Episode 3: Philippians Bible Study Questions: Imitating the Humble Mind of Christ

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Episode 3: Philippians Bible Study Questions: Imitating the Humble Mind of Christ

August 13, 2018 | Andrew Davis
Philippians

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00:04 Joel Harford: Hi, welcome to the Two Journeys podcast. This is Episode 3 of Bible study questions in Philippians. Today, we're going through chapter 2, verses 1-11. I'm your host, Joel Harford and I'm here with Pastor Andy Davis. Andy, this is an incredible portion of Scripture. Can you give us a brief overview? 

00:24 Pastor Andy Davis: Yeah, it really is one of the most theologically-significant passages in the Bible. Here, we're going to get clearly displayed for us aspects of the incarnation of Jesus Christ, of his willingness to leave behind his heavenly glory so that he might become incarnate and die an atoning death on the cross. And so, that's something that all of us are aware. But in recent years also, I've come to realize, that some of the verses that lead up to it, give us an insight into the unity that there is in the Trinity. So though the Trinity is not particularly mentioned, just the idea of the kind of unity that Paul would like to see in the Philippian church and then linking it through other Scriptures to the unity of the Trinity has been very insightful for me. 

01:07 Joel: That's beautiful. Well, for the sake of our audience, I'm going to read again verses 1-11 of chapter 2. "So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 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, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men, and being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 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." 

02:31 Joel: So Andy, as you think about this text, what does this passage teach us about Jesus before and after his incarnation? 

02:41 Andy: Well, I think, as I mentioned in the initial comments, we're seeing in this text a clear display of the incarnation of Jesus, how he was fully God and fully human, and it gives us some insights into what he was before he was incarnate, that he was in heavenly glory and then he made a conscious choice to take on a human body. That's something that no other human being in history has done. He said to Pilate, "For this reason, I was born. And for this I entered the world to testify to the truth."  No one else can make the statement. It would be absurd to say, "I entered the world for this," or "I entered the world for that." None of us were pre-existent, but Jesus was pre-existent before he was human. But forever from the moment of his conception in the womb of the Virgin Mary, from that point on, he is also forever human. And so, there's a lot of insights that come from this text on that. 

03:37 Joel: Now, in the beginning in verse 1 he says, he list these things, if there is encouragement in Christ, comfort from love, participation in the Spirit, affection and sympathy. So, why does Paul say "if there is any," when these are things that Christians actually have? 

03:52 Andy: Well, Paul writes this way. I think so often, when we have a list like this, I think we should read it this way, "since there is so much of these things." I take the ifs like this, if you are a Christian, then live like it. That's how he talks. So, I think we're going to just translate it in our mind, "since you are a Christian," or "since you have been raised with Christ," set your heart on things above, etcetera. So I read it as "since." However, he is writing to a congregation and there's a mixed group, you never know for certain that everyone is genuinely born again. So, to a congregation then you say, if you are a Christian, if these things are true of you, then make my joy complete.

 04:34 Joel: Now Paul says, "Complete my joy by being of the same mind." Let's just think about that phrase, "Complete my joy." Why is Paul's affections and joy so tied up in this church?

 04:46 Andy: Well, Paul loved this church just like he loved all the churches that he planted, but this church brought back some incredible memories of his suffering with Silas, of the amazing miracle that God did and sending this earthquake that set all of the prisoners free in their chains, although no one escaped, and opened the prison doors and that eventually led to the salvation of the Philippian jailer and his family. So he remembered them, he remembered the Philippian jailer and his family, he remembered Lydia, the dealer in purple cloth at whose house he and Silas and the others stayed. He had so many sweet memories of this church, and so he has a lot of joy in the original planting of that church, but he would like a more complete joy in seeing their progress and sanctification. 

05:33 Andy: And if I could go back just for a moment in verse 1, he lists all these things: Encouragement, comfort, participation in the Spirit, affection and sympathy. These are treasures that we have in Christ, and so he says, "Since you're so rich as Christian, since you have so much encouragement and comfort from being loved by God, since you're so completely cared for," he then argues for the unity that he's about to argue for.

06:00 Joel: We spoke last week, Andy, about the unity of mind and the church unity, and he reiterates that again. He says, "Being of the same mind and having the same love, in full accord, and of one mind." Again, why does Paul think this unity is so important? And how does that really flow into fruitful church ministry?

