The Humble Servant
April 3, 2015 Speaker: Ken Ramey
Topic: The Gospel Passage: Philippians 2:5–2:8
Good Friday Service
The original sin was rooted in selfishness and pride. This was exhibited not in the Garden, but in heaven in eternity past by the angel Lucifer. We know Lucifer and the angels that followed him as Satan and his demons (Isaiah 14:12). Satan’s desire was to make himself like the Lord Most High (Ezekiel 28:11) and when he was cast down to earth, he landed in the Garden of Eden where he tempted Eve to commit the very same sin that he had committed. It took Jesus Christ to offer Himself as a living sacrifice, which was exactly the opposite of the act of sin that led Satan to be cast out of heaven and Adam and Eve to bring forth the fall of man.
This humble act of Jesus was embodied in the words of Paul in Philippians 2:3-4, and followed by the practical command to believers in verses 5-8. Paul explains the FOUR SACRIFICIAL STEPS of self-degradation that led Jesus from His throne in heaven to death on the cross.
1. RENUNCIATION (v. 6) - Jesus didn’t merely resemble God, He was actually God. He has always been and will always be co-existent and co-equal with God the Father (John 1:1, 1:14, 5:18, 10:30, 17:5; Colossians 1:15, 2:9; Hebrews 1:3). So, Jesus was not claiming something that did not belong to Him. He willingly renounced His rights and privileges as God as per the will of God the Father (John 5:30, 6:38).
2. SUBJECTION (v. 7a) - Although Jesus came in the form of a man, He never gave up His deity. Jesus gave up His divine rights, but never His divine attributes. He subjected Himself to human limitations because it was the will of God the Father. He took on the form of a bond servant whose main task was to serve others (Mark 10:45; John 13).
3. INCARNATION (v. 7b) - Jesus made Himself like us - He became one of us. He experienced all of the same emotions as we do and was a real human being (Luke 2:52; Galatians 4:4; Colossians 1:22; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 4:2). But although He was truly a man, He was not merely human, for He committed no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 John 3:5). His divine nature was encased in human flesh. This was necessary because Jesus had to be a man in order to die for the sins of men (2 Corinthians 8:9).
4. CRUCIFIXION (v. 8) - Jesus humbled Himself in obedience to the Father, even to the point of death on the cross. In His humanness, He did not wish to die, but He did so willingly in obedience to God the Father (Hebrews 5:7-8). Death on the cross was so unimaginable for the God of the universe that for the apostle Paul, it became something to boast about to all who could hear (1 Corinthians 1:18; Galatians 6:14).
Jesus reminded us that everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but all who humble themselves shall be exalted. Have you bowed your knee to the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you made Him your Lord and Savior? May all who hear God’s Word be made humble so that they may turn to the Son of God for salvation and may God the Father be glorified and the name of Jesus be exalted!