Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 166 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Philippians 2 today and our focus is on the beautiful character and attitude of Jesus. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Many scholars believe that part of Philippians 2 represent an early hymn of the church, or a creed that was repeated among Christians, or both, which is why these verses are set apart in many Bibles. Paul wrote them in a chiastic structure, which is indicative of ancient and modern poetry. Further, this section doesn’t use words and word order in quite the same way that Paul usually wrote, which seems to indicate the possibility that somebody other than Paul wrote this hymn/creed, and Paul was sharing it – not in a plagiaristic way – but as a reference that they would all be familiar with. (Certainly, Paul could have also written the creed/hymn as well) From a scholarly point of view, this passage is important, because Philippians was probably written by Paul in the mid 50s AD, but this creed would have been earlier than that – perhaps much earlier. It demonstrates that early Christians – prior to the writing of this letter – worshipped Jesus as Lord. But, we aren’t here to talk about scholarly things – we are here to talk about the character of Jesus!
Notice the intro here – Christians are to ‘adopt’ the same attitude that Jesus had. More literally, Paul is saying that Christians should have the mind, or mindset of Christ. What does this mean? It means several things, reading through the passage.
*Christians are saved children of God, but like Jesus, we are not to seek to EXPLOIT that status or use it to our advantage.
*Like Jesus, we are to take the form and nature and character of a SERVANT (the Greek word is doulos – often translated as ‘slave,’ but more in line with a bondservant than the monstrosity of racial slavery perpetuated in many Western countries in previous centuries.
*Like Jesus, we are to HUMBLE ourselves, and be willing to SERVE others – even in menial ways.
*Like Jesus, we are to humble ourselves and OBEY God – even when He calls us to difficult things.
Here’s pastor Tim Keller to help us understand the glorious truths in this passage:
He emptied himself of his glory. He emptied himself of his beauty. He emptied himself of that which evokes honor. He came, and he was lonely and poor. Eventually, he was beaten, tortured, and killed. He emptied himself of his glory. He became small, not a king at all. He became rejected. He became beatable, and he was beaten. He became rejectable, and he was rejected. He lost all of his glory. He came without his glory. He didn’t stop being God, but he emptied himself of his glory.
“Therefore God has highly exalted him …” Why? Why is he resurrected? Why is he up there? Because he saved us. He took our punishment upon himself. He redeemed a new humanity, and he’s leading us into the future. So there it is. There’s the trajectory. What is the trajectory, everybody? The way up is down. The way to be truly rich is to give away. The way to rule is to serve. The way to become infinitely happy is to not seek your own happiness but to seek the happiness of others.The most glorious thing of all, the greatest form of glory, is to give away your glory for somebody else. The word kenosis shows up twice. Look at it. You and I are desperately trying to fill ourselves with glory, but we end up empty. Jesus Christ, who had true glory, emptied himself so we could be full. Full? Yes. Because Jesus Christ became small, we are big in the eyes of the Father. Because Jesus Christ lost all of his glory, we are now given his righteousness and his record.This is what the gospel is: Jesus Christ was treated the way we deserve so now when we believe in him we are treated the way he deserves to be treated. Do you know what this means? Jesus Christ looks at you and says, “To me and in me, you are more precious than all the jewels that lie beneath the earth.”
Source: Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).
Bible Memory verses for the month of June: Daniel 6:23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the den. When Daniel was brought up from the den, he was found to be unharmed, for he trusted in his God.
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