06:23 Andy: Yeah, this is really the vital issue, this entire section that talks about the incarnation. Paul wasn't writing it to give a teaching, a theological discourse on the incarnation. He uses Jesus's humility and his other-centeredness and his submission to the will of the Father as an example that all of them should follow. Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ. To what end? That they would be of one mind with one another, as everyone in the church was having the mind of Christ, then they would be united with one another. Sadly, local churches are often rife with disunity, with factions and divisions and conflicts, because we're all sinners, and we're all prideful, and selfish, and we have our little fiefdoms, our little kingdoms, and we get slighted, and we don't forgive. And so therefore, in almost every local church that we know about at any length in the New Testament, there's some problem with division, there's some issues of disunity.

07:22 Andy: So for example, in Romans 14, Paul goes at length, it seems, very much about Jewish believers in Christ and Gentile believers. So, Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians, and he gives them a whole chapter on how to get along with each other, on debatable issues. You see the same thing in Galatians where they were rife with legalistic teaching, and were biting and devouring each other like a pack of wild dogs. And he urged them to stop doing that, or they'd be devoured by each other. You see the same problem in Ephesians and Colossians, and 1 and 2 Thessalonians and Timothy, almost every one of these epistles, there's some teaching toward unity, toward loving one another, toward fellowship with one another. You see the same in the Epistles of John, where false teachers come in and sow division and discord.

08:08 Andy: And so, we really look on the local church as the front line of the advancing kingdom of Jesus Christ. And Satan knows it too. And so, he is battling all the time, and sowing seeds of discord and disunity. So, as we saw in chapter 1, now here again in chapter 2, he's making an appeal that they be of one mind. Now in verse 2, I think one of the key things about verse 2 is he describes the level of unity he really wants from them. He wants them to think alike, to actually truly agree with each other, to be of one mind about everything. And not only that, but that they would have the same affection, the same heart of love, and they would have the same purpose, going in the same direction. There's just an incredible unity that he wants. He's not at all advocating that they just agree to disagree, not at all. He wants them genuinely to agree.

08:57 Andy: And the pattern of our unity is always going to be the Trinity. Jesus prayed in John 17, "Father, may they be brought to perfect or complete unity to let the world know that you've sent me." And so the evangelism the church does is tied to its unity or as Jesus said, "By this will all men know that you are my disciples if you love one another." So a heartfelt love based on shared convictions where we all see things the same way, that's the genuine trinitarian unity. So the Father and the Son have never disagreed about anything, and they never will. They have the exact same level of affection for everything, they share everything. That's the pattern of Christian unity. 

09:39 Andy: Frankly, we should see the same thing in Christian marriage, too. Husbands and wives should have the same mind, they should agree about everything, and they should love the same and have the same purpose. Now, this is a goal. We're not going to attain it perfectly, but that's what he wants out of these Philippians. 

09:54 Joel: I think this is really important, and as I think about the next verse where he says, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more important than yourselves," and then in a minute, he's going to say, "have this mind among yourselves…" I see really how the Christian is commanded not only to mortify the deeds of the body, but also mortify the deeds of the mind. And I know a lot of people would think that you can't control your thoughts, you can't control your minds.  But by the power of the Holy Spirit, it seems that we're supposed to really conform our minds to Christ and again, put on the mind of Christ. 

10:32 Andy: Yeah. I think Romans 12 says it plainly, we're to be "transformed by the renewing of our minds," and Ephesians 4 says that we should no longer live in the futility of the minds of the Gentiles in the unconverted state in which they live their lives. So it's a whole new way of thinking. As you think, that's how you're going to live. So we come to common convictions and common agreement about doctrine by studying the word of God, it is the word that transforms our thinking because it never changes. And the more and more we study it, the less and less, as Jesus said, "You're in error because you don't know the Scriptures or the power of God." The more that that's not true of us, the more united we'll be with each other, we're going to see everything from a scriptural point of view, and therefore we're going to agree about everything. 

11:16 Joel: So in verse 3, he does say, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." How do we do this? This is so difficult. If I could have a road map for how to do this, I could live a much more sanctified life. Give me some pointers.

