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. – Philippians 2:1-11

We have had such a great opportunity in life, have we not? Think past the simple act of life itself. We have had the opportunity to forge through adversity and ease, luxury and having less than, joy and sorrow, peace and fighting. Yes, I say opportunity in each of these different dynamics of life. Peace may be comfortable, but trials produce steadfastness. Sorrow elevates our joyous appreciation of good and God’s kindness. Having less than even our needs or wants reminds us of the appreciation of what we have.

Reflect on the simple moments in life where

There is nothing easy about humility. Especially when you have a strong opinion. Even more when your opinion of how something should be done is obviously the best option. Or, the option you have support is what works the best. The fight between what has always worked and what new thing could work in the future is constant.

Humility is so tangible, it is readily apparent when someone else lacks it and consistently deceptive when ourselves lack it. Yet, to unity, especially unity in Christ sincere and genuine humility is absolutely necessary. This humility is found in our caring for those with nothing to us caring for those with more.

Humility is found in almost reckless and fearless recognition of another’s worth at the cost of my success. Humility as seen in this text is being okay with weakness and even the failure of others at your cost. It is the act of making less of your directives for the sake of another’s.

And, in the context of Philippians it is Paul being excited and celebrating those who oppose Him yet are excited about the Gospel itself. We see Paul celebrate those who even disdainfully look upon his suffering for Jesus as failure (Philippians 1:18).

As Paul prepares for the two potential outcomes, death as a criminal for speaking of the name of Jesus, or acquittal and freedom, he encourages the believers to have unity as the faithful at their own cost. He does not know whether he will come again to comfort them, to be the bridge to unify, or to simply come and see them again. He does not know, yet some of his final concerns are for the body of Christ, the believers, to encourage one another.

Walking Worthy of the Gospel is walking in Humility.

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.

So, walk worthy of the Gospel. Why?

Because there is constant encouragement in the God of the universe coming to suffer and die in His creation have unity.

Because the love of God displayed in Jesus and through creation comforts those who know Him, have unity with each other!

Because the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead (Rom 8:11) dwells in you transforming you to produce such great fruits (Gal 5:22) than join together in walking worthy of the Gospel through unity!

Because Jesus shows us sympathy and affection in understanding our temptations our struggles our past our future and has endured similar areas of life intentionally (Heb 4:14-15) have unity and similar understanding.

Many of know these truths like the back of our hands. For others these are new truths that bring hope to a dark time. For others these are great reminders of the great grace we have been given that inspire you.

No matter what these truths about Jesus are to you right now new, old, or a great reminder do not let them remain there. Let these truths do what Paul intended them to do. Have these truths impact and transform your life. There are few texts that display this more than Romans 12. After Paul lays out numerous and fantastic truths about God, he commends the believers to not stop at knowing the truths, rather he told them to be transformed by them.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Romans 12:1-18

This is no small task. Being transformed is not the same as being instantly made. There is no simple formula of actions that can cause you to be genuine in loving those who harm you, destroy you, distract you from the savior, and or just frustrate you. Yet, we are called to love genuinely.

We are commanded to celebrate others gifts and perspectives that are different than ours. We are to come alongside those different than us because they similar in that they are broken. Yes, we share in our brokenness and our only to be made whole. Jesus.

And, in knowing our savior, knowing our brokenness, learning how to love others is not simply left to us. Loving others, gaining compassion, gentleness, and care are a mark of true maturity in Christ, knowledge of God is oznly matured when it produces actions in us like that of the Spirit that dwells in us,

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. – Galatians 5:22-26

We walk worthy of this great Gospel and truth of God most through our humbled unity in Christ.

But, it’s not as simple as being told to do something. God set us an example to compare ourselves to and it is not the broken arrogant brother or sister in Christ you are wrestling in your mind to have humility toward.

We Have Humility Because God Did First.

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.

There is nothing more revealing about your intentions and humility than to fix your eyes, thoughts, and frustrations on the savior’s life, death, and new life. The question of whether or not you should or should not put someone else’s needs before even yours is displayed in the Father sacrificing the Son, and the Son humiliating Himself from birth to death for the sake of you and me.

Humiliating is not an understatement or an exaggeration. Due to our familiarity with Christmas, we forget the shame of Mary and Joseph. The soon to be married pregnant out of wedlock woman with the carpenter fiancé that couldn’t even get a home or room to stay in or use for his wife about to give birth. The torturous undignified cross where men would have to dispose of their bodily waste on themselves in front of all before grotesquely and miserably dying, is an item of jewelry and decoration.

The God of the universe in plain sight yet concealed in flesh ate and drank, rejoiced and wept, as well as ran and stood while men tried to stone Him or condemned Him for His kindness in the name of the Father that sent Him to die.

Rich Mullins puts it this way:

We miss the gospel of Christ: the good news that although the holy and all-powerful God knows we are dust, He still stoops to breathe into us the breath of life-to bring to our wounds the balm of acceptance and love. [1]

Our ability to humble ourselves for the sake of the unity of the Gospel is only determined by our recognition of our desperate and continued need for the Gospel. The Gospel is for the beaten, the broken, the inconsistent, the weak, the poor, the helpless, the slow, the needy, and those who feel like they have nothing to offer. It is not for the put together. It is not for those who have to much to give. The Gospel of grace found in Jesus is not for the professional Christian but for the broken and humble who have found purpose in Christ and not themselves or their gifts.

Morton Kelsey appropriately writes, “The church is not a museum for saints but a hospital for sinner.”[2]

How broken must the son of Man, the son of God have been to yell out in His final moments, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” Disgusting, with ripped flesh and gruesomely little flatteries, can the John and Peter even recognize their friend whom they fled and abandoned unto death. Their friend and messiah, whom pleaded with them to stay awake a little later and pray. Friends, who fell asleep three times while Jesus prepared for His gruesome abandoned death alone, simply so that He could be together blessing and loving for eternity those who abandoned Him.

