Today we will only look at the first example, that of Jesus Christ. There is a suggestion of disunity in the Philippian church in 4:1-3.
Paul appeals to them on the basis of their Christian experience to have unity of mind and heart and to put others ahead of themselves. What motives are there for unity in the church?
Christ is the greatest incentive; if we are in Christ, we ought to be able to live with one another! There is also love, the fellowship of the spirit, the deep-seated desires we have in Christ and the joy we can bring to others.
Paul was seeing strife and selfish ambition there in Rome (1:14-17), and he warns that it should not be found there at Philippi.
“Lowliness of mind”– this is the submissive mind that thinks not of itself but of Christ and others. “Humility is not in thinking badly of ourselves; it is just not thinking of ourselves at all.”
Jesus willingly put aside His glory and “put-on”the form of a servant. He did not cease to be God, but He did lay aside His glory and the independent use of His attributes as God. His life as the God-man on earth was completely subjected to the Father. “I do always those things that please Him,” He said in John 8:29.
Jesus humbled Himself to become flesh, and then become sin as He willingly went to the cross. But Christ’s experience proves that exaltation always follows humiliation.
1 Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” ]
The person who exalts himself will be humbled of God (Luke 14:11). Remember Pharaoh, King Saul, Nebuchadnezzar, Haman and Herod?
We do not worship a “babe in a manger” or a “sacrifice on a cross;” we worship an exalted Lord ON THE THRONE OF THE UNIVERSE!
Christ’s life, death and resurrection proved eternally that the way to be exalted is to be humbled before God.