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Archive for the ‘Phillipians 2’ Category

The Greatest Description of Jesus: Part 4 of 4

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 16, 2009

The continuing look at Philippians 2. See Part 3

Power in Humility

9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
      and gave him the name that is above every name,
 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
      in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
      to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

“It’s the inside outside, upside down kingdom where you lose to gain and you die to live.” – Misty Edwards

Before Jesus death on the Cross, the name Jesus (Hebrew Yeshua or tansliterated “Joshua”) only meant “God Saves”. It was more of a proclamation than anything else.  Thousands of people before and since have been given that name as their birth name without much fanfare. But something happened that day Jesus died on the cross that transformed the name into something that would change the God/man relationship forever.

What’s in a name? If Jesus was named by someone today, it would have probably been Bob or Ralph (no offense to any “Bob’s” or “Ralph’s” out there).  We just don’t name people the same way they did back then.

Ever notice that so many people in the Bible had names that they fulfilled?  Adam – “earth” (made from the earth), Methuselah – when he dies, it shall come” (he died the year the flood came), Moses – “drawn from water” (taken from a basket floating in the Nile), and the list goes on.

Names mean things to God. In fact, all believers will get new names end the end, so don’t get too used to the one you have now.

Another feature of the day was that the baby was named by the mother on the eighth day when they were dedicated at the temple.  Jesus, was similarly named; however, he was given the name before his birth by an angel. 

The name stuck, and he eventually fulfills his name’s sake by being the God that saved the world.  But what happened afterward?  What are these three verses telling us?

Verse 8 said that he became “obedient to death on the cross”. He succeeded. Jesus won! He carried out God perfect plan perfectly.  Do you realize that if Jesus failed at any point, we would all be left without hope?

But because he finished his journey, we have an advocate with God.

The name is similar to being crowned King.  When something was done in the name of the King, it was final.  Jesus was given all the authority he had before, with the additional benefits of winning the war.  He got the spoils – which were us. He battled to free man, and he was given the spoils of war by his Father.

The name above all names is the power and authority that he now has above everything.  Our sin separated us from God, but Jesus victory reconnected that which was lost. Now we have access to Him, and Jesus has earned the right to be Master (that’s what Lord means) of everything.


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The Greatest Description of Jesus: Part 3 of 4

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 15, 2009

The continuing study of Philippians 2.  See Part 2.

The God-man:

…being made in human likeness. 
And being found in appearance as a man,
      he humbled himself
      and became obedient to death—
         even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:7b-8)

Do you know that there are more scriptures that talk about God being a man (Jesus) than Jesus being God? 

In our society today, we tend to have less faith in God and have substituted it with faith in “science”.  Much of what we call science is just faith in what we see, and I am amazed how often that faith changes.

Twenty years ago, science said that we were going into a period of global cooling, now it’s global warming.  Foods that were good for you are now bad and those that were bad are now good.  Evolution is even changing from Creator to Big Bang to a collapsing universe – from life evolving from a single cell to life evolving from aliens (I’m not making that last one up.) But I digress…

In the first century, the prevailing thought among doubters in Jesus was that a spiritual God who was good and holy could not become a dirty sinful man.  The early church battled this thinking called, among other names, gnosticisim.  It was easier to believe a man could become a God than for God to become a man. 

Even the Catholic church took on this concept with the teaching that Mary was sinless, for a holy God could not be born of a sinful girl, so they created a sinless vessel in Mary.

I don’t want to spend a lot of time on that except to say that the sin seed does not pass through the woman but the man.  It is not woman’s responsibility; it is man’s. 

Adam was the one God told not to eat from the tree in the garden.  It was his responsibility to tell Eve.  He was with her when she ate the fruit.  She did not recognize the sin when she did eat of the fruit God told Adam not to eat. Her eyes were not opened until He ate it.

There was still hope for her had he not eaten it, but the accountability for man’s sin fell to the man, and when Adam ate, all hope was lost. (Genesis 2-3)

For Jesus to be fully man he had to have all the experiences of man from birth to death. He had to learn to walk, talk and eat.  He went through potty training, skinned knees and probably hit his thumb with his hammer a few times.  Jesus had all the same temptations we get, only he didn’t fail.

He humbled himself; he was born in a feeding trough, not a royal crib.  He came into the world with the bleating of goats not the roaring of crowds.  He was called a bastard by other kids that knew he was born out of wedlock. He wore robes of rabbis not robes of royalty.  In the end, he was killed with thieves and put in a borrowed tomb.

