live          Get out of self. Work out your salvation from
out our faith comes from God. He is always          pride, from vainglory, from disputations and
working in us for our benefit and for His           strife.
glory.
                                                    A Long Obedience
R.C. Sproul                                         Work out your own salvation with fear and
We have seen that it is an absolute                 trembling. —Philippians 2:12
necessity that a person be born again if he
or she is to enter the kingdom of God. We           Every January, health club memberships
have also learned that regeneration is              dramatically increase and exercise rooms
performed by God, that it is done without           become crowded with what some people
means, that it is mysterious, and that it           call "the New Year's resolution crowd."
cannot be revoked.                                  Fitness regulars know that by March many
                                                    of the newcomers will be gone. "They don't
Just as none of us would have lives to live if      see results as quickly as they think they
we had not had birthdays, we cannot have            will," says one club director. "People don't
new lives in Christ without spiritual rebirth.      realize it takes a lot of work and
Yet just as the days of our lives are not the       perseverance to get in shape."
same as our birthdays, our Christian lives
are not the same as our regeneration. This          It's a phenomenon we experience in the
seems elementary, but it is a fact that often       spiritual realm as well. Author Eugene
is not clearly grasped by believers.                Peterson notes that in a culture that loves
Regeneration is simply the doorway into the         speed and efficiency, "it is not difficult . . . to
new life. In other words, our new lives in          get a person interested in the message of
Christ are the result of spiritual rebirth.         the gospel; it is terrifically difficult to sustain
When He regenerates us, God changes us              the interest." To follow Christ faithfully,
forever. But He doesn‘t stop there. He              Peterson says, requires "a long obedience
continues working in us to move us toward           in the same direction."
the next stages in the process of our full
redemption, faith in Christ, justification,         Paul urged the Philippians to adopt the
sanctification, and eventually, glorification.      same mindset as Christ, whose obedience
                                                    to the Father was wholehearted and
A newly born baby has much growing to do.           complete (2:8). He encouraged them to
The same is true for newly reborn believers.        keep on obeying the Lord and to "work out
Great capacity for evil remains in the hearts       [their] own salvation with fear and trembling"
of the regenerate. It must be resisted and          (2:12).
replaced by Christlikeness. This is the life
long process known as sanctification, or            As new believers, we may have good
growth in holiness. Whereas regeneration is         intentions when we take our first steps of
a work of God alone, sanctification is a work       faith. Then, as we grow in Christ, God's
in which we participate with God. But He            power enables us to keep walking joyfully
gives us tools for the task, for this process is    with Him along the long road of obedience.
mediate rather than immediate, as is
regeneration. While God primarily uses the            Faith in Christ is not just a single step
                                                                                               37
                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                              Chapter 2


       but a life of walking with Him.               you heard the word of truth, the gospel of
                                                     your salvation; in whom also, having
Obedience is the:                                    believed, you were sealed with the Holy
    Secret               of blessing                Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of
    Soul                 of success                 our inheritance until the redemption of the
    Sway                 of power                   purchased possession, to the praise of His
    Slayer               of self                    glory.‖
    Submission           of faith
    Sanctifier           of character               Our salvation has already been purchased
    Stamp                of approval                on the cross, but it will ot be complete until
                                                     we are glorified. The Spirit, therefore, is
R. C. Sproul                                         given to us as an earnest of our redemption.
In the Reformed tradition, the doctrine of           WE need not have any doubts that those
eternal security is called the perseverance of       who have been called will be glorified
the saints. This title can be a little misleading    because we have the seal of the Holy Spirit
because the word perseverance could imply            to guarantee our reception into the kingdom
that we are somehow working alone,                   of God. He is, in a sense a down payment
pressing into the kingdom of God, working            given by God Himself on our full inheritance,
out our salvation with fear and trembling. Of        and as such, the Spirit is a foretaste of the
course, these implications are taken from            glory that is to come. God has sealed us in
Scripture itself, where it is made clear that        Him by His own signet ring, and that seal is
Christians are actively engaged in their own         a promise that we will persevere in the faith
sanctification.      Bu     we       must     not    and receive our inheritance of glory.
misunderstand passages that speak in
terms of human effort by asserting that our          Fear:
eternal security rests in our own ability.                  Command
While we are certainly actively engaged, our                Caution
sanctification ultimately rests on God                      Consecration
Himself, for He is the one who ―works in you                Cause
both to will and to do for His good pleasure.‖              Company
                                                            Condition
The last part of Philippians 2:12 says, ―work               Consequence
out your own salvation with fear and
trembling,‖ a very strong admonition for             Devotional
people to employ their own efforts in their
                                                     We may live for years having desires to
sanctification. But Paul doesn‘t finish there.
                                                     spend time with the Lord in a regular way.
He points his readers to the one who
                                                     We may experience these desires to a
enables them to work out their salvation,
                                                     greater or lesser degree, depending upon
and that one is God Himself.
                                                     our spiritual situation. Nevertheless, we may
                                                     not be aware of the fact that the very
Our persevering, then, is a long, hard road
                                                     existence of these desires stirring within us
of fighting sin and living by our heavenly
                                                     is God operating in us. God works in your
inheritance. As Christians, we can be
                                                     will to incline you to spend time with Him. He
confident that we will persevere because
                                                     operates to that extent. But He does not
God has given His Holy Spirit to us as a
                                                     take us over, obliterating our faculties and
fullness of our heavenly inheritance. As
                                                     human responsibility and forcing us to spend
Christians, we can be confident that we will
                                                     time with Him. He works in us to a point.
persevere because God has given His Holy
                                                     Then it is up to us to take the initiative to
Spirit to us as a promise that we will
                                                     follow through by cooperating with His
succeed. Paul teaches this clearly in
                                                     worked-in inclinations and desires. In other
Ephesians 1: ―In Him you also trusted, after
                                                     words, God's part is to supply the desire and
                                                                                                 38
                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                              Chapter 2


the inclination to be with Him. Our part is to
find a private place, set the alarm clock, rise      Definition
up from our bed, wash our face, get our              Work Out:
Bible, hymnal, and other spiritual books, and        This verse does not even hint that one must
begin to wait upon the Lord by reading,              work for his eternal salvation. Some take
praying, singing, or just quietly being in His       salvation
presence to enjoy Him and behold Him.                here in a theological sense, not that once
                                                     salvation is in us it must be worked out or
We need to realize that our desires to be            expressed. It is most likely, however, that
with the Lord are God Himself. It is not just        salvation is used in a non-theological sense,
you. It is not just your desire. It is not merely    with the meaning, work out solutions to your
your own thought that you should spend               own daily problems.
time with the Lord. It is God! God is in your
desire! God is in your inclination! God is in        Oswald Chambers
your thought! Now you must work out what             Your will agrees with God, but in your flesh
God has worked in. Just go along with that           there is a disposition which renders you
still small voice, that slight sensation that        powerless to do what you know you ought to
you should withdraw yourself to pray and             do. When the Lord is presented to the
spend time with Him. If you obey those small         conscience, the first thing conscience does
nudges, you are obeying God operating                is to rouse the will, and the will always
within you.                                          agrees with God. You say, But I do not know
Oswald Chambers                                      whether my will is in agreement with God.
Our Lord warns that the devout life of a             Look to Jesus and you will find that your will
disciple is not a dream, but a decided               and your conscience are in agreement with
discipline which calls for the use of all his or     Him every time. The thing in you which
her powers. No amount of determination can           makes you say, I shan't is something less
give me the new life of God. That is a gift;         profound that your will; it is perversity, or
where the determination comes in is in               obstinacy, and they are never in agreement
letting that new life work itself out according      with God. The profound thing in man is his
to Christ's standard. We are always in               will, not sin. Will is the essential element in
danger of confounding what we can do with            God's creation of man: sin is a perverse
what we cannot do. We cannot save                    disposition which entered into man. In a
ourselves, or sanctify ourselves, or give            regenerated man the source of will is
ourselves the Holy Spirit; only God can do           almighty. For it is God which worketh in you
these. Confusion continually occurs when             both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
we try to do what God alone can do, and try          Your have to work out with concentration
to persuade ourselves that God will do what          and care what God works in; not work your
we alone can do. We imagine that God is              own salvation, but work it out, while you
going to make us walk in the light; God will         base resolutely in unshaken faith on the
not; it is we who must walk in the light. God        complete and perfect Redemption of the
gives us the power to do it, but we have to          Lord. As you do this, you do not bring an
see that we use the power. God puts the              opposed will to God's will, God's will is your
power and the life into us and fills us with         will, and your natural choices are along the
His Spirit, but we have to work it out. Work         line of God's will, and the life is as natural as
out your own salvation, says Paul, not, work         breathing. God is the source of your will,
for your salvation, but work it out; and as we       therefore you are able to work out His will.
do, we realize that the noble life of a disciple     Obstinacy is an unintelligent wage that
is gloriously difficult and the difficulty of it     refuses to be enlightened; the only thing is
rouses us up to overcome, not faint and              for it to be blown up with dynamite, and the
cave in. It is always necessary to make an           dynamite is obedience to the Holy Spirit. Do
effort to be noble.                                  I believe that Almighty God is the source of
                                                     my will? God not only expects me to do His
                                                                                                    39
                                   PHILIPPIANS
                                               Chapter 2


