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Philippians 2:1-4 | Happiness & Unity


Debrief offers an abridged outline of the Sunday sermon for individuals or Community Groups alike, to re-engage the content of the Sunday sermon.  This outline is far from complete, but serves to give a track or road map to walk through the content of Sunday in another context during the week.

 What does God hate?


 There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil,  a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers  - Proverbs 6:16-19

Can you imagine how much more righteously angry God gets toward these things and the people that practice them than we do?  And headlining the list of things He’s angry at – PRIDE

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. – James 4:6

If God hates pride, then the most prideful Christians on earth are also the most miserable Christians on earth, because although they’re “in Christ”, God is actively opposing them in their pride.

BIG IDEA:  The happiest Christians on earth are also the most humble Christians on earth.  The happiest Church on earth is made up of the most humble Christians on earth who, let go, serve and obey, like Jesus.

How do we become humble?


Jesus Is Our Humble Example  (v:5-8)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped….... (v:5-6)

Paul traces Jesus’ mindset from His Preexistence to His Incarnation to His Death to His Resurrection and to His Exaltation

When we think about Jesus we usually think of the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.  But the Bible lets us see two ends of the tapestry of the existence of Jesus that give us a bit better perspective on who He is in Isaiah 6:1-3 and Revelation 5:6-12.

This is the place the example of Jesus begins and ends.

In light of this, how do we become more humble?


Let Go   (v:6-7)

…….who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing…….  (v:6-7)

Form: (morphe) - the true and exact nature of something; possessing all the characteristics and qualities of something.

  • Literally: “himself he emptied”
  • The idea of emptying carries with it the voluntary loss of something.
  • Jesus did not empty Himself of His divinity, but added to his divinity humanity
  • Jesus did not empty Himself of His divinity, but chose to conceal it, to not continually avail Himself to His divine nature
  • Jesus laid aside His glory not by lessening it, but by concealing it. – Calvin
  • Jesus gave up the rights and privileges that were rightly His

Are we willing to willingly give up our rights and privileges?

Serve  (v:7)

 …….taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men…… (v:7)

“The question is not just, “Of what did He empty Himself,” but “Into what did He empty Himself.” – C.J. Maheney

Form: (morphe) - the true and exact nature of something; possessing all the characteristics and qualities of something;  “form of a servant”

  • The perfect, preexistent Son became the perfect servant in human likeness
  • Jesus possessed the perfect and complete qualities of a servant
  • There is nothing Jesus didn’t do that wasn’t done out of perfect service…….to God, to His disciples, to His enemies……

Are we willing to willingly and perfectly serve God, our friends, and enemies?

Obey  (v:8)

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  (v:8)

Form: (shema) outward appearance; “likeness of men”

  • Jesus obeyed everything the Father asked of Him  (John 14-17)
  • In light of that, why did Paul deem it necessary to reference the cross as an example of obedience?
  • The cross was the most humbling death someone could possibly die.
  • Jesus literally went from the most exalted place possible as the preexistent Logos, to the most humbling place possible as the incarnate Christ.

Are we willing to willingly obey God, no matter what the cost?

What would be the most embarrassing thing Jesus would ask you to do?

Jesus humbled Himself by letting go instead of holding on, serving instead of being served, and obeying instead of being obeyed.  This is the true posture of humility.


Why?  If a friend does something incredible, something newsworthy, something so unique that the world takes notice, we’d ask ourselves the question, “Why?”  Why did He do it?  What did He have in mind?  What was He thinking?

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. – 2 Corinthians 8:9

Jesus Is Our Humble Substitute 


For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:21

True humility comes from seeing ourselves for who we are in light of who He is

“Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.” – C.J. Mahaney

Being humble is not just about being like Jesus, but being in agreement with Jesus about our sinfulness and His holiness.

Jesus Is Our Humble Yet Honored King


Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  (v:9-11)


Diving In offers a few questions to help you re-engage the concepts from Sunday.  Feel the freedom to use all of the questions, or to simply camp out on just one.  These questions aren't intended to answer all the issues that surface through the thrust of this weeks' message, but to simply raise them and allow you time and space to process them, ideally in the context of your Community Group.

  • How does the way you see the presence of pride in your life affect your posture for growing in humility?
  • Is there something in your life God may be asking you to let go of, even if you have a right to it, as an exercise in humility?  If so what?  Why do you sense God is asking this of you?
  • Is there a specific way you can more purely and perfectly serve God, your friends and fellow disciples, as well as your enemies?  What would this look like for you?
  • What is the most host humbling, even perhaps the most embarrassing thing God could ask you to do today as an act of obedience?  Are you willing to obey Jesus no matter what He would ask of you?
  • How does the following quote from C.J. Mahaney affect the growth of your understanding of humility?  - “Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.” – C.J. Mahaney

Deep End

The Deep End is a short and simple formation exercise you can use to dive deep into your heart before God. Feel the freedom to divert from the directions if that makes it easier for you to connect with Jesus in this exercise.

  • First, quiet your heart before the Lord. If you find yourself distracted by various thoughts (things on your “To Do” list, etc.), don’t “fight” the distractions, but rather spend some time praying over those things. Hopefully soon your heart will quieted down and you will be able to hear the Lord speaking to you.
  • Next, spend some time reading and meditating over James 4:6.  Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you if any areas of your life where you sense any resistance is due to the presence of pride and the active resistance of God in your life.
  • If you sense there is resistance in your life due to the presence of pride, spend some time confessing this to Jesus, agreeing with Him that it's sin, and asking Him to forgive your pride in that particular place.
  • Next, ask the Spirit to reveal to you what it would look like for you to act humbly in that area of your life.  Ask the Spirit to reveal to you any deeper heart issue that is at stake that's connected to that place of pride.
  • Last, take some more time to consider other areas of your life that you sense the presence of pride in, as you have time, and through the week.

My hope is that these simple exercises in The 60 will help what we discovered during this week be distilled, and deepened in your heart and life with Jesus.

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