Finding Fruit in Philippians
an SK Bible Study
Week 3: His Perspective and Purpose
Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)
(1) If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, (2) then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (3) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (4) Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
(5) Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, (7) but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! (9) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, (10) 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.
ALBUM: Come Let Us Adore Him
ARTIST: Third Day with Derri Daugherty & Julie Miller
SONG: Manger Throne
What kind of King would leave His throne
In Heaven to make this earth His home?
While men seek fame and great renown
In loneliness our King comes down
Jesus, Jesus, precious One
How we thank You that You’ve come
Jesus, Jesus, precious One
A manger throne for God’s own Son
You left the sound of angels’ praise
To come for men with unkind ways
And by this Baby’s helplessness
The power of nations is laid to rest
What kind of King would come so small
From glory to a humble stall?
That dirty manger is my heart, too
I’ll make it a royal throne for You
My heart is a throne
My heart is a throne for God’s own Son
Perspective. What was His perspective? He “left the sound of angels’ praise” to come and be ridiculed. He left perfection to come to an imperfect world. He left true love to come to a love that seems contigent only on needs being met. He chose inequality with the God of the universe (vs.6) to come and be a human in this world(vs.7). He left a place of spiritual bodies (1 Corin.15:35-49) to come and wear an earthly body (vs.8). He left a place that has something even better than the intimate union between a man and a woman that we have in this place (Luke 20:34-35). He left a place where there are no tears and came to a place of despair and pain. Why?
What was His purpose? “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matt.26:39b) He always had His purpose in the forefront of His mind. He spent thirty-three years here on earth to give us an example of how we are to live during our time in this world.
The example of our Lord Jesus Christ is set before us. We must resemble him in his life, if we would have the benefit of his death….Christ not only took upon him the likeness and fashion, or form of a man, but of one in a low state; not appearing in splendor. His whole life was a life of poverty and suffering. But the lowest step was his dying the death of the cross, the death of a malefactor and a slave; exposed to public hatred and scorn. (commentary)
How does that compute with our natural, human thinking of how we are to live here on earth? It just doesn’t – that is the point. We cannot be thinking in our mindset – our small, finite picture of all eternity. No, we should “…fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb.12:2)
If we read about this in the Bible, learn about this in church sermons, and say these words from our own mouths, why do we still cling so tightly to the things of this world? Is it because so much of eternity is unknown? Is it because we are like Thomas, who needed to see in order to believe?
John 20:26-31 (NIV)
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
To trust and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ as portrayed in this passage of Scripture as well as throughout the Gospels…well, that’s what faith must be.
ALBUM: Joy in the Journey
ARTIST: Michael Card
SONG: That’s What Faith Must Be
To hear with my heart
To see with my soul
To be guided by a hand I cannot hold
To trust in a way that I cannot see
That’s what faith must be
Now I understand that there is a key
It’s Jesus in me, a reality
That God is in Christ and that Christ’s in me
That with faith I see what is unseen
That’s what faith must be
My prayer is that we are women of this kind of faith!
2 Corinthians 4:8 (NIV) So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
(When answering, please be sure to put the number of the question in your comment box.)
- Verses 3 and 4 talk about humility and looking to others before yourself. In what relationship(s) are you living out those characteristics?
- In what relationship(s) are you finding it difficult to live in humility?
- The fruit of the Spirit can be seen and tasted throughout this entire passage. Please give one specific example.
Remember to pray for the things that are listed on our Prayer page.
‘See ya’ next week!