will, but He is in me to do it.                       Check with your inner man. Look for the
                                                      hidden desire within you, and see if there is
Conditions of Salvation                               not a corresponding burden and feeling
Endurance                                             about your spending time with the Lord.
Matthew 10:22
And you will be hated by al on account of My          If you are honest with your deepest sense,
name, but it is the one who has endured to            you will realize that there is a still small voice
the end who will be saved.                            within you day by day speaking to you about
                                                      spending time with the Lord to enjoy Him
Faith and Confession                                  and to behold Him. In fact, on the negative
Romans 10:9                                           side, it feels like something nagging you.
That if you confess with your mouth Jesus             When you live neglecting your time with the
as Lord, and believe in your heart that God           Lord, there is something within you that
raised Him from the dead, you shall be                spontaneously feels dissatisfied. You sense
saved;                                                an incompleteness in your daily life even to
                                                      the point of an inner protesting. Also, on the
Spiritual Receptivity                                 positive side, there is a desire and a longing
James 1:21                                            to be with the Lord in a definite way - to wait
Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all        upon Him, behold Him, and enjoy Him. This
that remains of wickedness, in humility               desire and longing is God working in you.
receive the word implanted, which is able to
save your souls.                                      Taking the initiative simply means to
                                                      cooperate with what God has already put
Spiritual Diligence                                   within you. The Greek word translated "work
2 Peter 1:10-11                                       out" in Philippians 2:12 and the word
Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent         "beholding" in 2 Corinthians 3:18 are both in
to make certain about His calling and                 the middle voice. This means Paul was
choosing you; for as long as you practice             emphasizing that believers need to take the
these things, you will never stumble; for in          initiative to actively be involved and
this way the entrance into the eternal                participate in the working out of their own
kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ           salvation. However, the basis for taking this
will be abundantly supplied to you.                   initiative is clearly defined by the following
                                                      words: "For it is God who operates in you."
Spiritual Cleansing                                   This means that the initiative we take is
Revelation 22:14                                      actually our going along with the operating
Blessed are those who wash their robes,               God within us. This is a crucial point in all
that they may have the right to the tree of           our experiences of the Lord. God works and
life, and may enter by the gates into the city.       operates in us to a certain extent; then we
                                                      need to take the initiative to complete and
Devotional                                            finish what He is working in us.
We need to understand, from God's point of
view, what it is to take the initiative. It is our    C.H. Spurgeon
response to and cooperation with God's                We must work out our own salvation with
operation in our being. Let me say that if you        fear and trembling, but not till he has worked
are born again and Christ is living in you,           in us can we work it out.
then there is present within you a divine
working that is one-hundred percent bent on           2:13     for it is God who is at work in you,
beholding the Lord. There is something                         both to will and to work for His good
already in you that matches the Word of                        pleasure.
God concerning spending time to behold                         for it is God who works in you to
Him. You do not have to produce something                      will and to act according to his
in yourself in order to take the initiative.                   good purpose.
                                                                                                    40
                                   PHILIPPIANS
                                               Chapter 2


         For it is God which worketh in you           go on to will and to do; for your willing and
         both to will and to do of his good           your doing will produce lowliness of spirit,
         pleasure.                                    and unity of heart with your

2 Corinthians 3:5                                     Oswald Chambers
Not that we are adequate in ourselves to              We cannot give ourselves the Holy Spirit;
consider anything as coming from ourselves,           the Holy Spirit is God Almighty's gift if we
but our adequacy is from God.                         will simply become poor enough to ask for
                                                      Him. If you then, being evil, know how to
2:13 What do we do when we don‘t feel like            give good gifts to your children, how much
obeying? God has not left us alone in our             more will your heavenly Father give the Holy
struggles to do his will. He wants to come            Spirit to those who ask Him? But when the
alongside us and be within us to help. God            Holy Spirit has come in, there is something
helps us want to obey him and then gives us           we can do and God cannot do; we can obey
the power to do what he wants. The secret             Him. If we do not obey Him, we shall grieve
to a changed life is to submit to God‘s               Him. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
control and let him work. Next time, ask God          Over and over again we need to be
to help you want to do his will.                      reminded of Paul's counsel, Work out your
                                                      won salvation with fear and trembling; for it
2:13 To be like Christ, we must train                 is God who works in you both to will and to
ourselves to think like Christ. To change our         do of His good pleasure. Thank God, it is
desires to be more like Christ‘s, we need the         gloriously and majestically true that the Holy
power of the indwelling Spirit (Phil. 1:19), the      Spirit can work in us the very nature of
influence of faithful Christians, obedience to        Jesus Christ if we will obey Him, until in and
God‘s Word (not just exposure to it), and             through our mortal flesh may be manifested
sacrificial service. Often it is in doing God‘s       works which will make people glorify our
will that we gain the desire to do it (see Phil.      Father in heaven, and take knowledge of us
4:8-9). Do what he wants and trust him to             that we have been with Jesus.
change your desires.
                                                      Sermon Note
A Supernatural Life                                       Reconciled
The obedient, productive Christian life is                  (state of agreement or accord)
directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit.                Cleansed
Therefore it is a supernatural life. It is foreign          (freed from sin, guilt or defilement)
to the unregenerate person‘s thinking, and                Indwelt
he can‘t attain such a life.                                (constitutional)
                                                          Illuminated
Supernatural living is conforming your outer                (explained and clarified)
life to your inner life, and living out the new           Delivered
nature you have in Jesus Christ. But it is not              (rescued from danger)
a mystical, undefined life based on abstract              Comforted
philosophical concepts. It is practical living              (hope in times of grief or pain)
derived from conscious obedience to God‘s
                                                          Happy
commands. It is thinking, speaking, and
                                                            (achieved satisfaction)
acting in daily conformity to His Word and
                                                          Honored
will.
                                                            (superiority, high esteem)
C. H. Spurgeon
                                                      Our Daily Bread
You may very well work out what God works
                                                      The great inventor Charles Kettering
in. If he does not work it in, you will never
                                                      suggests that we learn to fail intelligently. He
work it out; but while he works within your
                                                      said, Once you've failed, analyze the
spirit both to will and to do, you may safely
                                                                                                   41
                                PHILIPPIANS
                                           Chapter 2


problem and find out why, because each            received from Him abides in you, and you
failure is one more step leading up to the        have no need for anyone to teach you; but
cathedral of success. The only time you           as His anointing teaches you about all
don't want to fail is the last time you try.      things, and is true and is not a lie, and just
Here are three suggestions for turning            as it has taught you, you abide in Him
failure into success: 1) Honestly face defeat;
never fake success. 2) Exploit the failure;       2:14    Do all things without grumbling or
don't waste it. Learn all you can from it;                disputing;
every bitter experience can teach you                     Do everything without
something. 3) Never use failure as an                     complaining or arguing,
excuse for not trying again. We may not be                Do all things without murmurings
able to reclaim the loss, undo the damage,                and disputings:
or reverse the consequences, but we can
make a new start.                                 2:14-16 Why are complaining and arguing
                                                  so harmful? If all that people know about a
God does not shield us from the                   church is that its members constantly argue,
consequences of our actions just because          complain, and gossip, they get a false
we are His children. But for us, failure is       impression of Christ and the gospel. Belief in
never final because the Holy Spirit is            Christ should unite those who trust him. If
constantly working in us to accomplish His        your church is always complaining and
purposes. He may let us fail, but He urges        arguing, it lacks the unifying power of Jesus
us to view defeat as a steppingstone[ to          Christ. Stop arguing with other Christians or
maturity. God is working for our good in very     complaining about people and conditions
situation, and we must act on that good in        within the church and let the world see
order to grow. Knowing how to benefit from        Christ.
failure is the key to success; especially
when we trust God to work in us, both to will     2:14-16 Our lives should be characterized
and to do His good pleasure.                      by moral purity, patience, and peacefulness,
                                                  so that we will ―shine like stars‖ in a dark
   Success is failure turned inside out.          and depraved world. A transformed life is an
                                                  effective witness to the power of God‘s
God Dwells In Believers                           Word. Are you shining brightly, or are you
Ezekiel 36:27                                     clouded by complaining and arguing? Shine
And I will put My Spirit within you and cause     out for God.
you to walk in My statues, and you will be
careful to observe My ordinance.                  TODAY IN THE WORD
                                                  ―Capacocha‖ was the name for the human
John 14:17                                        sacrifice ritual practiced by the ancient Incas
That is the Spirit of truth, whom the world       of Peru. Such sacrifices were often offered
cannot receive because it does not behold         after a significant event such as an
Him or know Him, but you know Him                 earthquake or the death of an emperor.
because He abides with you, and will be in
you.                                              Once a physically perfect sacrifice was
                                                  chosen, typically the child of a chief, a
Romans 8:9                                        procession traveled from the child‘s home
However, you are not in the flesh but in the      village to Cuzco, the capital city. Then, in
Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in     one form of sacrifice, the child was placed in
you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit       a tomb, walled in alive, and given only a
of Christ, he does not belong to Him.             drugged potion to drink. In other cases, the
                                                  priests sedated then strangled the child. The
1 John 2:27                                       sacrifices, who were often deified later, were
And as for you, the anointing which you           buried at the tops of mountains so as to be
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                                 PHILIPPIANS
                                            Chapter 2


closer to the Inca sun god.                        unto death, even the death of the cross.

