The Way Up is Down – Part 2 – Philippians 2:5-11
As Christians our biggest battle is not with our external circumstances but with those internal attitudes that destroy unity. Paul had demonstrated his own refusal to let external circumstances control his attitudes (1:12–18).
The “therefore” of 2:1 points back to the command in 1:27 for us to “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Here in chapter 2 we find out how to fulfill that command. An attitude of submissiveness is required to experience joy.
R.C. Sproul writes: We are called to share the mind of Christ. He emptied Himself in the Incarnation. He did not empty Himself of His deity or any of His divine attributes. He emptied Himself of His status. He set aside His prerogatives as God. He was willing to be treated beneath the level of His dignity. This example of the man with the highest dignity ever possessed by a human, shames every other human who sets pride above obedience.
(R. C. Sproul, Pleasing God (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1988), 171–172)
Our pattern for a submissive mind is Christ Jesus who exemplified selflessness, service, sacrifice and glorification. Jesus Christ demonstrates that the way up is down.