Christ's Example of Humility

Philippians 2:1-11

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b] 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Christ's Example of Humility

The hymn in verses 6–11 describes the gospel as it was lived out by Jesus Christ himself. Despite his equality with God (v. 6), Christ “emptied” himself of heavenly privileges, taking the form of a servant and humbling himself to the point of death (v. 8). The lowest point of Christ’s humiliation was crucifixion, a violent means of punishing and degrading the lowliest of criminals. Yet God raised Jesus to eventual universal praise (vv. 9–11). Jesus’ humble death, burial, and resurrection for our sins is the essence of the gospel (cf. 1 Cor. 15:1–5).

Paul makes the gospel application for Christians clear: unity (Phil. 2:2), humility (v. 3), and service (v. 4) is the glad path to which we are summoned. Since we are one with Christ (v. 1), Christians are to have Christ’s mind-set toward each other: having the same love, being of one mind, pursuing no rivalry, doing nothing from empty conceit, always prioritizing the interests of others. For Paul, this lifestyle of humility is again linked to “koinonia” (1:5, 7), but here the encouragement is “in Christ” and the empowering is our “participation in the Spirit” (2:1). Since we are one with Christ by the Spirit (v. 1), we are to act as one (v. 2) and imitate Christ (v. 5). This, Paul says, brings him joy (v. 2).

*These devos are taken from Crossway's, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.