If you ask me what is the first precept of the Christian Faith I will answer, first, second and third, Humility –Augustine. Today we’re looking at what is probably the central passage of Philippians and unquestionably one of the most profound passages in all of Scripture discussing the person and work of Jesus. The text is Philippians 2 chapter 2:1-11 and has as its primary theme- Humility. Maybe are you asking the question- Pastor Rand how could you possibly talk to me about humility? I have to admit that I am certainly not the model of humility. I am convicted of my own pride. I stand before you NOT as a humble man- proudly claiming that I’ve arrived in the style of Ted Turner who said – If I only had a little humility, I’d be perfect. I am (by God’s grace) a proud man seeking humility. By God’s providence I preach to you and to myself
The Book of Virtues William Bennet-
Why No Humility?
Western Culture has been heavily influenced by non-theistic ideas…
Theory of Darwinian Evolution
Philosophies of Naturalism/Humanism
Protagoras “Man is the Measure of all things
William Provine– Self-fulfillment is virtue ‘Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear … There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either.
Abraham Maslow Self-esteem and self-actualization are virtue
Ayn Rand– Selfishness is virtue- A 1991 survey by the Library of Congress described Atlas Shrugged as the second most influential book in the US, after the Bible. John Galt “I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine.”
If Man is the measure of all things then:
Ayn Rand would be right and we should praise selfishness as a virtue… and self-ambition, self-fulfillment, self-esteem, self-gratification, self-glorification, self actualization, and self-survival.
human self interest or pride would be our goal as evolutionary creatures seeking the survival of the fittest.
Humility would not be a virtue
Might makes right
But if God exists and is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ then:
Man is not the measure
Human pride is a sin…not a virtue.
Humility is a virtue
Blessed are the meek
Questions: Which side are you on?
Video of Philippians 2:1-11
Philippians 2:1-11 Structure Slide
Encouragement to Humility 2:1-4
Example of Humility 2:5-8
Effect of Humility 2:9-11
Encouragement to Humility Philippians 2:1-4
VS 1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,
4 if any’s- Since there is…In view of the fact that…
Comfort (paraklesis) in Christ- Spirit of Christ is the paraklete
Consolation of Love (agape)
Communion (Koinonia) of the Spirit
Compassion (Since your hearts are tender)
Partakers of the Divine Nature
2 Peter 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature
Since we are indwelt by the Spirit, united with Christ-so then Paul says…
Philippians 2:2 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
Paul is saying that since we have this experience of God’s love, it should serve as a catalyst for our essential unity (Likemindedness) as a church
What is the basis of our experience? God’s Grace (GOSPEL)
It is the gospel which should serves as the ultimate basis for our essential unity.
Philippians 1:27-28 27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that … I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Essential Unity is not… complete uniformity
Essential Unity is an attitude that flows from a real and genuine understanding and experience of the gospel.
Pride causes disunity- How do we stay unified? We maintain a gospel/cross-centered attitude- Humility! Paul clarifies this in verses 3-4 …
Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Stop: Do nothing…never(double negative) from Selfishness (Selfish ambition) or empty conceit- vain glory-
Start Do…regard others as not merely your equal. But what? More important than you! This is humility of mind.
Romans 12:3 3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think;
Football- pro and in High school
Lehman Stauss– “True unity will be destroyed where self-esteem [pride] prevails rather than a higher esteem for others…I have seen the spirit of self –esteem and self-importance break up more than one fine fellowship. Each of us must see our own insignificance, have a modest opinion of ourselves, and count our fellow men better and more excellent than we consider ourselves to be. I know of no other way to carry out god’s program with success apart from denying self and waging an all out warfare against the proud thoughts of self.”
Questions: What is my heart condition? Do I think I’m better than anyone else? What is the motive for my actions? Am I lookin out for myself? Or others? Selfish gain (pride) or is it to glorify God by serving others (humility)?
The Example of Humility– Phil 2:5-8 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Vs 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
Paul links the previous exhortations to unity through humility by introducing Jesus as the Supreme example. Verses 6-8 give us that supreme example
What is the attitude or mind of Christ that we are exhorted to have?
It is the attitude of humility that leads to crucifixion
Vs 6 Jesus is equal with God
Hebrews 1:3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Vs 7 Jesus condescends through incarnation
Kenosis- King James translated. Made himself of no reputation, emptied himself of the glory he had with the Father before the foundations of the earth
Slave- Driscolls description of Jesus
Questions – Do you make yourself of no reputation or do you seek to glorify yourself?
The man, full of himself, can never proclaim the Christ who emptied Himself. –Jacquelyn K. Heasley
Vs 8 Jesus is humiliated through Crucifixion
Jesus doesn’t stop at merely condescending to become a man- He submits to death on a cross.
I shouldn’t need to remind of the humiliation of public flogging and crucifixion
Unbelievable love! Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Questions: How low will we go to love others? What about our enemies How much humilitation will receive without fighting back? Will we spit upon and humiliated with reviling? Will we allow others to throw spears at us?
Exaltation for Humility Phil 2:9-11 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
For this reason- Because of Christ’s humility- the Father Exalted
The biblical model of humility and exaltation?
God Opposes the proud and Exalts the humble
1 Peter 5:5-6 clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
James 4:10 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Matthew 23:11-12 “But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
God I dare you to oppose me
Conclusion- How Can I pursue Humility?- I don’t want to be proud, I want to be humble- How can I pursue humility?
Comparison of Pride and Humility CJ Mahaney-Mark Driscoll-Nancy Leigh Demoss
Pride encourages us to compare to others and feels worthy of honor- humility encourages us to compare ourselves to Christ and feels a desperate need for mercy
Pride covets the success of others (we criticize those who are succesfull)- humility celebrates the success of others and indeed helps them to become successful.
Pride is selfish and asks questions like “What do I need”- humility listens to what Jesus asks and wonders what others may need.
Pride seeks for my glory (Don’t you know who I am? Dom’t you know what I’ve done?)- humility seeks for Christ glory (Do you know who Jesus is?)
Pride is arrogant, cocky, and smug- humility is gentle and meek
Pride seeks independence- humility dependence (recognize our need for others)
Pride seeks for a title (then people will know who I am)- humility does not seek to be an authority
Pride seeks for power ( I must be an elder, if only I were in charge then…) humility lets God raise up and put down. (King Saul and David)
Pride claims rights and has a demanding spirit- humility yields there rights
Pride is self protective of reputation- humility is self-denying
Pride desires self-advancement and success- humility desires to promote others
Pride says “This ministry is priviledged to have me”- humility says “I don’t deserve to be a part of any ministry
Pride knows a lot- humility has much to learn
Pride blames- humility accepts responsibility
Pride is defensive- humility receives criticism
Pride wants to be respected- humility wants to be real
Pride waits for others to seek forgiveness- humility runs be reconciled
Hierarchy of Roles
Questions: Are you humble? (NO) Proud? (YES)
Do you know that you need Jesus Mercy
Are you pursuing humility? (YES) or Not? (NO)
We are all proud and only by God’s grace are you or I able to recognize our pride and pursuing humility.