Without God‘s truth, the practice of sacrifice     Then Paul applies this pattern to the
goes horribly wrong. When Paul calls               believers in verses 12-14: "Therefore, my
himself a ―drink offering‖ or urges us to be       beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as
―living sacrifices‖ (tomorrow‘s reading), he       in my presence only, but now much more in
does not have in mind a horrifying scene like      my absence, work out your own salvation
those practiced by the Incas, but the beauty       with fear and trembling; for it is God who
of spiritual consecration and service to God.      operates in you both the willing and the
Service is another ―sacrifice‖ we are              working for His good pleasure. Do all things
instructed to offer. After all, Jesus led the      without murmurings and reasonings." This is
way: ―I have set you an example that you           the cross - to do all things without
should do as I have done for you‖ (Jn.             murmurings and without reasonings. This is
13:15; cf. Mk. 10:45).                             how to inwardly apply the cross. Once I
                                                   murmur or reason with the Lord's
A drink offering never stood alone in the Old      environmental dealing with me, I nullify the
Testament, but was always offered with a           cross inwardly. This is why Paul gives us a
greater sacrifice (see, for example, Num.          most practical handle on how to apply the
15:6-7; 28:6-7). Thus, in today‘s reading,         cross subjectively. Simply do not murmur
Paul places his individual service in the          and do not reason, because these are the
context of the larger body of believers (Phil.     two things that manifest rebellion to God and
2:17), and presumably in the context of            to His arrangement.
Christ‘s ultimate sacrifice as well (v. 16). To
transform the Gentiles into an acceptable          TODAY IN THE WORD
sacrifice was the consuming purpose of             When you‘re caught in a blackout, what‘s
Paul‘s life (Rom. 15:16; 2 Cor. 11:2)!             the first thing you do? Probably you look for
                                                   a flashlight or candles.
C. H. Spurgeon
Do not say, ―You give me too much to do;           When these are located and lit, the loss of
you always give me the hard work; you put          electricity immediately becomes easier to
me in the obscure corner.‖ No, no; ―do all         bear. The small light provided by the
things without murmurings.‖ And do not             flashlight or candles seems more welcome
begin fighting over a holy work; for, if you       in darkness than when the house was fully
do, you spoil it in the very beginning, and        lighted.
how can you then hope for a blessing upon
it? ―Do all things without murmurings and          Why is this? The answer is simple: contrast.
disputings.‖                                       When all was bright, light was taken for
                                                   granted. But when darkness fell, light was
Devotional                                         necessary and precious.
To live a life inwardly applying the cross, do
not rebel against God. You say, "What do           That‘s the picture Paul has in mind when he
you mean, do not rebel? I am not rebelling."       hoped that the Philippians would shine like
Every murmuring is a rebellion, and every          stars, piercing the darkness of their society
reasoning is a rebellion. Murmuring and            with the light of the gospel.
reasoning are two words that describe how
we rebel against God and against the cross.        His injunction not to complain or argue (v.
Paul uses these words in the context of            14) is a practical application from
talking about the inward application of the        yesterday‘s reading. Complaining and
cross. In Philippians 2:6-8 the Lord Jesus is      murmuring show discontent with God‘s will.
presented as the pattern of one who did not        If believers avoid these sins, however, their
rebel against God. He emptied Himself, He          purity will be a bright witness to the sinful
humbled Himself, and became obedient               culture around them (v. 15). As ―stars‖ we
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                                 PHILIPPIANS
                                            Chapter 2


follow in the footsteps of Christ, the ―bright
Morning Star‖ (Rev. 22:16).                        C. H. Spurgeon
                                                   None finding fault with you, and you not
The idea is to behave without reproach, in a       finding fault with others; neither harming nor
manner worthy of the gospel (Phil. 1:27).          harmed: ―blameless and harmless.‖
And that is our motivation--holding out the
word of life (Phil. 2:16) is a tremendous          Shine Where You Are
privilege and responsibility (Matt. 5:14-16).      You shine as lights in the world, holding fast
                                                   the word of life. --Philippians 2:15-16
The power of Paul‘s reasoning is clear--
purity versus depravity, light in darkness, the    The name of Peter Carter is probably
word of life pitted against the way of death.      unknown to most people today. He was a
                                                   19th-century American Presbyterian pastor.
If the Philippians obeyed this command,            He wasn't as famous a pulpiteer as Charles
Paul would boast, not about himself but            Haddon Spurgeon. He didn't write great
about God‘s greatness and for His glory. He        works of theology like his contemporary
eagerly wanted to know that his ministry had       Charles Hodge. He never achieved the
benefited them. Then, both he and the              international recognition of Henry Ward
Philippian church could rejoice (vv. 17-18).       Beecher of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. But he
                                                   lived his faith in such a way that he
2:15    that you may prove yourselves to be        encouraged hundreds of people to trust and
        blameless and innocent, children of        serve Jesus Christ. Carter radiated the
        God above reproach in the midst of         Savior's love to children as well as to adults.
        a crooked and perverse generation,
        among whom you appear as lights            For example, a visitor asked some of the
        in the world,                              children in Carter's Sunday school if they
        so that you may become                     knew the Good Shepherd. "Oh, yes," they
        blameless and pure, children of            answered. "He's Pastor Peter Carter."
        God without fault in a crooked
        and depraved generation, in                Missionary-statesman Robert E. Speer said,
        which you shine like stars in the          "If all the reasoned arguments in support of
        universe                                   Christianity were destroyed, Peter Carter
        That ye may be blameless and               and the two or three men like him I have
        harmless, the sons of God, without         known would remain for me as its
        rebuke, in the midst of a crooked          impregnable basis and defense."
        and perverse nation, among whom
        ye shine as lights in the world;           Even if we think of ourselves as rather
                                                   ordinary believers, all of us can by God's
Matthew 5:45                                       grace be shining lights that "glorify [our]
In order that you may be sons of your Father       Father in heaven" and point people to the
who is in heave; for He causes His sun to          Savior (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16).
rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain      We too can be flesh-and-blood evidence
on the righteous and the unrighteous.              that the gospel is true.

Ephesians 5:1                                       God put us on earth to shine as lights,
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved                not to get used to the dark.
children;
                                                   Oswald Chambers
Ephesians 5:8                                      Is it possible to be blameless in our social
For you were formerly darkness, but now            lives? The apostle Paul says it is, and if we
you are light in the Lord; walk as children of     were asked whether we believed God could
light.                                             make us blameless, we would all say, yes.
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                                   PHILIPPIANS
                                               Chapter 2


Well, has He done it? If God has not                  We can also look to Jesus as our model of
sanctified us and made us blameless, there            humility. Although He had every right to hold
is only one reason why He has not; we do              on to His high position in heaven with God,
not want Him to. This is the will of God, your        He "made Himself of no reputation," the
sanctification. We do not have to urge God            apostle Paul wrote (v.7). He became not
to do it, it is His will; is it our will?             only a man but a servant. What a lowly
Sanctification is the work of the supernatural        position for the Creator of heaven and earth!
power of God.                                         Jesus is our example of genuine
                                                      servanthood, yet He is the brightest Star of
Beware of praising Jesus Christ while all the         the universe. As we become like Him, we
time you cunningly refuse to let the Spirit of        will be bright and shining stars, and people
God work His salvation efficaciously in your          will be drawn to Christ through our humble
life. Remember, the battle is in the will;            service.
whenever we say I can't, or whenever we
are indifferent, it means I won't. It is better to    Is your light shining brightly?
let Jesus Christ uncover the obstinacy. If
there is one point where we say I won't then               You can be too big for God to use,
we shall never know His salvation. From the                   but you can't be too small.
moment that God uncovers a point of
obstinacy in us and we refuse to let Him              Generation:
deal with it, we begin to be skeptical, to            The word is used here in the broadest
sneer and watch for defects in the lives of           sense, to depict lost mankind. Against the
others. But when we yield to Him entirely,            background of
He makes us blameless in our personal                 general human depravity God expects us to
lives, in our practical lives, and in our             shine like stars. If we expect to be effective
profound lives. It is not done by piety; it is        in holding out the word of life, we need to
wrought in us by the sovereign grace of               shine. It is the brightness of the Christian's
God, and we have not the slightest desire to          life that sheds light on the Gospel message
trust in ourselves in any degree, but in Him          we hold out for others to see.
alone.
                                                      Lights In The Darkness
Humble Stars                                          You shine as lights in the world, holding fast
You shine as lights in the world. --                  the word of life. --Philippians 2:15-16
Philippians 2:15
                                                      I once read about a woman who felt very
Our culture elevates certain people to the            much alone at her workplace because she
category of "star" because of their ability in        was the only Christian. She was often
sports, music, acting, or some other talent.          ridiculed for her faith and accused of being
The stars who are often appreciated and               narrow-minded. Finally she became so
loved the most, though, are those who                 discouraged that she considered quitting her
accept their popularity graciously and                job. Before doing that, however, she talked
maintain humility despite their greatness.            with her pastor. After listening to her
They are humble stars.                                complaints, the minister asked, "Where do
                                                      people usually put lights?" "In dark places,"
Followers of Christ are to be stars of another        she replied.
kind. Jesus said that He is "the light of the
world" (John 8:12). We too are to shine "as           She quickly recognized that her place of
lights in the world" by being "blameless and          work was indeed a "dark place" where "light"
harmless, children of God without fault"              was vitally needed. So she decided to stay
(Philippians 2:15). That's how we stand out           where she was and become a stronger
in the dark, sinful world around us.                  influence for Christ. It wasn't long before a
                                                      number of her fellow employees—13 of
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                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                              Chapter 2


