As we move on into chapter 2 let’s take a moment to review the past verses. Paul has asked the Philippians to live in harmony, to put aside their differences and to remove from their behavior personal ambitions, pride, and to not seek prominence and prestige at the expense of others. They must have in their hearts a humble, selfless desire to serve which he has put forth as the very essence of the life of Christ. Starting in Verse five he sets forth the example of Jesus Christ. It is important that we understand what is being put down here in Verses five through eleven. This is Paul’s final appeal to the Philippians and as I wrote above, he points to the life of Christ, no more powerful example is available.
The word within the word is Christology, which literally means “the understanding of Christ.” Within this Christological Hymn is the study of the person Jesus Christ and his role in salvation. In the next few verses we have a record of Jesus Christ’s humanity and divinity, and the relationship between these two aspects; and the role he plays in salvation. Here we have a summary of the life and work of Jesus Christ while he walked among us. The divine nature of Christ that even existed before the incarnation. Paul proclaims the divine nature of Christ, even though he assumed the humanness of an ordinary man and his humble obedience to the Father, even to death on the cross. We can get into a lot of theology here but we are better off leaving that to another time. This Hymn along with Paul to points toward Jesus as being the fulfillment of OT prophecies and Jesus, being the fulfillment of the promise of salvation for all.
We all know that phrase God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I had never thought of what I am about to share with you but it was the crux of Paul’s plea to the Philippians. Look at Verse 6: Being in the form of God; he was by nature in the very form of God. For those of us who don’t know Greek, an old timer might say there is a wonderment of information and understanding here. In the Greek there are two words for form. They are both translated as form because there is no other English word that will fit, they both mean the same thing. The Greek word morphe ̄ is the essential form that never changes. Stay with me now. The other word sche ̄ma is the outward form which changes over time or due to circumstance. Paul presents for our consideration a truth of Divine revelation. Jesus being in the form of God is morphe ̄; that is to say, his unchangeable being is divine. However his outward sche ̄ma might alter, he remained in essence divine. Jesus Christ, the Son of God came among us as a man, walked among us as God incarnate, in appearance was the same as us, assumed the form a servant and laid aside his sonship to reveal to us the glory, love and compassion of God. Paul charges us to not always think of ourselves but of others, not of our own glory but of the glory of God. I encourage you to read and allow the wonderful words of this hymn bring you closer to your savior. (Philippians 2:5-6)
Looking at this weeks verses from a layman’s view brings a new light on the time Christ walked among us. It is Paul’s fervent belief that the divinity of Christ never was put aside to spend time among the people. Jesus Christ put aside privilege and power to become a servant of the people, a means of salvation and reconciliation between the Father and his people. There is a great gift here … we too can be a way of salvation for those around us. Paul said ‘you must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had’. I do not know if it is possible to have the mind of Christ but I do believe that if we follow his example we can at least be of one mind. Have a great Lord’s day, hope to have you back in the pew next week.
Life is Good / God is Good
Reference Material: Essay by Jaime Zarse. Daily Bible Study / Barclay