Lesson 8

Paul's Letter to the Philippians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

2:5 Have this in your mind, which was also in Christ Jesus, 2:6 who, existing in the form of God, didn't consider it robbery to be equal with God, 2:7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. 2:8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, yes, the death of the cross. 2:9 Therefore God also highly exalted him, and gave to him the name which is above every name; 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth, 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  

Today's Lesson 

In yesterday's lesson we were only able to cover a portion of this important passage. We examined the context of this passage and how Paul was emphasizing the humility and obedience of Jesus Christ as an example of how the Philippians should treat one another. Jesus was willing to set aside all of His prerogatives and privilege, He emptied Himself, and took the form of a servant. Paul also emphasized the obedience of Jesus. He was obedient even unto death on the cross.


What we did not have an opportunity to look at yesterday was the results of the obedience and the humility of Jesus Christ. Paul's purpose is not just to show that Jesus was humble and obedient but He wanted to remind the Philippians what the Father did as a response to the humility and obedience of the Son. He tells them that God highly exalted Jesus. God lifted Him up into heaven and set Him at a position of authority over all the heaven and all the earth. One day every knee will bow before Him and every person will confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all. These things will be done because doing so will bring glory to God the Father.


Paul is trying to tell the Philippians that their own humility and obedience will not go unnoticed. God rewards the humble and the obedient. The sacrifices that we make in the name of God will be rewarded. Paul would also tell them that when God exalted Jesus, He exalted us as well. Those who are in Christ are seated with Him in the heavenly places. We partake of His inheritance and will rule with Him over the heavens and the earth.


This is not to say that our Christian lives will be lived in the glory of the heavens. Each of us who accepts the mantle of Christ must bear the likeness of a servant as well. Just as Christ was willing to set aside equality with God, we must set aside our inheritance for a little while until the proper time. We must be obedient to the will and the plan of God even as Jesus was obedient. In the end, we must be willing to die even as He was willing to die.


Our inheritance is secure, just as the inheritance of Jesus was secure. But we still must live lives of humility and obedience. Just as Jesus did not set aside His deity, we do not set aside the fact that even in this fallen world we are children of the Living God. We must live by faith that as children of God, Christ lives in us. Just as Jesus lived a life of humility and obedience, He seeks to express that same humility and obedience in your life and in mine. In the end, we will be exalted with Him in the heavens. We will be with Him when every knee bows and when every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.


Do you believe that God exalts the humble and glorifies the obedient? Do you really live your life as though He did?


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