Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians while imprisoned for preaching the gospel in Rome. Formerly a man who persecuted Christians, a conversion experience on the road to Damascus wrecked his whole purpose in life. He met Jesus right then and there. Saw the radiance of His glory. Felt the magnitude of His presence. And Saul was never the same. In fact, he became Paul… the writer of nearly half the New Testament and a champion evangelist for the cause of Christ. His faithfulness, dedication and perseverance are evident in the sincerity of his letters. In Philippians, Paul encourages the church in Philippi to live for Christ no matter the circumstances. It’s saturated with practical advice, testimonial encouragement and motivating exhortation. It’s short, simple and reassuring, which surely inspired 1st century Philippians living under Roman rule. Nobody knew what it felt like to be persecuted for the faith like Paul… and his words of heavenly citizenship and pressing on towards the goal of Christ Jesus helped to remind the Philippians that their sacrifices were not in vain. Jesus would be the ultimate reward. Paul always wanted to encourage his church to continue walking towards Jesus in conduct and character, while teaching them how to do so. Philippians exhorts the reader to focus on the sufficiency of Christ and trust in His provision, as Paul himself explains that he has discovered the secret to contentment. That Christ is always enough. Philippians also includes one of the most profound passages of scripture describing the humility and noble character of Christ. As we read this passage in Philippians 2, while thinking about the way that Jesus embodied the human condition, it provides an encouraging example of how we should live our lives. We see Jesus as the humble servant despite a pedigree of royal Kingship. Obedience and submission despite authority and power. Humility. Grace. Love. We see Jesus for who He is. The lion and the lamb. And it compels us to do the same.
Summary: Philippians 2:1-11
Paul reminds the Philippians of the uplifting benefits of Christ, encouraging them to embrace these benefits and have the same mind; Paul encourages unity and selflessness, while he discourages selfishness and conceit; Paul reminds the audience that they have the mind of Christ and thus are able to attain all of these things previously mentioned; Paul then describes the attributes of Christ, emphasizing His humility, obedience and noble character; Paul highlights that Jesus chose to become a servant rather than take advantage of His power and royalty; through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Paul declares Jesus Christ as Lord and the One whom every knee will bow, to the glory of God the Father.
You can also read Philippians 2:1-11 here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=philippians+2%3A1-11&version=ESV
Jesus in Philippians 2:1-11
Jesus is full of encouragement (v. 1)
Jesus’ love brings comfort (v. 1)
Jesus’ Spirit partners with us (v. 1)
Jesus is affectionate (v. 1)
Jesus is sympathetic (v. 1)
Jesus wants us to live in unity (v. 2)
Jesus enables us to embody humility (v. 3)
Jesus helps us to desire the betterment of others (v. 4)
Jesus enables us to think and live with this new mind (v. 5)
Jesus is the form of God (v. 6)
Jesus never took advantage of His rightful role as God (v. 6)
Jesus always thought of others before Himself (v. 6)
Jesus emptied Himself of everything he deserved and was selfless in how He interacted with others (v. 7)
Jesus chose to be a servant (v. 7)
Jesus was born in the likeness of men (v. 7)
Jesus was human (v. 7)
Jesus displays humility in everything He does (v. 8)
Jesus is obedient (v. 8)
Jesus embraced the plan to die on a cross (v. 8)
Jesus is exalted by God (v. 9)
Jesus name is higher than any other name (v. 9)
Jesus’ name will cause every knee to bow before Him (v. 10)
Jesus’ name and Lordship will be confessed by all (v. 11)
Jesus is Lord (v. 11)
Jesus brings God glory (v. 11)
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
– Philippians 2:3-
Questions for Today:
- What surprised me or stood out to me about these attributes of Jesus?
- Why do you think Jesus chose to come as a servant instead of a regal King?
- How can I imitate Jesus’ humility in the way that I think… talk… and live?
- What next step is Jesus asking me to take in my walk with Him?