them, in fact—came to know Christ as their           think that all we can do is practice our faith
Savior.                                              in the humdrum routines of everyday life.
                                                     But perhaps, unnoticed by us, we are having
As "lights in the world" (Philippians 2:15), we      an influence on the people around us by our
who are believers in Christ have the                 Christlike attitudes and actions.
privilege of illuminating its dark places.
Although we are not of the world, we are in          Let's not be concerned, then, about our
the world. We must not allow ourselves to            seeming lack of influence. Instead, do what
be shaped by its pressures; instead, we are          Jesus commanded: "Let your light so shine
to exert our influence on it.                        before men, that they may see your good
                                                     works and glorify your Father in heaven"
If you are in an unusually difficult and             (Matthew 5:16).
ungodly atmosphere, call to mind Christ's
words, "Let your light so shine before men"               Even the smallest light can make a
(Matthew 5:16). Remember, it's the dark                     difference in the darkest night.
places that need the light.
                                                     Pilot Lights
To lead others out of the darkness of sin,           You shine as lights in the world, holding fast
         let them see your light.                    the word of life. --Philippians 2:15-16

C. H. Spurgeon                                       In 1982, a London pastor watched as a man
So that men cannot rebuke you, and will              stood on the church steps and witnessed to
have to invent a lie before they can do it;          passersby about Jesus. The pastor had
and even then the falsehood is too palpable          never seen anything like it. He admitted that
to have any force in it: ―without rebuke.‖           before that day he had considered himself
                                                     an evangelist because he preached
The Power Of Light                                   evangelistic sermons. But that night a fire
You shine as lights in the world. --                 was kindled in his heart. He promised God
Philippians 2:15                                     he would begin talking to people outside his
                                                     church as well as inside.
Some of us may not especially enjoy poetry.
But often a few lines of verse will grip our         The pastor invited members of the church to
imagination, as do the following by Francis          join him, and the weekly venture became
Thompson: "The innocent moon, which                  known as Pilot Lights. Just as a pilot light
nothing does but shine, moves all the                stays lit and ready to be used, members of
laboring surges of the world."                       the Pilot Lights commit themselves to be
                                                     faithful to God and available for Him to use
The moon is nearly 240,000 miles from                to tell others about Christ. After a time of
Earth and is only 1/400th the size of the sun.       training and prayer, they walk the sidewalks
With no light or heat of its own, it reflects the    near the church every Saturday morning,
radiance of that greater heavenly body. It           talking with people about Jesus.
appears to be relatively insignificant. Yet,
the moon quietly and almost imperceptibly            Our churches are to be places of wonderful
moves the oceans of the world by its                 friendship and support. But perhaps, like the
gravitational pull.                                  pastor in London, we need to raise our eyes
                                                     to see people just beyond the walls of our
Most of us may not seem all that influential         traditional practice. It's important to share
or well-known. We don't have the                     the glow of worship together, but the
giftedness, the wealth, or the position to           sidewalks of life are filled with people who
make much of an impact on our society. Our           need to see the light of Christ shining
names don't appear in the newspaper, nor             through us (Phil. 2:15).
are they mentioned on television. We may
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                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                             Chapter 2


Let's step outside and be "pilot lights"            crooked and perverse generation, much
burning with God's love today.                      more would come of it. But now we are
                                                    advised to ―keep abreast of the times,‖ and
           A world in darkness                      to ―catch the spirit of the age.‖ If I could ever
       needs the light of the gospel.               catch that spirit, I would hurl it into the
                                                    bottomless abyss; for it is a spirit that is
C.H. Spurgeon                                       antagonistic to Christ in all respects. We are
We use the lights to make manifest. A               just to keep clear of all that, and ―shine as
Christian man should so shine in his life, that     lights in the world.‖
a person couldn‘t live with him a week
without      knowing      the     gospel.   His     6 Results of Obedience:
conversation should be such that all who are            Blameless before God.
about him should clearly perceive whose he              Harmless to men.
is, and whom he serves; and should see the              The sons of God.
image of Jesus reflected in his daily actions.          Without rebuke by man.
Lights are intended for guidance. We are to             Shine as lights.
help those around us who are in the dark.               Hold forth the Word of Life.
We are to hold forth to them the Word of life.
We are to point sinners to the Savior, and          Children of God
the weary to a divine resting-place. Men            Matthew 5:9
sometimes read their Bibles, and fail to            Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall
understand them; we should be ready, like           be called sons of God.
Philip, to instruct the inquirer in the meaning
of God's Word, the way of salvation, and the        Luke 20:36
life of godliness.                                  For neither can they die anymore, for they
                                                    are like angels, and are sons of God, being
Lights are also used for warning. On our            sons of the resurrection.
rocks and shoals a lighthouse is sure to be
erected. Christian men should know that             Romans 8:16
there are many false lights shown                   The Spirit Himself bears witness with our
everywhere in the world, and therefore the          spirit that we are children of God.
right light is needed. The wreckers of Satan
are always abroad, tempting the ungodly to          Romans 9:26
sin under the name of pleasure; they hoist          And it shall be that in the place where it was
the wrong light, be it ours to put up the true      said to them, "You are not My people, there
light upon every dangerous rock, to point out       they shall be called sons of the living God.
every sin, and tell what it leads to, that so
we may be clear of the blood of all men,            1 John 3:10
shining as lights in the world. Lights also         By this the children of God and the children
have a very cheering influence, and so have         of the devil are obvious; anyone who does
Christians. A Christian ought to be a               not practice righteousness is not of God, nor
comforter, with kind words on his lips, and         the one who does not love his brother.
sympathy in his heart; he should carry
sunshine wherever he goes, and diffuse              Finding Our Way Home
happiness around him.                               . . . you shine as lights in the world. —
                                                    Philippians 2:15
C. H. Spurgeon
You cannot straighten them; but you can             Author Anne Lamott tells about a 7-year-old
shine. They would destroy you if they could;        girl who got lost in a big city. The girl
but all you have to do is to shine. If Christian    frantically ran up and down several streets,
men would give more attention to their              looking for a familiar landmark. A policeman
shining, and pay less attention to the
                                                                                                  47
                                 PHILIPPIANS
                                            Chapter 2


saw the girl, realized something was wrong,        God‘s ministers cannot bear the thought of
and offered to help. So she got in the car         having labored in vain; and yet if some of us
and he slowly drove through nearby                 were to die, what would remain of all we
neighborhoods. Suddenly the girl pointed to        have done? I charge you, brethren, to think
a church and asked the policeman to let her        of what your life-work has been hitherto. Will
out. She assured him, "This is my church,          it remain? Will it abide? Will it stand the test
and I can always find my way home from             of your own departure? Ah, if you have any
here."                                             fear about it, you may well go to God in
                                                   prayer, and cry, ―Establish thou the work of
Many people think the church is an archaic         our hands upon us; yea, the work of our
institution, no longer relevant in our modern      hands, establish thou it.‖ Paul cared much
world. Yet I am convinced that a church that       about God‘s work; but he did not trouble
faithfully teaches the Bible and proclaims the     about himself.
good news of salvation through Christ
provides exactly what we all need to "find         2:17    But even if I am being poured out as
our way home."                                             a drink offering upon the sacrifice
                                                           and service of your faith, I rejoice
When our churches are fulfilling their God-                and share my joy with you all.
given function, believers humbly serve and                 But even if I am being poured out
care for one another, encouraging each                     like a drink offering on the
other to follow Christ's example (Philippians              sacrifice and service coming from
2:1-11). Those groups of believers, by their               your faith, I am glad and rejoice
words and lives, also point a lost world to                with all of you.
Jesus. They serve "as lights in the world,                 Yea, and if I be offered upon the
holding fast the word of life" (vv.15-16).                 sacrifice and service of your faith, I
                                                           joy, and rejoice with you all.
A church that teaches the truth about Christ
is not only relevant but desperately needed        2 Timothy 4:6
in our world. It can help people of all ages to    For I am already being poured out as a drink
find their way home.                               offering, and the time of my departure has
                                                   come.
A church helps the lost to find their way
  home when its light shines brightly.             Romans 15:16
                                                   To be a minister of Christ Jesus to the
2:16    holding fast the word of life, so that     Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel
        in the day of Christ I may have            of God, that my offering of the Gentiles
        cause to glory because I did not run       might become acceptable, sanctified by the
        in vain nor toil in vain.                  Holy Spirit.
        as you hold out the word of life--
        in order that I may boast on the           Colossians 1:24
        day of Christ that I did not run or        Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,
        labor for nothing.                         and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of
        Holding forth the word of life; that I     His body (which is the church) in filing up
        may rejoice in the day of Christ, that     that which is lacking in Christ's afflictions.
        I have not run in vain, neither
        labored in vain.                           2:17 The drink offering was an important
                                                   part of the sacrificial system of the Jews (for
C. H. Spurgeon                                     an explanation, see Numbers 28:7).
You are to hold forth the Word of life as men      Because this church had little Jewish
hold forth a torch. Your shining is largely to     background, the drink offering may refer to
consist in holding forth the Word of life.         the wine poured out to pagan deities prior to
                                                   important public events. Paul regarded his
                                                                                               48
                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                              Chapter 2


