from Jesus’ standpoint
8 December 2019 PM – Philippians 2:5-8 – Incarnation – Scott Childs
Introduction: What do you know about heaven? – the presence of God, holiness, angels, purity, beauty, perfection, sinlessness, etc. As I pondered Jesus leaving heaven and coming to earth as the God/man, I cannot really comprehend what that must have been like for him.
Transition: As we examine the incarnation from Jesus’ standpoint, I want us to focus on his threefold mission from which we ought to learn valuable lessons for our own lives.
1. It was a Humbling Mission
a. Jesus emptied Himself (kenosis), (Php 2:5-8)
1) He did not empty Himself of His deity. He was no less God than He eternally had been. Though He had the form of God and knew it was not robbery to be equal with God, yet He emptied Himself (v.6).
2) He did not empty Himself of His divine attributes. He was still omniscient and omnipotent.
3) Of what then did Jesus empty Himself? Jesus laid aside the privileges that were His in heaven. It was no small thing for the Sovereign God of the universe and Creator of all to set aside heavenly privileges He had eternal enjoyed in order to become like one of His creation. (See https://www.gotquestions.org/kenosis.html)
a) He set aside His heavenly glory.
b) He set aside the riches, beauty and comforts of heaven that He had always enjoyed.
c) He voluntarily refrained from using His divinity to make life easier.
d) During His incarnation, Jesus submitted Himself to the will of the Father.
e) He did not use His equality with God but became a humble, obedient servant (v.7).
f) He operated within the limitations of humanity. He got tired and thirsty (Jn 4:6; 19:28).
4) It is this humble, obedient, servant mind of Christ that God commands every Christian to adopt (v.5).
b. Jesus became one of the poorest of men
1) The human mind cannot comprehend the riches of God. We sing the chorus, “God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the wealth in every mine.” That is but a drop in His bucket. He owns absolutely all that exists. (2 Corinthians 8:9) “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
2) He for our sakes became beggarly poor. Of His birth we read, (Luke 2:7) “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” He was born among cattle in poverty sore. During His ministry, He had no home. (Luke 9:58) “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”
O For Jesus, the incarnation was a humbling mission. Secondly …
2. It was a Ministering Mission
a. Jesus came to earth to do God’s will
1) Jesus’ time on earth was not a holiday. It was not an observation trip. His mission was to do God’s will.
a) (John 4:34) “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”
b) (Matthew 20:28) “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
2) While on earth Jesus sought to do God’s will.
a) (John 6:38) “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”
b) In the garden Jesus prayed, (Luke 22:42) “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
b. Jesus came to earth on a special mission.
1) His special mission was to suffer. He suffered in our place. That is Amazing Love! How many of us would volunteer for a suffering mission? Probably none! (Hebrews 2:9) “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
2) Jesus willingly fulfilled His special mission.
a) (John 10:18) “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”
b) (Colossians 2:14) “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”
c) (Hebrews 9:12) “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
3) Consider this. (Hebrews 5:8) “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;” (See Php 2:8) Jesus learned obedience experientially and practically through the things He suffered. He now knows experientially the difficulty of obedience that we face during suffering. For example, two of the most difficult verses to obey during suffering are, (Philippians 4:4) “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
O For Jesus, the incarnation was a humbling mission and a ministering mission, thirdly …
3. It was a Rewarding Mission
a. Jesus’ incarnation provided for sinners
1) Jesus provided eternal salvation for all who will repent and believe on Him.
a) When Joseph was confused and troubled by Mary’s pregnancy claims, the angel told Joseph, (Matthew 1:21) “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
b) (Luke 19:10) “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
2) Jesus’ salvation gives eternal life but it also gives an abundant life while on earth. (John 10:10) “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
3) One day, heaven will ring with the words, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.” (Rev 5:12)
b. Jesus’ incarnation pleased the Father
1) Jesus’ loving sacrifice for our sins was a sweetsmelling savour to God the Father. (Ephesians 5:2) “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”
2) The Father had Jesus sit down once again at His right hand. (Hebrews 12:2) “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for [in exchange for] the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
3) God the Father highly exalted Jesus. (Philippians 2:9-11) “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Yes, one day, every human who has ever lived will fall on his or her knees and confess that Jesus is Lord. Sadly, for the unbeliever, that confession will be too late to save him or her from hell.
Conclusion: For Jesus, His incarnation was a humbling mission, a ministering mission, and a rewarding mission. The command, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”, reminds us that Jesus is our example. We are to be truly humble like Jesus. We are to minister sacrificially like Jesus. If we do, God will one day reward us.
Song: O to Be Like Thee! 316