Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Philippians 2:5-11

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Original Intent

1) What is meant by having “this mind among yourselves” and how is it “yours in Christ Jesus”?

Reading Scripture by whole paragraphs rather than in small pieces is critical to having a full understanding of the meaning of a passage.

Here, upon reading the whole paragraph, we see that this isn’t directed at individuals, but at the church body as a whole. Philippians was written to the church in Philippi (think several, small gatherings of believers meeting in homes) and its instruction and teaching was intended for the collective whole.

“This mind” refers to the humility displayed in Christ as He emptied Himself and became God in the flesh to sacrifice Himself for us.

Yours in Christ Jesus” said differently could look like, “this example of humility, unity, and self-sacrifice is brought to you on display through Jesus Christ in the flesh.”

In Jesus, we have the perfect example of how to live out humble love within the church, because Christ died for the Church. (Ephesians 5:25)

The Everyday Application

1) What is meant by having “this mind among yourselves” and how is it “yours in Christ Jesus”?

Though Paul was speaking to the Church as a whole in Philippi, his teaching certainly applies to our local and global churches. To live out humility and sacrifice in unity and love as Jesus did, it takes intentional, individual choices on our part.

Consider the way you interact with your local church, its members and staff.

Are you seeking their edification and putting the best interest of the church ahead of your own? Do you find yourself stopping yourself from spreading gossip or cutting down leaders or fellow believers, or are you quick to fall into a critical spirit?

Christ loved the Church, His bride, of which every believer is a part, how can we love it less?!

The Original Intent

2) What is the connection between “form of God” and “likeness of men”?

When Paul writes that Jesus “existed in the form of God”, he is referring to the absolute fullness of God in the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus in the flesh was 100% fully God and has always existed in the form of God, even when He walked on earth. (John 10:30John 1:1-4) Jesus took on flesh in the “likeness of men” that, through His death, He might destroy Death and slavery to Sin. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Because Jesus is and was fully God, His death could be accepted as a full and complete payment for our sin, setting us free from slavery to it, and allowing us full access into a relationship with Him!

The Everyday Application

2) What is the connection between “form of God” and “likeness of men”?

Jesus being both 100% God and 100% man provides an immense amount of security and comfort for us as believers.

Not only can we have bold confidence that our debt is paid in full and we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ Jesus Himself, we also have the comfort that we have a high priest (Jesus) who identifies with us as being humans.

Jesus was thirsty, sweaty, had tense family relationships, was loved, hated, abandoned, betrayed, and criticized. Jesus is the “with us” God; He truly is our everyday Savior! (Hebrews 4:14-16Isaiah 61:10Isaiah 40:1-2)

The Original Intent

3) How is the name of Jesus “above every name”?

Because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice where He substituted His own faultless life for our own sin-wrecked ones, He is eternally the Victor over Death, which is the penalty for sin. (Romans 6:23)

It’s only through His name of Jesus Christ that freedom from the deadly consequences of sin can be found. There simply is no other way to have a right relationship with God restored other than through the name of Jesus. (John 14:6)

Because of sin, no one else can even hope to gain righteousness on their own accord. (Romans 3:23)

The Everyday Application

3) How is the name of Jesus “above every name”?

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of working hard to become “good enough” for God, thinking that God looks “more favorably” on us if we do “such and such” and don’t do “too much of that”.

It’s an ugly deception to think about righteousness as a balance of weights where, as long as the good outweighs the bad, God will accept us.

The prophet Isaiah uses harsh language when he says that “all our righteousness is like filthy, menstrual rags” in the sight of God. Sin ruins everything, my friends, but the good news of the gospel is that there is hope! Now. Today. Forever! Hope of restoration, of redemption, of eternal freedom! 

Praise God for coming to earth, to be wrapped in flesh, in order to rescue us!

For another look at this passage, see Father, Forgive Them: Digging Deeper

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