Bible Study Lessons

Christ’s Example of Humility and Obedience

Introduction

Lady Diana Cooper was attending a reception for the 100th birthday of Sir Robert Mayer. It was a stately event with scores of prominent figures. As the evening progressed, Lady Diana began a conversation with another lady she didn’t recognize because of her failing eyesight. As they talked, Lady Diana leaned in to see one of her companion’s diamonds. To her surprise and embarrassment, she realized she was talking to the Queen. With a curtsy, Lady Diana apologized for not recognizing the queen, adding that she didn’t recognize her without her crown. The queen replied that she left her crown at home because she didn’t want to distract from the guest of honor that evening. We recognize the humility of a queen choosing to set aside her crown for an evening for the sake of another. But even this example pales in comparison to God, the Creator of heaven and earth, humbling Himself to become a man and to die to save His creatures. Philippians 2:5-11 beautifully explains this humility of the Lord Jesus Christ and calls us to follow His example of humility and obedience.

Observation

Pray

Before reading today's glorious passage, ask the Lord to help you understand it and worship Him.

Read Focus Verses

Read Philippians 2:5-11. Try to figure out what they're about as you read them.

Theme

Who is the theme of these verses?

Preface

Read the first four verses of Philippians 2 for some extra context.

Context

How does the context of those verses help you more fully understand verse 5 in today's passage?

Command

What is the command in Philippians 2:5-11?

Titles

How many titles and descriptions of the Lord Jesus can you find in today's passage?

Keyword - Jesus

Marking all the names, titles, and descriptions of the Lord Jesus will help you see how central He is to this passage.

Jesus

The Lord

Mark all of the names, titles, and descriptions of the Lord Jesus in Philippians 2:5-11.

God

According to verse 6, what was Jesus Christ's first nature?

Man

According to verse 7, what nature did Jesus Christ take?

Impact

What was the impact of taking the nature of man according to verse 7?

Humbled Himself

In your own words, what does verse 8 say that He did?

God's Response

How did God the Father respond to Christ's obedient, humble death?

Given

What did God give Him according to verse 9?

Every Knee

What does verse 10 say about Jesus Christ's position in relation to all creatures?

Every Tongue

What does verse 11 say about Jesus Christ's position in relation to all creatures?

All

Will any be exempt from these requirements?

Postlude

Read the context following this passage in Philippians 2:12-15 to see how these truths about the Lord Jesus should impact our lives.

Summary

Briefly summarize how these truths about the Lord Jesus relate to our lives and impact them.

Interpretation

The Image of God

Like today's passage, Hebrews 1:1-8 clearly speaks of Jesus as being God and sharing the form or image of the Father.

He Was God

John 1:1-2 is also very clear on this point.

Glory Not Shared

In Isaiah 48:11 we see why it is so significant that it was not robbery for Jesus to claim equality with God.

Impact

Why does it strengthen the argument that Jesus is God to say that it wasn't robbery for Him to claim equality with Him?

Claim

In John 5:18 we see that the people around Jesus understood very clearly that He claimed to be equal with God.

Honor

Just a few verses later in John 5:23, we see Jesus claiming equality with God the Father.

One

John 10:30 is even clearer, if that's possible.

Answering Critics

How could you use today's passage in Philippians along with these verses (and dozens of others) to answer people who say that Jesus didn't claim to be God or that the Bible doesn't teach that Jesus is fully God just like God the Father?

Prophesied

In Isaiah 53:2-3 we see prophesy that Jesus would come, not as someone with great position or rank, but with no reputation.

Poverty and Riches

2 Corinthians 8:9 explains why Christ came without reputation.

A Servant

That Christ would come as a servant was prophesied several times. Note the prophesy in Isaiah 42:1.

To Serve

In Matthew 20:28 Jesus calls Himself a servant.

Comparison

Considering Jesus' position before He humbled Himself, why is it so significant that He identified Himself as a servant?

Became Flesh

John 1:14 explains that Christ, as God, became man.

Like Us

In Romans 8:3-4 we see why God the Son became a man.

Manifest

1 Timothy 3:16 also speaks of Christ's taking on flesh.

A Man

Hebrews 2:14-16 in talking of Jesus' work of redemption makes it very clear that He became a person.