11:35 Andy: That's so true. It's so true, and we just need to realize the theological significance of this. Saint Augustine said that pride is at the root of just about every human sin, and it's devilish, it really is in the pattern of Satan. Satan was arrogant and prideful, and sought to, it seems in Isaiah 14 to ascend, to topple God from his throne and take God's place. That's how arrogant Satan is, and he's led us in a similar journey of devilish pride. And so, conversely then, when we're converted, we turn away from pride. We are humble, we seek to make little of ourselves and seek to elevate others, to lay down our lives for others. Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this: That he lay down his life for his friends."

12:15 Andy: To become like Jesus Christ in a self-denying, self-sacrificial pattern. This is the very thing he calls on us to be and do as his followers. "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow." And the denial of self is the essence of humility, that we're not impressed by ourselves, we don't think much or deify ourselves, we think little of ourselves, we know that we're sinners saved by grace, and so we don't do anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, trying to ascend and become the leader of the local church in some inappropriate way. So that's what he's urging them to do, don't be so prideful, and don't put your own interests ahead of the interests of others, but try to think about other people's interests ahead of your own. 

13:00 Joel: So in line with that, laying down your life in sacrifice, putting other people's interests ahead of your own, we get to Christ, the ultimate example of this. And so then he tells us to have this mind, which is ours in Christ Jesus. And he says, "though he was in the form of God..." We're going to talk about the incarnation like you said, he says "though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped." Let's talk about the "form" second and this phrase, "thing to be grasped" first, what does that mean? 

13:33 Andy: Yeah, I think it's so beautiful where he says, "Have this mind in you, which is yours in Christ Jesus." It's already ours. We're told in another Scripture, we have the mind of Christ. In 1 Corinthians, he tells us that. We have the mind of Christ. But if that's true, then what's this exhortation for? Well, what he's saying is, you have it, now use it. You have, through the Holy Spirit, the ability to think just like Jesus and so use it. By the Spirit, put on the mind of Christ, put on the attitude of Christ. But here, it has to do with this self-denial as humility. And so, we get down into this incredible passage where it says that Jesus being in the form of God did not consider equality with God something he grasped or he didn't consider it robbery. There's different translations. 

14:18 Joel: Some say taking advantage of. 

14:21 Andy: Okay, or seizing it, holding it like with white-knuckled fervency like you could never give it up, that kind of thing. And I think what we needed to do, the form has to do... And he uses the form three times here I think, the form of God, form of a servant, and form of a human. And so I think the idea here is that he's not playing at any of these. He really is God, he really is servant, he really is human. But it also has to do with the trappings and the appearance of such. And so, he had the pattern or the form or the glory, let's say the glory of God in heaven. This is the very thing he asks for the Father to give him back, "Father, give me the glory I had with you before the world began," that's what he laid down, which is the apparent radiance, the visible radiance of his majesty. He laid that down. 

15:14 Andy: So he became, as one theologian would say, God incognito. Or it says in Isaiah 53, "He had no form or beauty or majesty to attract us to him. Nothing in his appearance that we should desire him." So that's what he laid down. He had the outward trappings of glory, the representations of kingly glory and majesty. He had that just as much as God the Father did. He was every bit as much glorious as God the Father is and was. 

15:44 Joel: So it says that he "emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men."  Now, the word he "emptied" himself, we don't want to take this too far. There's the Kenosis theory which says he emptied himself of divinity, we don't believe that. So what is this emptying-ness? And then where do we draw the line and say, "Oh, we shouldn't go any further"? 

16:04 Andy: Sure. Well, the emptying, as you've mentioned, the Kenosis theory comes from the Greek right here, which is for emptying. And it would be very wrong for us to think that he, in any way, stopped being God. He never stopped being, he never will. He didn't stop being God when he was on the cross. 

16:21 Joel: So he didn't stop upholding the universe by the word of his power? He's always doing that. 

16:26 Andy: Yeah, and this is the mystery that we'll never fully understand. The incarnation is an infinite mystery far beyond anyone's ability to comprehend. It is the stumbling block that a normal human being with facial hair, with hands, with the need to eat and sleep and rest, all of these things, the physicality of Jesus and his incarnation, that was the stumbling block. How could a mere man make himself God or equal to God? So he was always God, he always has been, always will be, there was no change, but what he did lay down were the trappings of deity, of glory. And there's some mysterious aspects too. God is omnipresent, Jesus was localized. God is omniscient, Jesus, it seemed to, learn things. There were some things he didn't know. 

