Who are your ‘heroes’, your examples in life? Philippians Chapter 2 gives you the greatest example to follow, and then three more helpful examples. Here are notes from the Chapter 2 sermon from the Gafcon conference —
– Unity is very important. The Apostle Paul appeals for us to be united in humility.
– Chapter Two is about this— In v1-5 Paul makes his first appeal: be united in humility; in v5-11 he gives you the example of our Lord Jesus Christ; v12-16 Paul makes his second appeal to you/us: be united in humility before God; in v17-30 Paul gives you 3 more examples of this: himself, Timothy & Epaphroditus.
– In the West today big issues are identity and individualism: the self. We live in a selfish and expectant era (what I expect to get/do/be).
– In contrast, in v12-16 Paul calls on us to obey God. In v12 Paul says “therefore” obey i.e. because eventually everybody will bow to Jesus Christ the Lord (v11), obey him now.
– Why be united in humble obedience? Because God has given you encouragement, comfort, fellowship and love (v1).
– Paul then shows you four times what this looks like in practice. Example #1: Jesus. He did not grasp for glory (unlike Adam) but humbled himself to become a servant, a man and to die. Jesus Christ took the initiative in this, he didn’t wait for us to fix the problem (which we couldn’t).
– Jesus’ humility led to his exaltation. So, put Jesus in his right place by repentance and faith. This is the root of our humility.
– Paul now gives you 3 more examples of humble obedience. But why does he need to give more examples after he’s given you the greatest example?! Because this issue is so important that he has to stress it, and because as we are not divine as Jesus is, human (only) examples help us.
– Paul greatly benefitted from having Timothy and Epaphroditus with him (v20-22, 25b, 30) but he gladly and willingly sends them to the Philippians to help them. The Philippians had sacrificed in helping Paul, and he views him ’sacrificing’ Timothy and Epaphroditus as only being a smaller sacrifice ‘on the top’ of their greater gift to him (v17). Paul is humble.
– So, Paul is urging you/us to be united, in humility before God and each other.
So, why not read Philippians Chapter 2 when you get home? You’ll gain!