Jesus Christ suffered in every way you can imagine, yet did not sin.  He was fully man. He was born and he died. But that is not the end of the story.  Because as much as he “became” man, he was already and would forever be “fully God”!

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The Greatest Description of Jesus: Part 2 of 4

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 14, 2009

Continuing the look into Philippians 2,  See Part 1.

The Attitude of Christ

It has been said that your attitude determines your altitude. No more outstanding example exists than Jesus’ example.

Who, being in very nature God,
      did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 
 but made himself nothing,
      taking the very nature of a servant (Philippians 2:6-7a)

This is an interesting verse. Jesus was an is God, yet to show humility, he had to lay down the right to call himself God and become a servant. 

The Greek here poses the attitude Jesus had in a stronger way, the word “grasp” is the same a “robbery” – to seize. It does not carry the connotation of robbery that says, “it doesn’t belong to him”, but the sense that it is a prize or reward that he could grasp hold of. 

However, he determined in His mind that he would not grasp this right.  That choice made it possible for him to die a slow and miserable death on a criminal’s cross.  He could have called up the angels, but did not because he took the servant’s role.

It literally says that he “emptied himself” of the right in order to take upon himself the servant role.  I don’t want to jump ahead just yet, but this chapter ends with God lifting him up.  If Jesus doesn’t bring himself low, God could never lift him up.

This is first attitude we must have in Christ.  If we do not humble ourselves, God cannot lift us up.  He wants to lift us up, but we too often get in the way with pride, selfish ambition and fear.  Jesus showed us the path to greatness… it is through the job of a servant.

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The Greatest Description of Jesus: Part 1 of 4

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 13, 2009

Philippians 2 is my favorite chapter in the second half of the Bible because it is an illustration given by Paul, which turns out to be the greatest description of Jesus in the Bible.  I want to explore it over the course of the next few posts.

Read the whole chapter HERE.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: (vs. 1-5)

 This is the story behind the illustration Paul is about to give.  The goal Paul is seeking is that the church would be “Like-minded”.  The like mindedness is based on your condition in Christ (e.g. encouragement from being united, comforted by His love, fellowship with the Spirit, tenderness and compassion). Here’s the outline of Paul’s desire for the believer in being like minded.

  1. Same Love – We may have different approaches to methodology, but we are of the same source of Love.  Agape type love is the strongest love in the universe.  It is not dependent on feelings, but is selfless, loving others even when you feel they don’t deserve it. Jesus did it for you, you have no right not to love others in the same way.
  2. One in Spirit and Purpose– (lit. one mind of understanding) This spirit is not the “Holy Spirit”, but represents being on the same playing field in the spiritual understanding within each and every one of us.  We are three part beings – body, soul and spirit.  The spirit is the foundation of the person and if we aren’t unified here, the rest of our unity will crumble.
  3. Don’t function with selfish ambition – The word is erithia, which means “electioneering”. It is a political word that has come to define the cut-throat life of politics.  The believer’s attitude has no room for electioneering.  Churches that play this game, are not exhibiting a Christ-like attitude.
  4. Don’t have vain conceit – Literally, “empty-glory” – We like to be recognized for accomplishments, but when that attitude consumes us, we begin to take glory for things we really don’t have anything to do with.  When we take glory, God doesn’t get it.  But when we direct glory to God, it reflects back to us.  Empty glory leaves God out of the loop. Fulfilling glory focuses on Him.
  5. Humbly consider others better than yourself–  This humility is a “modest consideration of one’s own self”, literally, “low-hearted”. Christ was one of the most meek and humble individuals to walk the planet.  He had every reason to consider himself something special, but it was his heart’s desire only to bring glory to God.  John the Baptist understood this when he said, “[Jesus] must become greater, I must become less.” (John 3:30).  Jesus echoed that with his Father (John 8:12-30).  A good acronym is JOY (J)esus first, (O)thers second (Y)ourself last.
  6. Look to other’s interest first – He is not saying to neglect your things, he is saying that you have to consider others needs equal to your own.  This is hardest of all because we are selfish by nature, but through Christ, even this is possible.

All of these are examples of the attitude the Christ has.  If we are “Christians”, then we are to be “Christ Like” (that’s what that word means).  Therefore, if you want to be Christ Like, then these seven attitudes need to be adopted as your attitudes.

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