17:15 Joel: And grew in wisdom and stature. 

17:18 Andy: Yeah, so that's just a mystery. And that's in his humanity. He did learn things, but as God, he never learned of anything, never will. So he made himself nothing, but I'm going to go even beyond that. I'm going to say really the made himself nothing has to do with his attitude or demeanor toward the Father. He didn't claim his own here, he didn't demand his rights, he didn't demand that people treat him a certain way, he didn't demand the best seat at the banquet, and even more than that in Gethsemane, he didn't demand from the Father that he not go to the cross. He actually, the ultimate statement of making himself nothing is, "Not my will, but yours be done." That's the ultimate making yourself nothing, and that's exactly what Paul is talking about here. His servanthood to the Father on our behalf, that's the ultimate end of him making himself nothing.

18:07 Joel: And it says, taking the form of a servant. So he was in the form of God, and now he takes the form of a servant. 

18:16 Andy: Right. 

18:16 Joel: And I've heard you talk before about just humans being created to serve. How could you argue from this verse that really we're made to be servants? 

18:25 Andy: Well, if you just continue in the verse, it says, "Taken the form of a servant, being in the form of a human." And so the idea is that he was every bit as much servant as he was God, and he was every bit as much servant as he was human. But just in the flow of the verse, I've tended to read it that being made in human likeness is the same as being made a servant. We were made to serve. And I think the problem is that we just don't believe this. We are so sinfully arrogant, we want to be kings and princes and rulers, and we want to lord it over others, and we want a life of ease and luxury and not be told what to do. But we were made to serve, the angels know this, then the angels know that they are servants of the living God, but we are deceived into thinking that we are serving no one. 

19:13 Andy: And so, honestly, if you truly believe that you're not serving anyone, that you are your own master, the master of your own fate, the captain of your own soul, you have bought, hook, line, and sinker into Satan's deception. He lies to us, teaching us that we're not servants when actually, if so, we're serving him, and we're serving wickedness, and we're serving sin. So you're going to either be in Romans 6, a slave to sin or you're going to be a slave to God, one or the other, there's no third option. You're going to be a slave to Satan and sin, or to God. 

19:45 Joel: Now, verse 8, just how is verse 8 just the most amazing display of the greatness and glory of Christ in the whole Bible? 

19:54 Andy: Well, go ahead and read it again just to remind me what it says. 

19:57 Joel: It says, "And being found in human form, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." 

20:05 Andy: I really go to Gethsemane as well as to the cross. Gethsemane is the time in which it seems to me, based on something that it says, I believe in Mark 14:33, that when Jesus came into the garden of Gethsemane, he became amazed. Ekthambeomai in the Greek. He was astonished by something. And I think, in that, he already knew he was going to the cross, he knew specifically what was going to happen. I think God the Father revealed to him in a very deep, powerful, almost visionary or profound way what it would be like to drink the cup of God's wrath on the cross, what that would actually feel like and be like physically and spiritually. And it was so overwhelming that he was knocked to the ground, and great drops of blood came out of his pores, and he was so intensely overwhelmed. It was so overwhelming that you can see why the Father wouldn't have revealed it to him before that because in his humanness, he could almost expire from a heart attack, literally at the pressure that that was to him. 

21:08 Andy: But with this cup, as we look at what Jesus said and what he prayed, came an implicit command really or request from the Father, they're the same. The Father makes a request, he's making a command. Will you drink this cup, my Son? And his answer is the most obedient and the most courageous thing that has ever been done in history, he said, "Not my will, but yours be done." He drank that cup to its dregs. This is the single greatest act of obedience ever, and that's why Paul picks up on it in Romans 5 saying, "Just as through the disobedience of the one man that many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man that many are made righteous." I am made righteous, and so are you, both of us by faith in Jesus's obedience. We have been seen, we've been imputed as obedient as Jesus, and that's staggering to me because I'm so often disobedient. But Jesus was perfectly obedient his entire life, but especially in the matter of the cross. 

22:09 Joel: Yeah, his obedience in Gethsemane is just truly remarkable. I often think of it as Jesus's finest hour, just willingly accepting that cup and going, being obedient the cross. Now it says, "Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name." Before the Gethsemane and the cross, Jesus had glory as you referenced John 17 in the prayer Jesus prays, but then Paul says, "Therefore God has highly exalted him," so how did his humiliation and obedience then actually turned to even more higher glory in the exaltation? 

