His Way - Not My Way

Bible Book: Philippians  2 : 5-11
Subject: Humility; Lord's Supper; Pride

As we come to receive the Lord’s Supper, we need to be reminded of one of the most important teachings of our Lord concerning those who follow Him. In fact, Jesus is our model and pattern in attitude called for in our lives as believers. Look with me at Philippians 2:5-11: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Paul Anka and Claude Francois wrote a song that became a life-time hit for singer and actor Frank Sinatra. The song is My Way, but most people know it as “I Did It My Way.” That could well be the national anthem of humanism. The last part of the song states,”

“For what is a man, what has he got?

If not himself, then he has naught;

To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels,

The record shows I took my blows and did it my way.”

Everyone does it his way or her way, and that is why we are all sinners. Not one of us has done it God’s way. The Bible states,

“All we like sheep have gone astray;

We have turned, every one, to his own way;

And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6 NKJV)

Paul reveals to us the reverse attitude we are to have as believers and he speaks of Jesus as our perfect example. I want you to see three things from our scripture today…

I. The Exhortation to Humility

Note that Paul writes, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but makde Himself of no reputation…”

The word “let” that begins this passage is an imperative form. In English it sounds weak, as if Paul is simply suggesting something to us. Yet, the word in Greek is critical because it states unequivocally that we are to make this statement a serious matter in our lives. In other words, it can be read as saying, “You better get this mind in you that was also in Jesus.”

Why was Paul writing this and what does it mean to us? It appears from the first four verses in chapter two of Philippians that there is some disagreement or strife in the Church at Philippi. Paul knows the people there and he realizes that the problem stems from people who are too proud of their opinions to work together as a team. This, my friends, as not just a problem at Philippi, it is a problem in every church to some degree. Thus, we are being exhorted to “think” like Jesus thought. Now, what does that mean?

Look back at some of things that Jesus said to His disciples on this subject of humility.

Matthew 10:25-28 reads: ’But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Jesus reveals to His disciples that He did not come to be serve, but to serve. We see the same attitude in Jesus in the Upper Room when the Lord’s Supper was instituted. Jesus washed His disciple’s feet in an act of ultimate humility. He was revealing to us the attitude necessary to be a faithful disciples.

In Matthew 11:29 Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Matthew 20:26 records Jesus saying, “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister…”

Mark 9:35 contains the words, “If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all…”

It is plain and clear that our Lord was humble and He clearly taught that we must be likewise. Now listen closely, Jesus was the Son of God. It was not robbery for Jesus to claim to be equal with God – He is God. No matter how low you go, you can never reduce yourself to the level of Jesus. But, we are to work at this because pride and arrogance are great sins – yes, even the first sins which showed up in the Garden of Eden. When the Serpent told Eve that eating of the forbidden tree would make her a god, she could not resist it. Man’s greatest temptation is to be his own god and create his or her own agenda. As I said when we started today, each one of us has a desire to “do it my way.”

Now, we see that we are exhorted – commanded, if you please – to be humble and have the mind of Christ on this subject. Let’s look now at the second thing in this text…

II. The Example of Humility

Paul goes on in today’s text to show us how Jesus became to the true example of humility. He reveals that Jesus took seven incredible steps downward to be our Savior. Listen to what they are…

A. He Left Heaven

In heaven, Jesus was glorious and all-powerful, but to redeem you and me, He lowered Himself to be born on this earth.

B. He Became Man

Jesus did not come as an earthly king. He could have arrived in a chariot of fire and set Himself up as world leader, but He chose to come as a baby – so that He might be tempted in all ways as we are. How glorious that He did such a thing for us. In all the temptations He faced, He never sinned; nonetheless, He was a man in human flesh. Yes, He was God. This is the great mystery – the God-Man. He was so much God that it was like He wasn’t man, but He was so much man it was like He wasn’t God. Suffice it to say that this is not our subject for today – the Trinity, that is – but rather our effort is to see His humility and how it is to impact us as Christians.

C. He Became a Servant Man

Think of it! The Son of God came as a servant. We read that verse already today. He came to serve and not be served. What a step of humility for our Savior. I have no words to describe the great step downward that He took. Sometimes we will hear people say, and maybe we have said it, “Well, they are not going to run over me. I’ll show them who I am.” Jesus did show us who He was and is. He came to show us the heart of God for lost people. He threw aside His robe from heaven, and took off His diadem of power. He laid down the scepter of authority and came as a wriggling baby in Bethlehem’s manger. No wonder we sing, “Hallelujah, what a Savior!”

D. He Emptied Himself

He did not empty Himself of His deity, but made Himself nothing on this earth. He placed limits on Himself. For example, when He was tempted by the devil in the desert to turn the stones to bread, He could have done so easily. But, He was not going to use His divinity for Himself. He came to die for us and thus He withdrew from using His power for personal comfort, gain or power.

D. He Died

Jesus did not have to die. He was sinless and could have been taken up to glory without dying. But, it total and absolute humility, He died for us.

E. He Died the Death of the Cross

No death was as humiliating as the cross. The Romans had perfected this form of death. They knew how to punish a victim right up to the point of death, and then keep the person alive a little longer to prolong their agony. They did not do this just to be cruel, but to use it as a way of preventing others from committing capital crimes. Jesus did not die in a hospital surrounding with loving doctors and nurses. He did not die in with powerful drugs to ease His pain. He did not die a hero in war. He died the most ignoble, ignominious death known to mankind. He died the death of the cross.

So, we are being called to have the mind, the attitude, of Jesus when it comes to pride and personal preference. We are being called to step down from arrogance and live an humble and noble life for Jesus.

Now, note one more thing with me, and you will see why this is so important…

III. The Exaltation after Humility

Look at the word “therefore” in verse 9 of our text from Philippians. When you see a “therefore” in scripture, you must ask, “What is it therefore?” The text is pointing back to what Jesus did in His humility and contrasting that with what occurred in the end. The text tells us that His act of humility led to His being “highly exalted, given a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.

Humility is actually an act of faith. When we trust God to stand for us, rather than simply using our power or arrogance to gain position over others, God promises to raise us up by His own hand. How true that is!


Humility is God’s will for us. That doesn’t mean that we go around looking at the floor and act like our lives don’t matter. Jesus taught strongly and masses came to hear Him. He did mighty deeds, which brought attention to Him. Yet, it was not His goal to elevate Himself but to do the work He was sent to do. He came to live a sinless life, to reveal the truth of God, and to die for our sins.

He is Lord! Do you know Him? You cannot come to Christ without humbling yourself. You have to admit that you are a sinner. You must turn from yourself and accept His gift of eternal life. You must admit that He is Lord and that you are willing to follow Him the rest of your life. You can’t worry about what someone thinks of your decision – you must simply humble yourself and come to Him.

Christian, we must repent of pride. It hinders us in our homes, our churches, our work and our friendships. Most of all, it makes us more like the devil than like Christ. Before we receive the Lord’s Supper today, bow and ask God to forgive you for pride. Perhaps you can make a commitment to go to someone later this week with whom you have a disagreement, and take the first step to restore a proper relationship. After all, that is what Jesus did for us. He could the steps downward to us, to bring us to a right relationship with the Heavenly Father.