Philippians 2:8 - What Jesus Did For Us - Part II

Steve Viars August 5, 1995 Philippians 2:8

I. Our Lord Was Found In Appearance As A Man

    - in the verse we studied last week, we just mentioned the last
      phrase in the verse which says, "He was made in the likeness of
      men."
    - we didn't spend much time on that phrase because:
        1) we had a lot of other important things to study from the verse
        2) we knew the phrase was repeated in verse 8

    - this is obviously a very important idea since Paul, in essence,
      says it twice---so we would be sure to carefully consider what it
      was like for our Savior to BE FOUND in appearance as a man.

    - the thrust of this first part of the verse has to do with how the
       crowds responded to the fact that Jesus Christ came as a man.

    A. In some ways, the crowd was right.

        - William Hendricksen, in writing on this verse, points out that:
          "In their estimation, He was a human being, just like them in
           ever so many respects."

        - in some senses, they were right---the Lord Jesus Christ was
            fully man.

        1) He was born - they were born.

        2) He had parents - they had parents.

        3) He grew up - they grew up.

        4) He had brothers and sisters, they had brothers and sisters.

        5) He learned a trade - they learned a trade.

        6) He experienced hunger, thirst, need to sleep - so did they.

        7) He rejoiced - they rejoiced.

       8) He wept - they wept.

       9) He was going to die - they were going to die.

- so when the verse talks about Jesus "Being found in appearance as a
    man," in some ways they were right to conclude that he was a man.


- the problem was, of course, that they were unwilling to believe, even
    in the face of undeniable evidence, that he was in fact the God-Man.

    B. In some ways, the crowds were terribly wrong.

        1. They didn't recognize Him as a sinless man.

            - though Jesus Christ never sinned (Heb. 4:15), He was often
               accused of sin.
                 - Matt. 12:24 - people said that Jesus was acting in the
                      power of Satan!

             - that’s part of what it meant for Jesus to be "Found in
                fashion as a man."
                  - other people assumed that because they sinned (as
                    men), that he must sin too.

        2. They didn't recognize His deity.

            - In John 1, one of the clearest statements of the deity of
               Christ, John solemnly reports:
                 "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not"

                 (thank the Lord for 1:12!)

            - Just like we studied last week from Isa. 53:3 - "He is
                despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and
                acquainted with grief, and we hid as it were our faces
                from Him, He was despised, and we esteemed Him not."

- now this part of the verse brings us to a very important point in this
   study -- Paul is asking us to think about what it was like for Jesus
   Christ --- to be willing to relinquish His rights and privileges of
   heaven....to come to earth....

      - AND THEN TO BE WRONGLY ACCUSED AND TO A LARGE DEGREE,
         UNRECOGNIZED AND UNAPPRECIATED.

- that’s a whole different step in the development of Paul's discussion.

 

   - its one thing to sacrifice -- its something entirely different (and
        entirely worse) to sacrifice---and then turn around and be
        wrongly accused.
          - to sacrifice, and go unrecognized
          - to sacrifice, and be unappreciated

- I'd like to ask you to think how you respond when you're in those
   shoes, even in relatively minor ways.

- INPUT - Ways we might find ourselves in that spot?


- INPUT - Wrong ways we might respond to being in that spot?

- a good question to ask ourselves this morning is -- "If the first part
    of verse 8 was true of us right now, how might the second part of the
    verse read?"

- thank the Lord that the second part of the verse tells us that:

II. Our Lord Humbled Himself

    - J.H. Jowett said, "ministry that costs nothing, accomplishes
        nothing."

    - a good parallel passage to this is I Peter 2:23 - TURN AND READ

    - This is an amazing (and convicting) truth about our Savior.
       - when he was found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself.

    - please note also the use of the word "Himself."

    - we saw that last week in verse 7.

    - the same emphatic word is used again in verse 8.
       - this is something Jesus chose to do Himself.
       - it wasn't a last ditch effort because He was backed in a corner
           by the Pharisees.
       - it wasn't done with hesitancy or complaint or resistance or
           coercion.

           - Jesus Christ voluntarily humbled Himself.

- INPUT - What question could we be asking ourselves about now?  (What
           examples could we give about how we humbled ourselves?)

 

        (could develop - Do we have the attitude - "This isn't about ME,
          it's about God's plan"?)


(by the way, there are some significant implications of this to the self-
  love, self-esteem theory.  Pastor Goode will be speaking on that as
  part of our "Contemporary Topics" series on Sept. 17 and 24.)

III. Our Lord Became Obedient Unto Death, Even Death by Crucifixion

    - its important to note that as Paul moves us through this
       discussion, an important point on the journey is the matter of
       obedience.

        1) Jesus did not grasp onto His rights/privileges of deity
        2) Jesus emptied Himself
        3) Jesus took the form of a servant
        4) Jesus humbled Himself
        5) Jesus was obedient.

- INPUT - What kinds of things does our world say about obedience?  How
           is this topic often viewed in our society?

- Warren Wiersbe tells off a missionary at a festival in Brazil going
   from booth to booth when he saw a sign that said, "Cheap Crosses."

    - How many Americans are looking for just that -- a cheap cross.
       - a cross that doesn't cost much.

     - Jesus Christ was willing to pay the price of obedience.

     A.  Our Lord placed a high premium on obedience

         - Living for God has everything to do with the matter of who is
           going to be "Lord."