Importance

Why is it important that Jesus Christ became a person instead of an angel according to these verses?

God's Will

In John 4:34 Jesus talks about His obedience.

Not My Will, But Yours

Today's passage says that Christ's obedience was tried and proved most by His death. We see Christ's obedience in His prayer just before His arrest in Mark 14:35-36.

Obedience

Hebrews 5:8 speaks of this too.

Shame

Christ didn't die any death, He died the death of Rome's worst criminals - crucifixion. Hebrews 12:2-4 speaks of the shame and how Christ had to resist the temptation to sinfully avoid this death.

Cursed

Galatians 3:13-14 speaks of the special curse of this kind of death in the Law and in society.

Even on a Cross

What does it mean that Christ was obedient not just to any death, but especially to death on the cross?

Why Die?

This webpage explains why Jesus Christ had to die to save people from sin and death.

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Exalted

We see, in Isaiah 52:13, that Christ's exaltation after His humiliation on our behalf was also prophesied.

Glorified

Jesus knew this, and even as He faced the crucifixion, He asked God to glorify Him through it in John 17:4-5.

Exalted by God

Acts 2:32-36 speaks about Christ's exaltation by the Father after His resurrection from the dead.

Right Hand of God

Ephesians 1:15-23 speaks of Christ's position now that He is exalted.

Humility and Exaltation

1 Peter 5:6-7 relates humility and exaltation.

Position

To what position was Christ exalted?

Name

What does it mean that Christ was given a Name that is above every Name?

Every Knee and Tongue

In Isaiah 45:22-23 God spoke of the coming day when every knee would bow before Christ and every tongue would confess He is Lord.

Willingly

In Romans 10:9-13 we see the blessed result of willingly confessing that Jesus is Lord.

The Rest

Revelation 16:8-11 shows us that the rest who will not willingly worship Jesus as Lord will continue to rebel and blaspheme even after they are forced to confess that His is Lord.

Christ the Lord

Even when Jesus' birth was announced in Luke 2:11, the angels called Him Lord.

I Am

In John 13:13 Jesus calls Himself Lord.

Lord of Lords

Lord is a title commonly ascribed to Jesus Christ throughout the New Testament. In Revelation 19:16 He is called Lord of lords.

Lord

Take a minute to consider, what is the significance of confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord? What is the implication of that title?

The Father's Glory

Why does it glorify God the Father for the Son to be worshipped?

Example

These glorious truths about the Lord Jesus are supposed to be an example of humility and obedience that we should follow according to today's passage. In John 13:14-15 Jesus has just washed His disciples' feet - a servant's job - when He told them to follow His example.

Pleasing Others

Romans 15:2-3 also holds Christ up as our example.

Like Christ

Ephesians 5:1-2 gives a similar charge.

Follow in His Steps

Notice the same theme in 1 Peter 2:21.

Practically Speaking

Look back at the first four verses of Philippians 2 to see the practical way it explains what this humility and obedience will look like in a Christian's life.

In Practice

How does a Christian think like Christ according to Philippians chapter 2?

Read it Again

Read Philippians 2:5-11 one more time as a whole.

And Can it Be?

The hymn, "And Can it Be?" reflects on the wonderful truth that God became a man to die in our place and save us. And can it be that I should gain An interest in the Savior's blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued? Amazing love! how can it be That Thou, my God, should die for me? He left His Father's throne above, So free, so infinite His grace; Humbled Himself and came in love, And bled for Adam's helpless race; 'Tis mercy all, immense and free; For, O my God, it found out me. Long my imprisoned spirit lay Fast bound in sin and nature's night; Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth and followed Thee. No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him is mine! Alive in Him, my living Head, And clothed in righteousness divine, Bold I approach the eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own. Charles Wesley

Application

Worship

Take some time to worship the Lord for the wonderful truths He reveals about Himself in this passage and to confess that He is Lord over everything and every area of your life. Write some thoughts about some of the areas of your life Christ is Lord over and what that means.

Humility

How can you let Christ's mind of humility dwell in you today? What will that look like (be specific)?

Obedience

In what area of your life has Christ's example of obedience challenged you today?

Wrapup

Closing

We hope this study has caused you to love the Lord Jesus more and strive to follow His example of humility and obedience.

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