Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
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SCRIPTURE: Philippians 2:1-11
INTRODUCTION: Christ’s life, death, and resurrection proved eternally that the way to be exalted is to be humbled before God. There is no joy or peace in pride and self-seeking.
When we have the submissive mind that Christ had, then we will have the joy and peace that He alone can give. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).
I. VALUING OTHERS ABOVE OURSELVES. (Philippians 2:1-4)
A. Show Compassion To Others. (Philippians 2:1)
(Philippians 2:1) If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies.
The “if” which begins this verse is not the if of condition — this is not a conditional clause. You will find that many times Paul uses if as an argument rather than a condition. Paul is a logical thinker. It has been said that if you do not find Paul logical, you are not reading him aright.
It would be more accurate to translate this verse: “Since there is consolation in Christ, and since there is comfort of love, and since there is the fellowship of the Spirit, and since there are bowels [tenderness] and mercy.”
Then Paul goes on to say…
B. Be Of One Mind With Others. (Philippians 2:2)
(Philippians 2:2) Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Even though Paul is in prison, he is rejoicing in the Lord, but he says that he would rejoice even more if he knew the Lord was working in the lives of the Philippian believers.
“That ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” There had been a little difficulty in the Philippian church -- not much, but a little. Paul wants them to be of one mind.
He is not asking them to be carbon copies of each other. In most churches there are two groups of people: one group for the pastor and one group against the pastor. The people that comprise these groups are not thinking for themselves but are carbon copies of the group leaders.
To be of one mind is to let the mind of Christ be in you. That permits differences of expressions, differences in gifts, differences in methods of service, even differences in minor doctrines. We will not be beating each other on the head because we disagree on these things. If we have the mind of Christ, we will agree on the major tenets of the faith.
C. Watch Your Attitude With Others. (Philippians 2:3)
(Philippians 2:3) Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
You remember that Paul has mentioned this before. He said that there were some people, who were preaching Christ out of envy and strife. Now he says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory.”
I would say most of the difficulties in the church today are not due to doctrinal differences. They are due to strife and envy. Some people just naturally cause trouble. If we could follow this injunction, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory,” I think it would solve 90 percent or maybe even 100 percent of the problems in churches today.
If you are doing something through strife in the church, you had better not do it at all. The same is true if you do things because you expect to be recognized. Do Christians need to be recognized and complimented and commanded for things they do? “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory” -- trying to make a name for yourself.
“But in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Perhaps this was the problem between Euodias and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2). It may be that each felt she was being put down by the other.
D. Always Think Of Others. (Philippians 2:4)
(Philippians 2:4) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Others! That is an important word.
“Others!” is the key to this passage. It is the Christian faith which first made that word others important. Why did Christ come from heaven’s glory to this earth? It was for others. Why should we carry the gospel? For others. To think of others rather than ourselves is having the mind of Christ.
I read biographies a great deal. Especially in the early, formative days of my ministry, so very often did I read biographies. I have read about the lives of most great men. One of my favorite characters in all of history is General William Booth. General Booth was the founder of the great Salvation Army, when it was more salvation than it was army. He led in spreading the Gospel over much of the world, as he organized street meetings and evangelistic services.
With the passing of the years, General Booth became an invalid. His eyesight failed him, and one year he was in such bad health that he was unable to attend the Salvation Army Convention in London, England. Somebody suggested that General Booth send a telegram or a message to be read at the opening of the convention. General Booth agreed to do so.
When the thousands of delegates met, the moderator announced that General Booth would not be able to be present because of failing health and eyesight. Gloom and pessimism swept across the floor of the convention. A little light dispelled some of the darkness when the moderator announced that General Booth had sent a message to be read with the opening of the first session. He opened the message and began to read the following:
Dear Delegates of the Salvation Army Convention:
Signed, General Booth.
Lord, let me
live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray,
My prayer shall be for others.
Others, Lord, yes, others;
Let this my motto be.
Help me to live for others
That I may live like Thee.