         - like the hymn - "King of my life, I crown thee now, thine
           shall the glory be; lest I forget thy thorn crowned brow, lead
           me to Calvary."

         - Rom. 10:9-10

         - Phil. 2:11

         Point:  Living for God has everything to do with the matter of
                 who is going to be "Lord."


     INPUT - ways a Christian shows that Jesus Christ is their Lord?
             (ways they don't?)

     - Our Lord placed a high premium on obedience ...

     B.  Even if it required death

         - for many of us, our concept of death is rather shallow
         - we think of death as just "going to sleep and
           not waking up" -- or the Hollywood version of death

         - or maybe the type of situation where death is rather sudden
           and somewhat painless (in the sense of being a painful process
           -- it's over rather quickly)

         - our Lord went through the most cruel death of all
         1.  Painful death

             cf. Isa. 53:1-5

             - it has been well said that the person who was crucified
               "died a thousand deaths."

             -  it was painful on two accounts:

             a) physical pain

                 - the crucifixion was a common mode of punishment among
                   heathen nations in early times.

                 - The modes of capital punishment according to the
                   Mosaic law were, by the sword (Ex 21:1) strangling,
                   fire (Le 20:1) and stoning (De 21:1)

                 - crucifixion was regarded as the most horrible form of
                   death, and to a Jew it would acquire greater horror
                   from the curse in (De 21:23 "cursed is everyone that
                   hangs on a tree)

                 - while this punishment began with scourging--in the
                   case of our Lord, his scourging was before the
                   sentence was passed upon him, and was ordered by
                   Pilate probably to getting pity and putting a stop to
                   any further punishment (Lu 23:22 John 19:1)

                   (briefly describe the scourging process -- aggressive
                    Roman soldiers, proficient at it, the whip etc)

                    Point:  Most men died of this -- but to Jesus, His
                            suffering has only just begun

                 - then, Christ had to carry his own cross to the
                   place of execution outside the city where everyone was
                   able to watch

                 - Before nailing the person to the cross, a medicated
                   cup of vinegar mixed with gall and myrrh was given,
                   to deaden the pain of the sufferer.

                   ** Our Lord refused this cup, that his senses might
                      be clear (Mt 27:34)

                 - The sponge full of vinegar, sour wine, was the common
                   drink of the Roman soldiers, he tasted to quench the
                   agonies of his thirst (John 19:29)

                 - The "breaking of the legs" of the malefactors was
                   intended to hasten death, and put them out of misery
                 - but Jesus had said, "No man takes my life from me, I
                   freely lay it down."

                   Point:  His death was voluntary -- by choice!
                 - but that's not the worst of it..

             b)  spiritual pain

                 - he literally suffered our hell and bore the penalty of
                   our sin on Himself

                 cf. 2 Cor. "For he (God the Father) has made him (Jesus)
                             to be sin for us ..."

                 - can you imagine the spiritual pressure by Satan
                 - that's what the writer of Hebrews meant when he said
                   that "he was tempted in all points like as we are, yet
                   without sin"

                   ** Jesus was tempted to the fullest extent, to the
                      greatest amount of pressure a person could endure,
                      and did not give in

                      (we never even get to that point because we usually
                       cave in to the temptation with the act or thought)

             Point:  Jesus wasn't just willing to die (like a martyr who
                     had no choice) -- He chose to die this way

                     "even the death of the cross" (ultimate humility and
                      supreme act of obedience)

         2.  Shameful death

             - by carrying His own cross, and being expelled from the
               city, He was dying the death of a slave

             - and indeed, He was the "servant of all"

             - Cicero "Let the very name of the cross be far removed not
               only from the body of a Roman criticized, but even from his
               thoughts, his eyes, his ears"

             - being a Roman, Paul, even if he received the death
               sentence, would in all likelihood would not have to die
               such a shameful death

             - most likely, you and I won't have to either

         3.  Accursed

             "He that is hanged on a tree is accursed of God" Deut. 21:23

             - if that was true of a dead body, how much more with
               reference to a living person -- especially one who done no
               wrong, nor deceit found in his mouth

             cf.  Gal. 3:13 "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of
                  the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written,
                  Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree."
             - Herdrickson said about this, "While he was hangin on that
               cross...

                 a) from BELOW Satan and all his host assailed Him
                 b) from ROUND ABOUT men heaped scorn upon Him
                 c) from ABOVE God dropped upon him the blanket of
                    darkness (symbol of the curse)
                 d) and from WITHIN there arose the bitter cry, "My God,
                    my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

             Input:   What impact should this have on us when we face
                      situations where we may have to endure a degree of
                      "rejection" or "embarrassment"?

                 - we ought to be embarrassed that we are even
                   embarrassed

                 - hanging almost naked on the cross, beaten, suffering,
                   enduring tremendous agony of the spiritual pressure
                   and rejection by His nation, disciple, and heavenly
                   Father, He remained obedient (doing His Father's will)

                 Q: Is there a "limit" in your mind to what you will
                    endure for the sake of obedience to Jesus Christ?

Conclusion:

- Our attitude ought to be:

  1) Surely, if Christ humbled himself to this extent, I should be
     willing to humble myself in my own small way.

  2) surely if He became obedient to the extent of death -- even the
     death of the cross  -- I should be growing in obedience to His will

  3) and I should strive more and more to achieve in our church the
     spirit my Master -- a spirit of oneness, lowliness, obedience, and
     servanthood

- because that is what is pleasing to God

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

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