life as a sacrifice.                                         Glad Apostle

2:17 Even if he had to die, Paul was                 Oswald Chambers
content, knowing that he had helped the              Are you willing to be offered for the work of
Philippians live for Christ. When you‘re             the faithful; to pour out your life blood as a
totally committed to serving Christ,                 libation on the sacrifice of the faith of
sacrificing to build the faith of others brings a    others? Or do you say; I am not going to be
joyous reward.                                       offered up just yet, I do not want God to
                                                     choose my work. I want to choose the
C. H. Spurgeon                                       scenery of my own sacrifice; I want to have
If he might be poured forth as a drink-              the right kind of people watching and saying,
offering on their behalf, or offered up as a         'Well done.'
whole burnt-offering in the service of the
Savior, he would be glad. He could not bear          It is one thing to go on the lonely way with
to have lived in vain; but to spend his life for     dignified heroism, but quite another thing if
the glory of his Lord, would be ever a joy to        the line mapped out for you by God means
him.                                                 being a door-mat under other people's feet.
                                                     Suppose God wants to teach you to say, I
John MacArthur Jr.                                   know how to be abased; are you ready to be
American society is breeding a generation of         offered up like that? Are you ready to be not
Christians who primarily want to be                  so much as a drop in a bucket; to be so
successful. Seldom do they have a humble             hopelessly insignificant that you are never
attitude of service. They are unwilling to           thought of again in connection with the life
make sacrifices for the cause of Christ              seeking to be ministered unto, but to
because they have been taught, whether               minister? Some saints cannot do menial
verbally or not, that Christians should be           work and remain saints because it is
rich, famous, successful, and popular.               beneath their dignity.

Such an orientation toward personal                  Self-Sacrifice
success rather than humble service is the            Matthew 16:25
opposite of what glorifies God. Living for the       For whoever wishes to save his life shall
glory of God means knowing you are                   lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake
expendable and being ready to die, if                shall find it.
necessary, to accomplish God‘s ends. Such
a humble attitude glorifies God.                     Matthew 19:21
                                                     Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be
To grow spiritually, we must lose ourselves          complete, go and sell your possessions and
in the lordship of Christ at the moment of           give to the poor, and you shall have treasure
salvation and allow Him to dominate our              in heaven; and come, follow Me."
lives from then on. In doing so, we must
seek only His glory—not our own comfort              Romans 14:21
and success. We will not grow when we                It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or
choose our own way or serve God with the             to do anything by which your brother
wrong motive.                                        stumbles.
Glad People:
                                                     1 Corinthians 10:24
    Glad Sinner                                     Let no one seek his own good, but that of
    Glad Shepherd                                   his neighbor.
    Glad Father
    Glad Receiver                                   Philippians 2:4
    Glad Anticipator                                Do not merely look out for your own
    Glad Disciple
                                                                                                 49
                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                             Chapter 2


personal interests, but also for the interests      ___________________________________
of others.                                          ___________________________________
                                                    ___________________________________
2:18    And you too, I urge you, rejoice in         ___________________________________
        the same way and share your joy             ___________________________________
        with me.                                    ___________________________________
        So you too should be glad and
        rejoice with me.                            03. What is the most frequent complaint you
        For the same cause also do ye joy,          hear?
        and rejoice with me.                        ___________________________________
                                                    ___________________________________
C. H. Spurgeon                                      ___________________________________
To live and to die for Jesus Christ, with the       ___________________________________
blessing of the Father resting upon us, is a        ___________________________________
matter for us to joy in unitedly and                ___________________________________
continually. God help us so to do!
                                                    04. Who pointed the way for you in your first
Glad People:                                        job?
    Glad Sinner                                    ___________________________________
    Glad Shepherd                                  ___________________________________
    Glad Father                                    ___________________________________
    Glad Receiver                                  ___________________________________
    Glad Anticipator                               ___________________________________
    Glad Disciple                                  ___________________________________
    Glad Apostle
                                                    EXPLORE IT
New Heart, Not New Body
Dwight L. Moody says: "I believe that God           05. What did the Philippian Christians need
forgives sin fully and freely for Christ's sake;    to obey? (2:12)
but He allows certain penalties to remain. If       ___________________________________
a man has wasted years in debauchery, he            ___________________________________
can never hope to live them over again. If he       ___________________________________
has violated his conscience, the scars will         ___________________________________
remain through life. As Talmage says, 'The          ___________________________________
grace of God gives a new heart, but not a           ___________________________________
new body.' "
                                                    06. What were the Philippian believers to
                                                    work out? (2:12-13)
OPEN IT                                             ___________________________________
                                                    ___________________________________
01. Would you prefer to explore the universe        ___________________________________
aboard a spacecraft or looking through a            ___________________________________
powerful telescope? Why?                            ___________________________________
___________________________________                 ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________                 07. How would God help the Philippians
___________________________________                 obey Him? (2:12-13)
___________________________________                 ___________________________________
___________________________________                 ___________________________________
                                                    ___________________________________
02. What do you most enjoy about the                ___________________________________
nighttime sky?                                      ___________________________________
                                                                                        50
                               PHILIPPIANS
                                          Chapter 2


___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
08. What instructions did Paul give in           ___________________________________
relation to everyday Christian living? (2:14-    ___________________________________
16)
___________________________________              14. How did Paul view the faith of the
___________________________________              Philippian believers? (2:17)
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
09. Why were the Philippians not shining         ___________________________________
"like stars" in their world? (2:14-16)
___________________________________              15. What did Paul want his friends at Philippi
___________________________________              to experience? (2:18)
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
10. Why did the Philippian assembly need to      ___________________________________
show a united front to unbelievers? (2:14-
16)                                              GET IT
___________________________________
___________________________________              16. What does it mean "to work out your
___________________________________              salvation with fear and trembling"?
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
11. What would enable Paul to boast about        ___________________________________
the Philippians? (2:14-16)                       ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________              17. What do you tend to complain and argue
___________________________________              about?
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
12. Whose honor was Paul concerned               ___________________________________
about? (2:16)                                    ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________              18. What godly qualities make Christians
___________________________________              "shine like stars"?
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
                                                 ___________________________________
13. How did Paul view his own life? (2:17)       ___________________________________
___________________________________              ___________________________________
___________________________________
                                                                                            51
                               PHILIPPIANS
                                         Chapter 2


19. How does shining for Christ encourage       ___________________________________
others to be drawn to Him?                      ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________             2:19    But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send
                                                        Timothy to you shortly, so that I also
20. What Christian leader has personally                may be encouraged when I learn of
invested in your growth as a follower of                your condition.
Christ?                                                 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send
___________________________________                     Timothy to you soon, that I also
___________________________________                     may be cheered when I receive
___________________________________                     news about you.
___________________________________                     But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send
___________________________________                     Timotheus shortly unto you, that I
___________________________________                     also may be of good comfort, when I
                                                        know your state.
21. How can you help new believers "shine
like stars" for God's kingdom?                  Romans 16:21
___________________________________             Timothy my fellow worker greets you, and so
___________________________________             do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my
___________________________________             kinsmen.
___________________________________
___________________________________             2:19 Timothy was with Paul in Rome when
___________________________________             Paul wrote this letter. He traveled with Paul
                                                on his second missionary journey when the
APPLY IT                                        church at Philippi was begun. For more
                                                information on Timothy, see his Profile.
22. In what situations this week do you need
to make a conscious effort not to complain      TODAY IN THE WORD
or argue?                                       John Maxwell is a former pastor in California
___________________________________             who since 1995 has focused full-time on
___________________________________             leadership development through books,
___________________________________             tapes, and an institute, Injoy, Inc.
___________________________________
___________________________________             Mentoring and discipling leaders takes
___________________________________             personal risk and energy. As Maxwell told
                                                Leadership magazine: ―The future of our
23. Before whom do you want to shine in         ministry and our churches depends on
your place of work or neighborhood? In what     developing others to lead . . . When you
ways can you do so?                             understand that leadership is influence
___________________________________             instead of position, that changes everything.
___________________________________             You don‘t strive to be a leader; you strive to
___________________________________             add value to people.‖
___________________________________
___________________________________             Paul had this same attitude toward Timothy.
___________________________________             He was as a transparent, heart-sharing
                                                father teaching his spiritual son not systems
24. What sacrifices can you make for the        or methods but godly character and passion.
sake of others today?                           He hoped to send Timothy to Philippi soon
                                                                                           52
                                 PHILIPPIANS
                                            Chapter 2