What are you going to do today? There is no need to be urgent about the momentary situational frustrations if you lose sight of the urgency of the necessity of eternal life! The disciples missed the gravity of the moment.

Yet, Paul and this passage in Philippians begs us to recognize today, to recognize that this week, that in this moment it is more valuable to put another’s wish, likes, style, and gifts ahead of your own. This verse challenges us to ask, what must I give to another so that the Gospel can be known and seen by others? How can my humility enable me to walk worthy of the Gospel I so desperately need, so desperately cherish, and with every part of me want to give to others?

God’s Exultation is our Goal in Becoming Low.

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.

Think for a moment what the purpose of the church is. It is not to get people to heaven. The purpose of the church is to not encourage one another. The purpose of the church is to not do good. No, the purpose of the body is to exult Christ.

We bring the truth of God’s grace to people, so they can know God and be with God for eternity as an act of worship to God. We encourage and love one another in obedience to Christ because He is our Lord and we love Him. We do not do good of our own accord or to earn and perform for God, no we are dust, He has prepared the good deeds we do (Eph 2:8-10). We are what we are to exult Christ and we live how we live for His Name’s sake!

Think of the nameless people of the Gospel whose stories are to be told throughout generations. Like that of the nameless woman in Mark 14:3-9. Jesus had come into an unclean, and as such disgraced, man’s home. While there a woman of disreputable life choices comes and uses expensive oils to was the feet of Jesus.

Jesus declares in this fantastic moment, Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” – Mark 14:9 It was not because of who they were it was because of who they were worshiping that they are remembered. Think about the fantastic moment described in these verses in the letter to Philippians.

The great moment of Jesus being praised by every nation everywhere will be the most fantastic moment in all of history. It may be a little hyperbolic, but the important thing for us to remember is that this great moment is the end to which we aim.

The woman washed Jesus feet and anointed Him in preparation for the greatest act in all of creation, yet that act was done in order to prepare you and me to exult Jesus with every portion of our lives.

And, according to these verses a major way that we prepare to exult Jesus is through our own humility toward others. This is not often how I feel like I can worship God. We think about singing as worship. We think about studying God’s Word as worship. We think about prayer as worship. But, it could be argued that those are worthless without humility.

This treasured humility is not that of humility toward God alone. You recognize He is God. That’s great. Do you recognize that you are to choose to make others worth more than you because it is worship to Him who did that first.

This is not to mean that you do not recognize your own needs, but it does mean to recognize need verses wants. It is meant to challenge our willingness to step up, to step out, and to help others come to the point of worshiping God!

This could be as simple as inviting someone over to your home. Inviting someone into your life. I have been so humbled as a dad. My 6-year-old son was invited to a new classmates home for a birthday party. This became the foundation for them hanging out at either house at least twice a week, and even me finding a new friend.

Studying the New Testament understanding of having a meal with someone has been fantastic. As Jesus ate with Pharisees, leaders, tax collectors, and had his feet washed by prostitutes He was recognizing them as part of His life. He intentionally and intensely invested not simply in the creation and the people made of dust. Jesus saw the individual image bearer of Himself and valued them above His reputation, time, and inevitably His safety.

Humility is no small matter. The Apostle Paul enlists the comparison of God becoming man to appreciate the depths to which humility is necessary and the great lengths to which we can and should humble ourselves. To imagine humility to be a trait easily achieved or even sustained is to be a comic. Yet, this humility and unity is how we walk worthy of the Gospel to which we have been given.

Amidst attack, frustrations, and hurts inside the body of Christ humility unfettered and unconditional is how we can have unity! See Paul does not expect there to be a lot to strive to humility. Is there any encouragement in Christ, love, Spirit working, affection than have humility. The premise for humility is not built off of the others worth, it is built off of the worth our God has given them through His humility. Christ’s broken body on the cross, His humiliation as a servant even to the one who would betray Him by washing his feet, His deepest depth of humility being made in His creation.

Yet, the humility we have is not the end in itself. The humility we have is not only to raise up or encourage others, it is to display Christ. He is, like in everything, the purpose of our humility. His exultation is the purpose of our joyful humility. And, the unity that is spoken of is not simply unity as a church, or as people of faith, not that is to small. We have unity together because in our humility we have unity with Christ.

So, how have you humbly looked to care for others such as inviting someone into your life, into your home? How have you invested in the unity of the body of Christ at your own personal expense? What is to much of a sacrifice for you to invest in unity through humility so that even one more person can worship Jesus?

How are you preparing yourself and others for the worship of the King through imitating the King of humility?


[1] Rich Mullins, Brennan Manning, Preface, The Ragamuffin Gospel, (Colorado Springs, Colorado: Multnomah Books, 2005) xiv.

[2] Morton Kelsey, Brennan Manning, Preface, The Ragamuffin Gospel, (Colorado Springs, Colorado: Multnomah Books, 2005) 9.

           Questions to Consider

-         What ways did Jesus humble Himself? (Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 4:14-16; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Romans 5:6-11)

-         What ways does He challenge you to humble yourself? (Romans 12:1-18; 1 John 2:3-11)

-         How does doing good when it is inconvenient show humility? (Matthew 5:38-6:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11)

-         Why does doing good to those who will return it diminish the good you do? (James 2;

-         Why is the Gospel for the broken? (1 Corinthians 1:26-31; James 2:5; Luke 17:1-10)

-         How does your humility display the Gospel? (Matthew 20:1-16)