22:48 Andy: There's so much I could say right now. First, let's just talk about Jesus, and then I want to talk about the word "therefore", because the word therefore teaches us how we also are going to be rewarded, on what basis we will receive glory in heaven, and what basis we will get grounds, and other aspects of glory in heaven. So we'll get to that, but let's talk about Jesus because he gets the highest place. One of the translations NIV has, he exalted him to the "highest place," but the Greek just says he highly exalted him. It doesn't matter, we all know it's the highest place, there's no one more highly exalted than Jesus. And on the basis of his obedience, the Father was so moved that he says, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." Everyone is under Jesus. And that exaltation has to do with his achievement in the incarnation, his life of service, but especially in the cross, it's a great achievement. 

23:38 Andy: And so therefore, in Revelation, chapter 5 we have this call that this mighty angel gives for anyone who has the right to come and take the scroll sealed with seven seals from the right hand of Almighty God seated on the throne, and no one was found in heaven or earth, or under the earth who is worthy to take the scroll and look inside. And John weeps and weeps because no one is found worthy, but then one of the elder says, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed. He is worthy to take the scroll and open the seal." Then he saw a lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne. Clearly, John is saying he is God, but he also looked as if he had been slain. And the rest of the chapter, Revelation 5, gives him honor as having died. So that's the new honor that comes to Jesus. He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, that's all new, and he gets glory and honor forever for his having been obedient. So therefore, God highly exalted him or gave him honor because of his death. 

24:46 Andy: Now, let's talk about the word therefore. We're supposed to learn from this what it is that God esteems, what it is he's going to reward. Because Jesus made himself nothing, because he was a humble servant, because he laid his life down even to the point of dying, because he was willing to do that, therefore, God highly exalted him and honored him. So the same is given to us, if we want to be honored by God, and we should want that, we should want God to bestow on us glory and honor for a task well done, for a life well-lived. We should yearn for him to say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." But he's not left us in the dark as to what it is he's going to honor. He honors sacrifice, loving sacrifice. Jesus said to those, James and John, that want to sit at his right and his left, "Can you drink the cup I'm going to drink?" So the idea is, on the basis of our willingness to lay our lives down for our brothers and sisters, for others, God will highly exalt us too, though not as highly as Jesus, none of us will be as humble and lowly as Jesus was on the cross. 

25:50 Joel: So Jesus is highly exalted, and it says that God bestowed on him this name that is above every name. What's the significance of the word "name"

26:00 Andy: Well, the word name represents a reputation, it sums up his character, his achievements, and so God has many names in the Bible, and he has given the name here that's above every name. And I think for us, in the English language, we'd have to say that's the name of God. He's given him the name of Almighty God, other names such as King of kings and Lord of lords, the ruler of the ends of the earth, all of these things, the judge of all the earth. These names are all subsumed in the one name, he is God. And so God does not shrink back from calling him God. Actually, he does that. God the Father calls Jesus God in Hebrews 1, he says, the Father speaking to the Son says, "Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever." And so, he bestows that name of God, which he would not bestow on any creature. He would never bestow it on any created being. There's an infinite gap between creator and creature, but Jesus is not a created being, he is Almighty God. And because of his achievement, his deity was put on display, and he was given the name that is above every name, which is the name of Almighty God. So we, therefore, can worship him as God, and we Christians do precisely that. 

27:17 Joel: Amen. That was my next question was, what does verse 10 teach us about worship? 

27:23 Andy: That's a great question of what it teaches us about worship. I want to see myself bowing down before Christ day after day. I want to humble myself before him and give him full credit as my Savior, and to esteem him infinitely highly as my Creator and my sustainer, as my God, that is the focus of my worship. And so I want to bow down before him in corporate worship, in private worship, in my quiet times. So at the name of Jesus, I want to bow my knee. And the idea is that all of us who are Christians see the need for that, and the Holy Spirit compels us to bow the knee before Jesus long before judgment day, and we do it by faith. And that's how it is that we're saved, we're justified by faith. Some day, others are going to fall down before him much like Judas infested with Satan did when he came to arrest Jesus, they'll be on their faces before him cowering in terror because he's about to condemn them to the lake of fire, and so their knees are going to bow as well, but from a very different demeanor. So that's what I think of when I think of worship. I yearn to worship him, it's a delight to give him honor and pleasure, and that's what all Christians do now by the Spirit. 