(vv. 19, 23), indicating that they were at that    doing the Lord's work, as I also am.
time together in Rome. Probably Timothy
had been helping the apostle and                   Matthew 22:5
evangelizing in that great city. But instead of    But they paid no attention and went their
keeping Timothy for himself, Paul planned to       way, one to his own farm, another to his
send him to minister to and return with news       business.
of his beloved Philippians.
                                                   Matthew 24:12
Timothy was personally known to these              And because lawlessness is increased,
believers, as he had been with Paul on both        most people's love will grow cold.
of his recorded visits to the city. That‘s why
Paul could say that they knew ―that Timothy        A Great Coach
has proved himself . . . in the work of the        I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely
gospel‖ (v. 22). The fact that Paul would          care for your state. —Philippians 2:20
send a close, valuable companion no doubt
spoke volumes to the Philippians about his         Although Billy Connors was not a great
love for them.                                     athlete himself, many people consider him to
                                                   be the best pitching coach in major league
Paul had specially recruited Timothy for           baseball today. New York Yankees manager
missionary work (Acts 16:1-3). The                 Joe Torre said: ―Sometimes the best players
relationship between them was like father          can‘t coach, because they were such
and son, as may also be seen from the two          naturals . . . whereas guys like Billy had to
New Testament epistles Paul wrote to               work at it, and pay attention to all the little
Timothy. Timothy shared the apostle‘s heart        things.‖
for the gospel and for this particular church.
Paul wanted the Philippians to know that           Connors also knows and cares about the
Timothy represented him. He was unable to          men he coaches. All of them have been to
visit them, but remained confident that he         his home for a meal. His genuine concern
would be vindicated and released soon              opens their ears to what he has to say.
(Phil. 2:24).
                                                   This account of a caring and competent
Illustration                                       coach made me think of Timothy in the New
      Father a Greek                              Testament. Though at times he seemed
      Mother a godly woman                        timid and fearful (2 Timothy 1:6-8), Paul
      Trained early in the Scriptures             considered him proven and dependable in
      Circumcised by Paul                         guiding others. The apostle wrote, ―I trust in
      Became Paul's assistant                     the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you . . . .
      Wrote two epistles                          For I have no one like-minded, who will
                                                   sincerely care for your state‖ (Philippians
2:20    For I have no one else of kindred          2:19-20).
        spirit who will genuinely be
        concerned for your welfare.                Spiritual coaching is not just telling people
        I have no one else like him, who           how to accomplish great things for God. It
        takes a genuine interest in your           begins with caring for them and earning the
        welfare.                                   right to be heard. Then, with a keen eye and
        For I have no man like-minded, who         a kind word, we can encourage others in the
        will naturally care for your state.        way of faith.

1 Corinthians 16:10                                Any Christian can become a great spiritual
Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with          coach by the grace of God.
you without cause to be afraid; for he is
                                                          Genuine concern for others
                                                                                               53
                                PHILIPPIANS
                                            Chapter 2


  is the mark of a great spiritual coach.                  interests, not those of Christ Jesus.
                                                           For everyone looks out for his
Indifference                                               own interests, not those of Jesus
Amos 6:1                                                   Christ.
Therefore be on the alert remembering that                 For all seek their own, not the things
night and day for a period of three years I                which are Jesus Christ's.
did not cease to admonish each one with
tears.                                             2:21 Paul observed that most believers are
                                                   too preoccupied with their own needs to
Who Cares?                                         spend time working for Christ. Don‘t let your
I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely      schedule and concerns crowd out your
care for your state. --Philippians 2:20            Christian service to and love for others.

A political leader, summing up the                 Albert Barnes
brokenness of our time, talked about a             How many professing Christians in our cities
"Humpty-Dumpty world." The intriguing              and towns are there now who would be
phrase takes us back to a childhood nursery        willing to leave their comfortable homes and
rhyme:                                             go on embassy duty to Philippi as Timothy
                                                   did? How many are there who would not
        Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;               ‗seek their own‘ rather than the things which
       Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.             pertained to the kingdom of Jesus Christ?
 All the king's horses and all the king's men      Paul implies here that it is the duty of those
couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.         who profess faith to seek the things which
                                                   pertain to the kingdom of the Redeemer, to
The message of that old rhyme is true to life.     make that the great and leading object of
Man is broken and needs to be put together         their lives. There are few Christians who
again. The Creator of the universe cares           deny themselves much to promote the
about our situation and has taken steps to         kingdom of the Redeemer. People live for
restore us to wholeness. He came into the          their own ease, for their families, for their
world in the person of Jesus Christ, and He        business: as if a Christian could have
fashioned the church as His body so that the       anything which he has a right to pursue, and
members should "care for one another" (1           without regard to God‘s will and glory.
Corinthians 12:25). Timothy demonstrated
that kind of care for Paul, and for other          Devotional
believers (Philippians 2:18-22).                   What is often behind the anxious attempts to
                                                   solve our problems is a self-life and flesh
Caring is as basic as giving money to help         that    is chronically dissatisfied     with
destitute Christians or looking after aged         everything. It is only occupied with its
parents; as simple as being patient and kind       preferences, desires, and self-centeredness.
or visiting widows and orphans in distress;        Paul alludes to this in Philippians 2:19-21:
as obvious as paying a just wage to                "But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send
employees; or as unspectacular as giving a         Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be
cup of cool water to someone who thirsts.          encouraged when I know your state. For I
That's how our Savior would have us care           have no one like-souled, who will genuinely
for broken people in our Humpty-Dumpty             care for your state. For all seek their own
world.                                             things, not the things which are of Christ
                                                   Jesus." We can be one of two kinds of
Are we letting Jesus care through us?              persons - one who seeks his own things,
                                                   including being centered on solving our
  If you really care, you'll want to share.        problems for the sake of self, or one who
                                                   seeks the things of Christ.
2:21    For they all seek after their own
                                                                                              54
                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                              Chapter 2


A supplied mind asks, Where is Christ in                      the commercial."
this? What is Christ in this? What is my                     "Because I am not very good in
portion of the Lord in this? The more there is                arithmetic, he gave me a small
the supply of the Spirit to the mind, the more                adding machine. But it is not very
our attitude, thinking, disposition, inclination,             good at arithmetic, either."
tendencies, even our reactions, are reduced                  "My pop is willing to help with the
to one thing - to gain Christ. This is a mind-                housework, although he complains
set that is furnished and produced in us by                   about it a little—quite abit, really. In
the inner operation of God (Phil. 2:12-13). It                fact, he hollers. Well, to tell the truth,
is the mind-set to experience Christ, rather                  he won't do no housework at all!"
than a mind-set to solve problems. We all                    "My pop's tops! One time he took
have problems. We all encounter problems.                     me to the lake and threw me in to
We will never get away from problems.                         see whether I could swim. I couldn't.
However, we may be "otherwise minded" in                      My pop saved my life."
our problems. That is, we may not be                         "My pop is a farmer. He smells like a
pursuing Christ in some areas of our life. Yet                cow. And when I come in and smell
Paul assures us in Philippians 3:15 that God                  a cow in the house, I know my pop
will reveal even this to us. Thank God for His                is home, and I'm glad."
condescending mercy. He meets us right
where we are.                                        Sometimes it's useful to catch a glimpse of
                                                     dad through the eyes of a son or a daughter.
2:22    But you know of his proven worth             We all need to remember that our daily lives
        that he served with me in the                are making an impression on those around
        furtherance of the gospel like a child       us, and a child's remark often stabs us
        serving his father.                          awake to our responsibility.
        But you know that Timothy has
        proved himself, because as a son
                                                     2:23     Therefore I hope to send him
        with his father he has served with
                                                              immediately, as soon as I see how
        me in the work of the gospel.
                                                              things go with me;
        But ye know the proof of him, that,
                                                              I hope, therefore, to send him as
        as a son with the father, he hath                     soon as I see how things go with
        served with me in the gospel.                         me.
                                                              Him therefore I hope to send
2:22 Just as a skilled workman trains an
                                                              presently, so soon as I shall see
apprentice, Paul was preparing Timothy to                     how it will go with me.
carry on the ministry in his absence. Who
are you apprenticing for God‘s work? For             2:23 Paul was in prison (either awaiting his
more information, see Timothy‘s Profile.
                                                     trial or its verdict) for preaching about Christ.
                                                     He was telling the Philippians that when he
Excerpts On "My Dad's Tops!"
                                                     learned of the court‘s decision, he would
A few years ago a Milwaukee newspaper
                                                     send Timothy to them with the news and
invited young readers to submit short essays         that he was ready to accept whatever came
on the theme "My Pop's Tops!" and                    (Phil. 1:21-26).
published in the paper on Father's Day.
                                                     2:24     and I trust in the Lord that I myself
Here are some excerpts:
                                                              also shall be coming shortly.
    "My pop's tops. He lets me hoe the                       And I am confident in the Lord
        garden, even when I don't want to."                   that I myself will come soon.
    "The first time he took me to church,                    But I trust in the Lord that I also
        he was so afraid I would make a riot                  myself shall come shortly.
        that he sweat all the way through