INSIGHT: No one ever exemplified the "others" life as did our Saviour. He never typified His life for others quite so beautifully and so clearly as He did when He was on the cross. As I have said from this pulpit several times, our Lord in dying on the cross, suffered as no man ever suffered, agonized as no man ever agonized, and hurt as no man ever hurt.
Christ’s Father turned His back on Him. His own race had crucified Him. His own city had hated Him. His own people had nailed Him to the cross. Yet when our Lord opened His mouth on Mount Calvary, the first statement that He made had nothing to do with His own pain or His own suffering, but He said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) He did not speak of His own suffering. He spoke concerning OTHERS!
-- Adapted from Jack Hyles’ sermon, September 29, 1974
II. THE ULTIMATE EXAMPLE OF HUMILITY. (Philippians 2:5-11)
A. In Heaven – Christ’s Pre-existence. (Philippians 2:5-6)
1. Christ’s Attitude. (Philippians 2:5)
(Philippians 2:5) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
Paul is now going to hold up before the eyes of the Philippians the example of the Lord Jesus Christ. What kind of attitude did Christ exhibit? What characterized Christ’s behavior toward others? The mind of the Lord Jesus was: (1) The selfless mind; (2) The sacrificial mind; (3) The serving mind. The Lord Jesus consistently thought of others.
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweat-drops of blood for mine.
Charles H. Gabriel
2. Christ’s position. (Philippians 2:6)
(Philippians 2:6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.
Because Christ was God, He did not look on sharing God’s nature as robbery, that is, as “a thing to be seized,” as though He did not already possess it, or as “a thing to be retained,” as though He might lose it.
Also, as used in this verse, this word “equal” speaks of equality of existence. Christ was fully God, but He limited Himself in such a way that He could also be completely human. In Christ, God became a man.
B. In The Manger – Christ’s Incarnation. (Philippians 2:7)
(Philippians 2:7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
Jesus Christ displayed unselfishness by giving up the glories of heaven to become human. Although Jesus existed as God, He willingly gave up His high position to take the form of a servant among the very ones He created. Jesus Christ unselfishly put our eternal interests ahead of holding on to what rightfully belonged to Him.
C. On The Cross – Christ’s Crucifixion. (Philippians 2:8)
(Philippians 2:8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus showed humility by obeying His Father to the point of enduring a shameful and painful death on the cross. He took upon Himself the punishment meant for us, bearing the curse we should have borne, so that our sins could be forgiven. His willing sacrifice for our sins represents the greatest example of humility the world has ever seen.
D. In Heaven – Christ’s Exaltation. (Philippians 2:9-11)
1. Christ is highly exalted. (Philippians 2:9)
(Philippians 2:9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.
Note the contrast between Jesus’ placing Himself in a dishonored status (see 2:8) with God the Father’s elevation of Jesus to a highly exalted status.
2. Christ is greatly honored. (Philippians 2:10)
(Philippians 2:10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.
Although all will one day worship Christ, only those who put their faith in Him in this life will have an everlasting relationship with Him after death (see Rev. 20:13–15). Paul refers to “those under the earth.” Paul is speaking about those who will already have died at the time of Christ’s return.
3. Christ is openly confessed. (Philippians 2:11)
(Philippians 2:11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The term Paul uses is a strong, intensive verb, which means “agree with” or “say the same thing.” Essentially Paul is saying that everyone will unanimously affirm what God the Father has already stated: that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!
“I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear” (Isaiah 45:23).
CONCLUSION: What have we learned today from our study of Philippians 2:1-11?
· We learned that Christian believers need to understand the part humility should play in their daily interactions with other people.
1. When a believer is humble, he or she will pay closer attention to those around them and regularly ask God such questions as “How can I see this person’s concerns as being as important as mine?
2. What may I say to this person that would show the Lord’s love?
3. How does the Lord want me to use my time to serve this person’s needs?”
· We learned that we should wait on the Lord to give us the answers and we should reach out in Jesus’ name.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Humility is the result of knowing God and knowing yourself.”
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations, and other references.
REV. RONALD PURKEY’S OFFICE
E-mail: Ronald Purkey