Philippians Part 4 - Humility and Unity
Philippians 2: 1-8
Here’s a question you may have never been asked before! It’s a theological/religious question that needs to impact us and our relationship with each other.
?? When Christ was here among us on this earth, when He walked side by side with us, what did He think about us, people in general, what was His mindset towards others, what was His attitude, His approach towards other humans. A mindset is an established attitude. So, what was Christ’s established attitude, His mindset towards people?
Mark (10:45) records that Jesus came to be servant-like, to serve others:
(Jesus words describing His mindset) For even the Son of Man (Jesus) came not to be served but to serve, …
Jesus mindset, His firm attitude to others (& ultimately to you) was to serve you
Matthew (11:29) documents that Jesus came to be lowly in heart, that is; meekness was His mindset: Meekness isn’t weakness but rather power under control submitted for the sake of others -giving up one’s rights for the sake of others. Jesus gave up His powerful position for others, for you, ultimately Jesus in meekness died for you, Jesus, lowly in heart died for your sins.
(Jesus said this Himself) Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Zechariah (9:9) the OT prophesied that the Saviour would be humble, have a mindset of humbleness when he writes:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king (Jesus enters Jerusalem) is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
When Jesus came into Jerusalem for the last time before His crucifixion, He came humbly, even though He was King of Kings, humbly He came.
Are you seeing that Jesus is setting for us an example, humility,
Jesus is setting for us the standard, be humble, be humble, be humble.
Now, the Apostle Paul expands these thoughts into 1 distinct statement: Philippians 2: 5-8
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: (what was Jesus’s mindset?)
6 Who, being in very nature God, (Trinity Father,Son,Holy Spirit=God
-did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing (Lowly heart) by taking the very nature of a servant, (servant) being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself (Humble or humility) by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
-What did Jesus Christ do, what was His mindset?
He made Himself nothing, He lowered Himself, He became a servant,
Christ, the Son of God, humbled Himself,
ultimately humbled Himself to dying on the cross.
àThis is called and referred to as the HUMILITY OF CHRIST
Humble Christ, the suffering servant, meekness personified, humility.
-know this for sure; that Christ was not humiliated on the cross, Christ was humility on the cross.
Christ was not a weak and mild-mannered victim but rather a humble, surrendered to the Father’s will, servant who is our Saviour.
What is humility? A better question might be -what does the Bible mean by humility?
The world definition of humility from Wikipedia is ‘a modest or low view of one’s importance’.
-Nay nay -humility is much more than taking a low view of oneself.
Putting yourself down is not Biblical humility. It is more complex than that simplistic approach of abasing yourself.
Biblical humility is fourfold:
We acknowledge our humanity, that we fall short of God’s standard. (You see yourself in the light of truth, I’m a sinner)
We acknowledge ‘I am not God’. God is sovereign, I am not.
(God will judge me according to my sin à I need a Saviour)
We submit and commit to God. I bow to the sovereignty of the Almighty.
We say and do that which is of benefit to others even at our own expense or discomfort.
-this is not easy, humility is not for the faint and weak but it is Christ’s way. And we, you and I, are called to be humble, to exhibit humility.
-now God delights in humility, when we humble ourselves, God considers it a beautiful thing and He honors us.
James 4:10“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
Humility is an essential characteristic for followers of Christ. The Latin word "humus" (Hue^ mus) means, "of the earth." Therefore, to be humble is to be face down in the dirt, submitting to the authority of another, without personal pride.
Here’s the kicker from this passage in Philippians 2
“5 In your relationships with one another, have the SAME mindset as Christ Jesus:”
So, Paul says, ‘do you see Jesus, do you see what His mindset was like?
You do it, have humility among yourselves
-God wants us to have humility, to be humble people, each of us, just like Jesus, towards each other, every person in this church, if you’re a Christian, humility is your mindset towards each other. Be humble to each other.
If we are to have unity as a church, if we are to be likeminded, if we are to be one in the spirit, if we are to have the same love then it starts with each of us being humble, having humility.
àWe keenly desire to have unity here, therefore, we must all pursue humility, we must all be humble, valuing others above ourselves.
meekness, is very similar to humility which is very comparable to humbleness. à not exactly alike but very similar
A spiritually meek/humble person is not self-willed – not continually concerned with his own ways, ideas and wishes. They are willing to put themselves in second place and submit themselves to achieving what is good for others. Meekness/humility/humbleness is therefore the antithesis of self-will, self-interest, and self-assertiveness.
-you and I, we, are to be humble.
Let me very carefully paraphrase Philippians 2:1-11.
“If you want unity among you than you must have humility towards one another just like Christ had. Be a servant to each other, prefer one another, be humble and look to the other’s good.”
The Bible makes it crystal clear that we are to follow Christ’s example of humility. God asks us to consider others as more significant than ourselves.
You choose to be humble, it’s up to you, you decide humility for yourself.
1 Peter 5:5-6
“… Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, (like a set of clothes you choose to dress yourself in, dress yourself with humility) for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”
Being clothed with humility happens as a result of surrender, a submission to Godly authority and choosing to prefer others above yourself and the interest of the whole before the demands of your personal interest.
“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
-how does one walk worthily as a Christian à with humility
Q How is your Christian walk today? How is your humility?
Being humble is a constant struggle as our self and selfishness hinders us, àconstantly, daily, we need to remind ourselves and ponder:
Our own sinful nature
Acknowledge I am NOT God, God is God & should be God of my life.
Submit to God’s authority in your life, yield to the King.
Act like Jesus - say and do that which is of benefit to others even at our own discomfort.
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment (humility), each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”
-the disciples struggled mightily with humility in this scene from Matthew 18:1-4. Listen to Jesus response.
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ (this not a humble question) And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn (you turn means turn your attitude around, or you stop thinking like that) and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’”
-there is a verse in the minor prophet, Micah, that summarizes the Godly life.
Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
-have you ever met a person who flashed jewelry in your face, or drove a fancy car vainly, or flaunted more toys than you, or dressed in fancy clothes with pride? Well, there is a verse for that lack of humility:
1 Peter 3:3-4 - Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear (this is referring to excessive or provocative adorning)— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit (humility), which in God's sight is very precious.
-we need humility in our clothing and in our deportment and in our speech amongst ourselves.
Do you want to be lead by God and learn God’s way? Be HUMBLE.
“Good and upright is the LORD; therefore, he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right and teaches the humble his way.”
Paul summarizes for us how we are to be as Christians and how we are to act towards each other: Here’s the MINSET WE ARE TO HAVE
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less. - C.S. Lewis
Have the humility of Christ in you and between us. Then there will be unity in the church. Unity, sweet, sweet, unity among us.
-our task is too big for disunity, have humility like Christ
-our God is too grand for squabbling children, have humility like Christ
-our mission to others and to the world is so vast that they need to see our love and unity, therefore, have humility like Christ
Have a humble mind, a contrite heart, and a meekness in your way of life
May the humility of Christ, our Savior, live in us from day to day.
By his love and power controlling, all that we do and all that we say.
September 24, 2023