                                                                                                      55
                                 PHILIPPIANS
                                            Chapter 2


Trust And OK                                       population, seven of the fifty states have the
I rather like the small boy's version of the       minimum      number     of     representatives
hymn, "Trust and Obey," when he said that          possible: just one. The seven smallest-
at Sunday school they had been singing             population states are Alaska, Delaware,
"Trust and O. K." Good! Everything must be         Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota,
O. K. if the life has been committed to His        Vermont, and Wyoming.
precious keeping. There is no other way.
                                                   If you can have only one representative, you
2:25    But I thought it necessary to send to      definitely want to select the right person!
        you Epaphroditus, my brother and           Paul certainly got the right person when he
        fellow worker and fellow soldier,          chose Epaphroditus as his representative to
        who is also your messenger and             and co-work Erin the church at Philippi. This
        minister to my need;                       diligent man is mentioned only in today‘s
        But I think it is necessary to send        text and in Philippians 4:18, but what a
        back to you Epaphroditus, my               ringing― endorsement‖ Paul gave him!
        brother, fellow worker and fellow
        soldier, who is also your                  Epaphroditus was a ―brother,‖ ―fellow
        messenger, whom you sent to                worker,‖ and ―fellow soldier‖ to Paul. The
        take care of my needs.                     apostle wasn‘t the type to throw
        Yet I supposed it necessary to send        compliments around lightly, so these terms
        to you Epaphroditus, my brother,           ought to make us stop to take a closer look
        and companion in labor, and fellow         at this remarkable disciple.
        soldier, but your messenger, and he
        that ministered to my wants.               Paul‘s    sense     of   brotherhood      with
                                                   Epaphroditus suggests a warm affection for
Philippians 4:18                                   him. The two men also shared a passion as
But I have received everything in full, and        fellow workers for the ministry of the gospel.
have an abundance; I am amply supplied,            Calling Epaphroditus a ―fellow soldier‖ may
having received from Epaphroditus what you         have been Paul‘s highest tribute, for it meant
have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable         that Epaphroditus was able to endure the
sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.                   same kind of hardship in ministry endured
                                                   (see 2 Tim. 2:3).
Philemon 2
And to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus         Paul was in prison, probably in Rome, when
our fellow soldier, and to the church in your      the church at Philippi sent Epaphroditus to
house;                                             the apostle with their gift of support. While
                                                   with Paul, Epaphroditus became almost
2:25 Epaphroditus delivered money from the         fatally sick. God spared his life, to the delight
Philippians to Paul; then he returned with         of Paul and Epaphroditus‘ fellow believers
this thank-you letter to Philippi. Epaphroditus    back in Philippi.
may have been an elder in Philippi (Phil.
2:25-30; Phil. 4:18) who, while staying with       7 Facts Regarding Epaphroditus
Paul, became ill (Phil. 2:27, 30). After                A brother in Christ.
Epaphroditus recovered, he returned home.               Companion in labor.
He is mentioned only in Philippians.                    Fellow soldier.
                                                        Your messenger.
TODAY IN THE WORD                                       Minister.
The U.S. House of Representatives is made               Physical breakdown.
up of four hundred and thirty-five members;             Was healed.
but all states are not represented equally.
Since House seats are allotted based on            True Friendship
                                                                                                 56
                                PHILIPPIANS
                                           Chapter 2


1 Samuel 18:1                                     Epaphroditus back to the Philippians. They
Now it came about when he had finished            had been worried because of his sickness.
speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan       He also had been anxious, knowing that
loved him as himself.                             they were worried. And Paul had been
                                                  troubled that a mission of love and care
2 Samuel 15:37                                    might have been the cause of sorrow and
St Hushai, David's friend, came into the city,    grief. He was not speaking of sinful anxiety
and Absalom came into Jerusalem.                  or worry (cf. Phil. 4:6), but of natural human
                                                  anxiety prompted by the emotions and close
1 Kings 5:1                                       relationships involved. After all, Christians
Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to       are not stoics!
Solomon, when he heard that they had
anointed him king in place of his father, for     The Philippians were told to esteem
Hiram had always been a friend of David.          Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:29), who may very well
                                                  have been the original bearer of this letter. If
2 Corinthians 2:13                                so, they could have immediately obeyed the
I had no rest for my spirit, not finding Titus    instructions to rejoice and honor him.
by brother, but taking my leave of them, I
went on to Macedonia.                             2:26    because he was longing for you all
                                                          and was distressed because you
TODAY IN THE WORD                                         had heard that he was sick.
Edward Kimball is a name you should know.                 For he longs for all of you and is
One day in Boston, Kimball passed the shoe                distressed because you heard he
store where one of his Sunday School                      was ill.
students worked. He wanted to share the                   For he longed after you all, and was
gospel with him, but wasn‘t sure if he should             full of heaviness, because that ye
bother him during working hours.                          had heard that he had been sick.

He decided to enter the store. Despite what       Philippians 1:8
Kimball thought was a weak gospel                 For God is my witness, how I long for you all
presentation, that young shoe salesman            with the affection of Christ Jesus.
trusted Christ. His name was D. L. Moody,
the great evangelist and founder of Moody         Difficult Passage
Bible Institute.                                  Some have identified Epaphroditus here
                                                  with Epaphras in the Epistle to the
Because Edward Kimball shared the gospel          Colossians. Here he is represented as
with one man, D. L. Moody preached Christ         sorrowful, even to agony, because his
to tens of millions of people! That qualifies     friends had heard of his illness, and he
Kimball as an ―unsung hero‖--a hidden part        would have wished that no one should be
of a spectacular work of God.                     burdened on his account. But in the other
                                                  epistle he is represented as always striving
Epaphroditus is another such ―unsung hero,‖       for the saints in prayer. It is very beautiful to
earning high praise from the apostle Paul in      discover his unwillingness to have his
today‘s reading. He had been sent to              sickness published. When we are in trouble
minister to Paul as a personal representative     it is best not to speak much of it, save to
from the church in Philippi. In Rome, he had      God. Only inexperienced suffered are
fallen seriously ill and nearly died. Paul put    voluble; those familiar with the secrets of
death in this case on a par with a martyr‘s       anguish are silent. Let us anoint the head,
death (v. 30), since Epaphroditus would           and wash the face, that we may no appear
have died ―in the line of duty.‖                  unto men to fast, but to the Father who is in
                                                  secret; and our Father who seeth in secret
But now Paul was glad to be able to send          will Himself reward openly. The Comforter
                                                                                                57
                                  PHILIPPIANS
                                             Chapter 2


will draw close, will whisper his own               The first stage is denial. Here the patient is
consolations, and amid much sorrow we               unwilling to accept his fate and the nature of
shall be calm and strong.                           his predicament.

But with Epaphras there was probably                When physical indications make denial no
another thought. He knew that the                   longer possible the patient moves into the
Philippians were bearing a very heavy load          second stage, that of anger. He becomes
of sorrow. It was a hard and difficult fight for    angry for no apparent reason with his
them, as for him. And with much generosity          doctor, his friends, his family, and the
he was most unwilling that the news of his          nurses.
illness should add a feather-weight to their
grief. This eagerness to conceal pain, lest it      Following this comes the stage of
should add sorrow to those who already              bargaining. Dr. Ross explained here the
have almost as much as they can bear, is            patient bargains to stave off the inevitable by
very characteristic of noble souls. And we          promising to "live for God," go to church,
may quote here Robert Hall's words, on              give his body to medical science, or some
recovering from a keen paroxysm of                  other futile means. Yet, the bargaining is
anguish: I have not complained, have I, sir?        little more than a temporary respite in the
No, and I will not complain. How much of            progress toward dying.
God's strength and comfort we miss in our
incessant endeavor to secure the support            The fourth and most difficult stage is that of
which notoriety for pain and privation may          increasing depression. The patient finally
bring from our fellows!                             realizes what is happening to him and enters
                                                    a time when he is actually grieving for his
2:27    For indeed he was sick to the point         own demise. It is a trying time for both
        of death, but God had mercy on              patient and loved ones.
        him, and not on him only but also on
        me, lest I should have sorrow upon          However, Dr. Ross says, this is followed by
        sorrow.                                     the fifth and final stage, and that is
        Indeed he was ill, and almost               acceptance. Then, even though the smallest
        died. But God had mercy on him,             glimmer of hope will remain, he is ready to
        and not on him only but also on             die.
        me, to spare me sorrow upon
        sorrow.                                     An interesting note of this study was that if
        For indeed he was sick nigh unto            the patient is interrupted in any phase of this
        death: but God had mercy on him;            circle of suffering, he merely prolongs his
        and not on him only, but on me also,        agony. Therefore, Dr. Ross suggests
        lest I should have sorrow upon              ministers and doctors should understand
        sorrow.                                     these basic cycles; and rather than merely
                                                    trying to cheer up the terminally ill, minister
5 Stages In Facing Death                            to their particular needs at that particular
Several years ago a profound and dramatic           time.
research project began in Chicago's Billings
Hospital. It was a seminar on death, in which       2:28    Therefore I have sent him all the
psychiatists, chaplains, nurses, and medical                more eagerly in order that when you
doctors studied the ultimate human crisis of                see him again you may rejoice and I
facing death.                                               may be less concerned about you.
                                                            Therefore I am all the more eager
Basic findings is that the very ill proceed                 to send him, so that when you
through five emotional stages on their way                  see him again you may be glad
to death—                                                   and I may have less anxiety.