28:36 Joel: That's a powerful application then for evangelism, it's like, look, everyone will bow the knee one day. Are you going to bow the knee with joy or are you going to be doing it begrudgingly? 

28:49 Andy: Or terror. Joy or terror. Begrudgingly through terror, compelled as we see his overwhelming power, but we don't love him, and we're not thrilled that he's ruling, we're cowering in terror and resentful. That's what the lost people will be like. So yeah, that's a great motivation for evangelism. 

29:06 Joel: Now, in verse 11 it says, "Every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord." And then just as a reminder, verse 10 talked about the knees bowing. How does this relate to Isaiah 45:23? 

29:21 Andy: Yeah, actually I want to go to Isaiah 45:22-23, just run into it, because Isaiah 45:22 was Charles Spurgeon's converting verse, "Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth." And it's just a great story about how Charles Spurgeon heard a primitive Methodist preach on that text, and how Spurgeon had been making it too complicated. He finally realized all he needed to do was look unto me and be saved. But who is the one that Spurgeon was looking to that day? It was Christ crucified, Christ resurrected. But in Isaiah, there's just one God, Yahweh. I'm not saying there's any denial of the Trinity, it just hadn't been fully, fully revealed at that point. But what Almighty God, Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was doing for Israel, was saying there is no God but me.

30:08 Andy: A fierce monotheism is in those 10 chapters from Isaiah 40-49, and he's hostile. God is against all their idols and Baal and Molech and all these others. And he's saying, "You're going to look to me all the ends of the earth, not just the Jews, but the Gentile nations. Look unto me and be saved all the ends of the earth." And then as you said in verse 23, "By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall never be revoked, to me every knee shall bow, by me every tongue shall swear allegiance." Now, every Jew would have realized this is talking about Almighty God, and yet Paul ascribes it to Jesus. This is a clear claim to deity, that every knee is going to bow, and every tongue is going to swear allegiance to Jesus, but to the glory of God the Father. There's no division within the Trinity. Any honor we give to Jesus, we're really giving honor to God the Father.

31:03 Joel: Amen. I love that connection with Isaiah. It really... Then you start seeing Christ all through the 40s in Isaiah and the 50s and 60s. Christ is all through the book.

31:13 Andy: Through the whole Old Testament, for sure.

31:15 Joel: Well, give any final thoughts on this passage, verses 1-11.

31:20 Andy: Sure. Well, let's go back to the reason why Paul wrote it. It wasn't so much to give us the theology of the incarnation. He uses that, but it shows how deep theology can become very practical. Because Jesus was so humble, you should be humble one with another. So just start with your marriage, if you are married be humble toward your spouse. Don't consider your own needs ahead of his or her own. For you, you have a wife, Anne, for me, my wife Christi. I want to put her needs ahead of my own and not just be selfish about my own needs. So, I should consider her better than myself or above myself. So just taking the role modeling that Jesus does here that Paul presses to our hearts say, "Let's be humble like Jesus."

32:00 Andy: But ultimately, honestly, the teaching of the incarnation soars far above even our relationships in marriage, and far above our relationships within the church, and that is, that someday we are going to see the greatness of Christ, and we're going to be overwhelmed for all eternity. And since we're all loving the same Jesus here in the local church, let's get along with each other, let's be united, let's agree with each other. One last thing I want to say about church unity, I think we need to work a lot harder at it than we do. I think we need to stop agreeing to disagree. Let's really listen to each other. Say, "Tell me why you think this? What are your concerns? What's on your mind?" And do our best to really understand somebody. And then that person says back, "Well, tell me your thoughts. How do you see this?" And let's pray together until we really do agree. I think that's a worthy goal, and that's right down the center of what Paul's trying to do here in the Philippians epistle for this local church.

32:50 Joel: Thank you, Andy. That was Episode 3 of the Two Journeys podcast Bible study questions on Philippians. Next week, we will look at Philippians 2:12-30, shining like lights for the spread of the gospel. Thank you for listening, and God bless you all.

 

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