Preaching through Philippians has been a joy, and I feel like I am learning new things about God every day. Arriving at 2:5-11 presents a variety of challenges. First, it is a weighty text: There is a whole lot of truth represented in this passage. Second, it contains many points of controversy: This passage has lots of details that are debated. Preaching this text in three weeks seems daunting–as does simply trying to understand it.
“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 2:5-11
I came across a wonderful reminder during my reading for this coming Sunday’s message:
“[T]he present passage uniquely unfolds the cross as seen through the eyes of the Crucified, and allows us to enter into the mind of Christ. We tread, therefore, on very holy ground indeed. We do well to remember that this privilege is given to us not to satisfy our curiosity but to reform our lives.” J.A. Motyer, The Message of Philippians, pg. 108 (emphasis added)
Studying the Word of God is a privilege, and too often it can turn into an academic exercise rather than a spiritual exercise. Diving into the details is fun, but it ought to be more than fun; it ought to be life-changing. It isn’t about how much you know about God’s Word, but rather that you know God through his Word.