                                                                                                58
                                 PHILIPPIANS
                                             Chapter 2


        I sent him therefore the more                       complete what was deficient in your
        carefully, that, when ye see him                    service to me.
        again, ye may rejoice, and that I                   because he almost died for the
        may be the less sorrowful.                          work of Christ, risking his life to
                                                            make up for the help you could
2:29    Therefore receive him in the Lord                   not give me.
        with all joy, and hold men like him in              Because for the work of Christ he
        high regard;                                        was nigh unto death, not regarding
        Welcome him in the Lord with                        his life, to supply your lack of
        great joy, and honor men like                       service toward me
        him,
        Receive him therefore in the Lord           Introductions
        with all gladness; and hold such in         For the work of Christ he came close to
        reputation:                                 death, not regarding his life, to supply what
                                                    was lacking in your service toward me. —
2:29-30 The world honors those who are              Philippians 2:30
intelligent, beautiful, rich, and powerful.
What kind of people should the church               I thought it was a misprint when the
honor? Paul indicates that we should honor          schedule at a Christian men's conference
those who give their lives for the sake of          noted 2 1/2 hours for introductions. But the
Christ, going where we cannot go ourselves.         time was correct and it turned out to be the
Our missionaries do that for us today by            most meaningful part of the weekend for me.
providing ministry where we are not able to         Instead of giving our own names, jobs, and
go.                                                 family information, each man introduced
                                                    someone else. Some presented longtime
Anatomy Of Fear                                     friends, and others told about someone they
In spite of what they say, 90% of the chronic       had met only the night before. Every
patients who see today's physicians have            introduction was an affirmation, with special
one common symptom. Their trouble did not           attention given to the uniqueness and value
start with cough or chest pain or                   of each individual.
hyperacidity. In 90% of the cases, the first
symptom was fear.                                   The apostle Paul was a great "introducer"
                                                    who spoke highly of his colleagues in the
This is the opinion of a well-known American        faith and ministry. His letters are dotted with
internist as expressed in a roundtable              the names of men and women to whom and
discussion on psychosomatic medicine. This          for whom he was deeply grateful. He
is also the consensus of a growing body of          affirmed Timothy as a person of proven
specialists. Fear of losing a job, of old age,      character, who "as a son with his father" had
of being exposed—sooner or later this fear          served him in the gospel (Philippians 2:22).
manifests itself as "a clinical symptom."           He also praised Epaphroditus, who almost
                                                    died because of his unselfish devotion to
Sometimes the fear is nothing more than a           Christ and his service to others (v.30).
superficial anxiety; sometimes it is so deep-
seated that the patient himself denies its          In a world dominated by put-downs, let's
existence and makes the round of doctor to          resolve to master the art of building others
doctor,     taking    injections,  hormones,        up by what we say to them and about them.
tranquilizers and tonics in an endless search       Such "introductions" can be one of the most
for relief.                                         important things we do each day.

2:30    because he came close to death for                   Our day's work isn't done
        the work of Christ, risking his life to             until we build up someone.

                                                                                                59
                                PHILIPPIANS
                                           Chapter 2


True Sacrifice                                    ___________________________________
For the work of Christ [Epaphroditus] came
close to death, not regarding his life. —         02. If close friends were to talk about you
Philippians 2:30                                  behind your back, what would they say?
                                                  ___________________________________
Teenagers amaze me. So many of them               ___________________________________
love life with grand passion and face it with     ___________________________________
unrelenting optimism. Sometimes they              ___________________________________
demonstrate the Christian life in ways adults     ___________________________________
can only hope to emulate.                         ___________________________________

Such is the case with Carissa, a teen who         EXPLORE IT
loves soccer, basketball, friends, family, and
Jesus. In 2000, her mother was diagnosed          03. Why did Paul plan to send Timothy to
with cancer. Carissa was just 12 years old,       the Philippians? (2:19)
but she began helping to care for her mom.        ___________________________________
During the next few years, Carissa often fed      ___________________________________
her mom, dressed her, and helped her do           ___________________________________
anything she couldn‘t do for herself. ―It was     ___________________________________
so hard to learn,‖ she said. ―Can you             ___________________________________
imagine, a mother and daughter literally          ___________________________________
changing roles? I truly learned to be a
humble servant.‖                                  04. What was Paul's opinion of Timothy?
                                                  (2:20)
Sometimes, while her friends were out             ___________________________________
having fun, Carissa was helping her dad to        ___________________________________
take care of her mom. She continued to do         ___________________________________
so until the summer of 2004, when Carissa         ___________________________________
and her family said goodbye to Mom for the        ___________________________________
last time. As Carissa puts it, ―God took her      ___________________________________
home and made her perfect.‖
                                                  05. What was Timothy's relationship with the
Carissa reminds me of Epaphroditus, who           church at Philippi? (2:20)
sacrificially cared for Paul‘s needs              ___________________________________
(Philippians 2:25-30). What examples of           ___________________________________
caring, love, and compassion! Not all of us,      ___________________________________
of course, could set aside our lives to give      ___________________________________
as they did. But their sacrifice can teach us     ___________________________________
all about the value of servanthood.               ___________________________________

   When you do little things for others,          06. In Paul's view, why did Timothy stand
      you do big things for Jesus.                out? (2:21-22)
                                                  ___________________________________
OPEN IT                                           ___________________________________
                                                  ___________________________________
01. When was the last time you gave a             ___________________________________
character reference for a friend?                 ___________________________________
___________________________________               ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________               07. When would Paul send Timothy to the
___________________________________               Philippians? (2:23)
___________________________________               ___________________________________
                                                                                       60
                             PHILIPPIANS
                                       Chapter 2


___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
                                              ___________________________________
08. Why was Paul confident that he would
revisit the believers at Philippi? (2:24)     14. How did Paul demonstrate his
___________________________________           selflessness? (2:28)
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
                                              ___________________________________
09. Who was Epaphroditus? (2:25)
___________________________________           15. How were the Philippians told to
___________________________________           welcome home Epaphroditus? (2:29-30)
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
                                              ___________________________________
10. Why did the Philippians send              ___________________________________
Epaphroditus to Paul? (2:25)
___________________________________           16. Why were the Philippians told to honor
___________________________________           their messenger? (2:30)
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
                                              ___________________________________
11. How did Epaphroditus feel about his       ___________________________________
friends in Philippi? (2:26)
___________________________________           GET IT
___________________________________
___________________________________           17. Among your circle of Christian friends,
___________________________________           for whom do you have the highest regard?
___________________________________           Why?
___________________________________           ___________________________________
                                              ___________________________________
12. What happened to Epaphroditus? (2:26-     ___________________________________
27)                                           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________           18. Why could Paul count on Timothy and
___________________________________           Epaphroditus?
___________________________________           ___________________________________
                                              ___________________________________
13. How did God spare Paul tremendous         ___________________________________
sorrow? (2:27)                                ___________________________________
                                                                                   61
                              PHILIPPIANS
                                        Chapter 2


___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
                                               ___________________________________
19. What reputation do you have in your        ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________

20. In what ways have you proved to be a
reliable servant of God?
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________

21. What risks are you willing to take on
behalf of other Christians?
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________

22. In what ways can you be God's "courier"
to others?
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________

APPLY IT

23. How can you be a model of humility and
service to other Christians this week?
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________

24. This week, how can you look out for the
interests of the Lord rather than your own
interests?
                                                                                62
  ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________            18. Why could Paul c ount on Timothy and
___________________________________            Epaphroditus?
___________________________________            ___________________________________
                                               ___________________________________
13. How did God spare Paul tremendous          ___________________________________
sorrow? (2:27)                                 ___________________________________
                                                                                     61
                              PHILIPPIANS
                                         Chapter 2


___________________________________             ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
                                                _____________________________ ______
19. What reputation do you have in your         ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
___________________________________             ___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________

20. In what ways have you proved to be a
reliable servant of God?
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________

21. What risks are you willing to take on
behalf of other Christians?
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________

22. In what ways can you be God's "courier"
to others?
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________

APPLY IT

23. How can you be a model of humility and
service to other Christians this week?
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________
___________________________________

24. This week, how can you look out for the
interests of the Lord rather than your own
interests?
                                                                                  62

				
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