Philippians 2:1–4 (ESV)
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
As we move into chapter two of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippian Church, Pastor Chris highlights an essential message for Jesus’ disciples to live-out: a lifestyle of Humility. The paradox is that greatness comes through genuine humility. Our culture makes “tooting your own horn” an acceptable activity. A common practice of secular society is to promote pride, to engage in self-promotion, the fruit of selfish-ambition. Pride was the first sin, committed by God’s first created being – Lucifer, the ‘Day Star. Son of the Morning.’
“13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high….14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. 15But, you are brought down to Sheol (place of the dead)…’” Isaiah 14:13-15 (ESV)
In contrast, humble people who follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus inherently find joy in serving others. Humility bears the fruit of assurance, dependence (on God), authenticity, and thankfulness.
“2 All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Isaiah 66:2 (ESV)
“6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God…gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 (ESV)
Humility vs. Pride:
|About my glory||About the glory of Jesus Christ|
|Makes me my own “god”||Celebrating God serving me in love|
|Leads to arrogance, cockiness, smugness||Leads to confidence|
|Is independence||Is dependence|
|Is controlling||Relinquishes control|
|Our greatest enemy||Our greatest friend|
|Is demonic and satanic||Is Christ-like and Spirit-enabled|
Four Actions of Humility
- Humility Builds Churches Strong and Healthy
- Our Goal is the Humility of Jesus
- God Humbled Himself
- Humility is Exalted
To the Apostle Paul, humility was the essence of unity in the church. He worked hard to demonstrate by his own example that a life of humility was challenging but rewarding.
“5 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.” Philippians 2:5–7 (ESV)
Paul knew the disciples had witnessed Jesus in the flesh showing them what a humble lifestyle looks like. His effort was to be as much like Christ as he’d heard about.
“12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.’” John 13:12–15 (ESV)
Ultimately, Pastor Chris encouraged us, humility transformed Jesus so that God might exalt Him. His name became powerful and brought glory to God the Father. Jesus exaltation was fourfold: resurrection, coronation, intercession, ascension.
“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.” Philippians 2:9-10
3 Thoughts on Pride
- God hates proud people
Proverbs 6:16–17 (ESV)
16 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Proverbs 8:13 (ESV)
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
- God humiliates proud people
Proverbs 16:5 (ESV)
5 Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.
Proverbs 16:18 (ESV)
18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
- God opposes proud people
James 4:6 (ESV)
6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5 (ESV)
5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
3 Key Actions to Cultivate Humility
- Live Thankfully
- Listen and agree with Word more than your thoughts
- Invite and pursue correction and counsel
- How do react when you hear an arrogant person at work or school? What thoughts come to mind?
- Thinking about Paul’s message in chapter two, what do you suppose the followers in the Philippian church were struggling with?
How do Christians today struggle with the same issues; how are they evident in the church?
- Why do you think God hates pride so much?
- How do you recognize your own prideful thoughts?
- What steps will you take this week to uncover prideful thoughts and manners in your life?
- Who will you share with, and ask prayer from, this week to replace your pride with humility?