Dakota Stout
My name is Dakota Stout, and I'm a child of God, a redeemed sinner, and a student of the word.
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Jesus: The Author of our humidity
Philippians 2:1-11
What is humility? In Philippians 2:1-11, Paul tells us what it looks like, where it comes from, and what the result is.
Published December 4th, 2017
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Main point summary
Main point summary
If we derive any benefit from Christ, let us imitate the same humility as Him by putting each other's needs before our own, being fully united in love.
Philippians 2:1-11
So if there is any encouragement in Christ,
So if there is any encouragement by sharing in Christ,
any comfort from f love,
( and if there is ) any consolation from being loved by Him and the brethren,
any g participation in the Spirit,
( and if there is ) any fellowship with the Holy Spirit,
any h affection
( and if there is ) any tender-heartedness
and sympathy,
( and if there is ) any compassion,
i complete my joy by being j of the same mind,
then make my joy full by being united in your thinking,
having the same love,
loving each other mutually with the love of Christ,
being in full accord and of one mind.
standing in total harmony with one another as one united man.
Do nothing from k selfish ambition or l conceit,
Don't do anything from a place of pride or simply to exalt yourself,
but in m humility count others more significant than yourselves.
but rather in humility consider others' needs to be more important than your own.
Let each of you n look not only to his own interests,
Each one of you should not just think about what benefits him,
but also to the interests of others.
but also about what benefits others.
o Have this mind among yourselves,
Possess this attitude within yourselves,
which is yours in Christ Jesus, 1
which you can have because Christ had it,
p who, though he was in q the form of God,
who, although He was the very image of God,
did not count equality with God r a thing to be grasped,
did not feel it necessary to attain to the same heights as God, as though he needed to strive to reach that level,
but s emptied himself,
instead He poured himself out,
by taking the form of a t servant, 1
by adopting the posture of a servant voluntarily,
u being born in the likeness of men.
by taking on human form.
And being found in human form,
And having taken on the human condition in its entirety,
he humbled himself
He brought himself low
by v becoming obedient to the point of death, w even death on a cross.
by obeying everything the Father told Him to do, even to the point of dying - and the bloody death of the cross at that!
x Therefore y God has z highly exalted him
Because of this, God has lifted Him up to the highest place, His right hand
and bestowed on him a the name that is above every name,
and given Him the name that reigns supreme over every entity,
so that at the name of Jesus b every knee should bow, c in heaven
so that all of creation would bow at the name of Jesus, in heaven
and on earth
and ( every knee shall bow ) on earth
and under the earth,
and ( every knee shall bow ) under the earth,
and d every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is e Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
and every mouth proclaim that Jesus Christ reigns sovereignly as Master over all creation, and all for the sake of glorifying God the Father.
Or which was also in Christ Jesus ; we are to take on the same mentality Jesus had, through the fact that we can get it from Him
One could (and perhaps should) keep the phrase "in heaven and on earth and under the earth" together, as these are prepositional phrases that aren't normally broken up and don't appear to have much impact on the logical flow of the passage. I chose to break them up for two reasons: 1. The verb phrase, "every knee should bow" is implicit within each one, and therefore could be inserted into 10b-10c without changing the meaning, and 2. they each fit within the definition of a locative relationship; knees will bow to Jesus in heaven, on earth, and under the earth (so everywhere!), speaking to the degree of exaltation Jesus will receive. Perhaps it is a judgement call.
Observation #1. I hadn't noticed this when doing the actual bracket, but the word "so" in verse 1 appears to be particularly noteworthy, implying some sort of inference relationship with a prior verse or passage. When I read the preceding verses, it seemed that the most likely function of the word "so" was to connect vv. 27-30 to vv. 2:1-4. This would imply that the result of our command to "walk in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ" is that we are to, in humility, put others' needs before our own in a spirit of unity. I hadn't made that connection before. This also leads me to wonder if Paul's following discourse on looking to others' interests before our own and being united to one another is really just a further elaboration of what it looks like to "walk in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ". Observation #2. Verses 1-2 seem to function as a kind of thesis statement for vv. 3-5 at least, if not vv. 3-11. In other words, the if-then conditional relationship between 1-2 tells us that if we have partaken of the grace of God at all through Christ and have received any benefit from it, then from that place we should love one another in unity, and from there elevate one another's interests above our own - the very thing that Paul expounds upon in the subsequent verses, and that Christ is shown to have done in vv. 5-8. Observation #3. Verse 2 tells us that Paul's joy will be complete if we exercise the kind of loving, unified humility he describes here. How incredibly full of love must Paul be to say that his joy is made complete by seeing other people living in unity putting each others' needs above their own! If I'm honest, I don't think I've ever had the sentiment that my own joy would be completed just by seeing other people consider one another before themselves. Lord, give us the kind of heart that will rejoice to see our brethren loving each other better. Observation #4. Verses 5-8 tell us the source from which the kind of humility Paul was after originates. We can possess the same servant-hearted attitude that Christ himself had, and not only can we possess it, we do possess it as we share in Christ! Jesus was in such perfect union with the Father that He didn't feel the need to obtain the same kind of honor that the Father had; on the contrary, His flawless abiding in the Father empowered Him to seek the Father's glory so much that Jesus joyfully carried out the Father's will, deigning all the way down to the level of enduring the treatment given to a criminal. As we share in Christ, we partake of the same abiding in the Father that He had, and as such we seek to bring Him glory by humbling ourselves to put others' needs before our own, just as He did. The point: our capacity to display humility doesn't come from ourselves; it comes from Christ! Observation #5. In verses 9-11, we see the result with respect to divine glory of Jesus's having humbled Himself to the greatest possible extent; namely, that after His condescension, He receives the greatest exaltation that ever was or will be, so that every entity will submit to His Lordship, whether angels, humans, demons, or anything else in all creation, and all for the ultimate purpose of God the Father being glorified through Him. If we partake of His death through joyfully humbling ourselves before others, we will also partake of His exaltation ultimately (though to a lesser extent, of course), and all to the glory of God the Father! Overall summary: as we partake of Christ, we receive the mindset that empowers us to maintain a brotherly unity with one another, putting each others' interests before our own, so that God the Father receives the maximum glory.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.