- Praise Him! Praise Him!
- The Power Of The Cross
- And Can It Be
- The Precious Blood
- INTRO: Video clipThe Significance of God the Son's Incarnation & Humiliation - Philippians 2:6-8 & Hebrews 2:14-18Next Week: The Significance of God the Son’s Resurrection & ExaltationI’ll be using the Philippians 2 “Christ Hymn” as our base text, and cross-referencing other complimentary biblical texts, particularly the letter to the Hebrews.Of foundational importance (for an understanding of God) is our grasp of God the Son becoming man, suffering and dying, rising again, and being super-exalted in glory and over all creation. This is not an issue of mere head knowledge. Far from it! Understanding these truths bears crucial implication and application for spiritual life and Christian living.who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Incarnation: Preexistent God the Son Became ManHe Was in the Form of God
μορφή refers to that ‘form which truly and fully expresses the being which underlies it’.He was in the form of God, sharing his own glory. (Heb. 1:3a)*He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,Although he was himself God, he did not consider that to be selfishly exploited or used to his own advantage… instead:But Made Himself NothingWithout a doubt, there has been great theological debate about Christ "emptying" or "becoming nothing" in the first phrase of this stanza. While some of the first (and now more obsolete) concepts of the kenotic theory suggested that Christ abandoned his deity in some way, a better understanding focuses on contextual clues. Comparable to a slave, who has no rights and is not considered anything in the eyes of men, Christ descended from his "high position, unlimited power, unrivaled sovereignty" by taking the human form. Therefore, if we are to define what Christ emptied of, we would have to say that he emptied himself not of his divine nature, but of the glory and prerogatives of the deity. Again, not that he emptied himself of deity to take on humanity, but laid aside the esteem and full privileges of God (especially his glory) as well as the independent exercise of divine authority and attributes.But the contrary is actually the main emphasis here: Christ emptied himself (made himself nothing - a reference to his humility) not by taking away but by becoming, not by subtracting but by adding to…Taking the form (μορφή - the true essence) of a servant and being born in the likeness of men - As Jesus, God the Son genuinely became a man, he didn’t merely appear to be one.
Not that he ‘exchanged the form of God for the form of a slave, but that he manifested the form of God in the form of a slave’Humiliation: Jesus Perfectly Obeyed the Father’s Will and Voluntarily Died on a CrossThe next movement of the hymn takes the subject of Christ's humility to even greater depths in expressing that he, in obedience to the will of God the Father, voluntarily suffered "to the point of death, even death on a cross" (2:8).Obedience Indicates His Willing SubmissionWhy isn’t obedience highly esteemed in our broader culture at large? Even in a good light, it feels more like obeying is something that we put up with in order to keep peace and be decent citizens. (ie. obeying laws) – But obedience, submission, should be held in highest honor. - The primary event in all of history, the central display of God’s love and glory and power and majesty, He demonstrated in the obedience of God the Son to the will of the Father. - Obedience is paramount. Obedience is beautiful. Obedience is desirable.His Death Was of Utmost Humiliation
Christ humbled himself by becoming obedient to the utmost limit—even to death, and that the most shameful of all, ‘the utterly vile death of the cross’ (Origen).Even “By first-century standards no experience was more loathsomely degrading than this.” - Peter Thomas O’Brien, The Epistle to the Philippians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991), 231.
The cross displayed the lowest depths of human depravity and cruelty. It exhibited the most brutal form of sadistic torture and execution ever invented by malicious human minds.Considering the extremity of this humiliation, it is theologically important to point out that Christ "humbled himself" (2:8b); he did not suffer against his will, but deliberately subjected himself to such humiliation for the sake of others (cf. 2:4).He Identified Completely with HumanityFirst, being found in appearance as a man: in other words, his humanity was tangibly evident to other humans. Fully God, fully man.Listen to the explanation in Hebrews 2 of his full humanity and its significance:Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.The text here also makes the connection of his identification with us even or especially in obedience and in suffering.Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.Significance to You:Jesus is the message of Christianity, he is the means of spiritual life, and he is the model of Christian living. God’s purpose for you is to gain spiritual life and relationship with him through Jesus and to walk in fellowship and growth to be like him by remaining close to him and by copying Jesus’ attitudes and actions.Sufficient to Save and Sufficient to Sustainbut he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.Humility Held HighHow many of us think of an exalted position as an opportunity to give rather than a means to get?self-sacrificing service is the standard set by JesusTo share with Christ in glory and exaltation as sons and daughters of the most high God… is to be like Christ in suffering and humiliation. (Whoever would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.) – We can’t rightly follow Jesus but take away the self-sacrificial willingness to suffer for the eternal good of others part.To Believe Is to ObeyChrist demonstrated his certainty and unity by submission to the Father’s sovereign will.Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,You demonstrate your full trust in God in obedience to His command.Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,
- By His Wounds
- Name Above All Names
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