“The Servant of All, Part 1” (Philippians 2:5-11


I. Introduction. A. Orientation. It’s customary on the Lord’s Day nearest Christmas To have a sermon on the incarnation And this morning, I don’t want to disappoint.

The incarnation is essential to the Christian faith. It’s indispensable to our salvation. If Jesus hadn’t become a man He couldn’t have saved us. He had to be one with us To live and to die for us. This is something that as God, He couldn’t have done.

It’s equally important That He be God, Since only God could have paid The infinite debt we owe! B. Preview. It’s really this second facet That I want us to focus on this morning:

2 That in the incarnation God became man, That He did more than become man, He became a servant Who was willing to serve us Even to the point of death on the cross.

I also want us to see That because the eternal Son of God, Was willing to make Such an infinite stoop downward to save us, The Father honored Him With the greatest honor He could give: He exalted Him as King over all creation. This point will be important To our message this evening. II. Sermon. A. Let’s consider first, That it was God who became man in the incarnation

I hope you understand That this is fundamental to the Christian faith. If Jesus wasn’t God as well as man, you couldn’t be saved – His payment/sacrifice would not have been enough.

3 I also hope you also understand That you can’t be saved Unless you believe this is true. The Biblical Jesus is God and man. If you believe otherwise, The Jesus you believe in is not the true Jesus, And a false Jesus can’t save you.

Every time you worship Him, You assume this is true! You know that only the true God Is to be worshipped. Jesus is God Which is why we worship Him.

If you have any doubts about this, Consider what Paul writes in our passage, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself” (Phil. 2:5-7).

Paul tells us as clearly as he can that Jesus is God: He existed in the form of God; He was equal with God; And He emptied Himself to become a man.

4 What does it mean that Jesus existed in the form of God? – And by the way, the Greek literally says “being in the form of God,” He is presently God – it’s not past tense. What does this mean? It has to do with His nature – That’s what form here means: “Nature or character,” What He is.

He shares the nature of God, His characteristics.

There is only one Being in the universe Who has this nature And that is God Himself. Jesus is God, More specifically, God the Son, The second Person of the Triune God.

Paul says this is the One Who came down from heaven, Who took our nature to save us.

The One who is eternal – Who has always been and always will be,

5 Who exists outside of time – Entered time to save us.

The One who has infinite power – Who said, “Let there be . . .” And everything was – Became weak to deliver us.

The One who has unlimited knowledge – Who knows all that will be Or ever could be – Took on the limits Of a human mind to redeem us.

The One with infinite presence – Who is absolutely everywhere – Restricted Himself To the confines of a human body To be our Mediator.

He who is infinitely blessed in heaven – Whose happiness could not have increased Because it was already infinitely full – Gave up that blessedness and entered this world, That He might reconcile us to God.


The One who is infinitely holy – Who is perfect love, Who loves everything perfectly moral and good – Became a man and lived among sinful men to save us.

God the Son emptied Himself to become a man (v. 7), To become a servant (v. 7), To give Himself over to death – Even the cursed death on the cross (v. 8) – In obedience to His Father To save us from our sins.

Now this doesn’t mean That Jesus gave up His divinity in the incarnation. He didn’t empty Himself of any or all Of His divine attributes, Because then He would have ceased to be God.

Rather, He emptied Himself by taking something: Our nature. The One who is forever God, Took to Himself another nature – a human nature – With all the weaknesses and limitations Of our nature, except for sin.

This was an infinite stoop:


The Creator became one of His creatures.

There’s really no analogy we can use To even come close to what this was like.

If you or I were To take the nature of a dog, a squirrel, A fish, a snail, a fly, or even an amoeba, It wouldn’t begin to approach What it was like for the infinite and eternal God To become a man.

God was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary. God was born in a cattle stall, And laid in a feeding trough.

When God came into the world, He didn’t come as a King, But as a carpenter, as a Teacher, As One who stooped To serve others.

God not only became a creature and a servant, He took the curse on Himself – The curse that was ours

8 Because of our sin – And suffered and died in our place As a hated criminal! God did this for us.

Would the Father have sent His Son Into the world to do this – Would God Himself have become a man, Would He have humbled Himself in this way, Put Himself through so much agony – Only to allow anyone to come to Him In any way they please?

The fact He did this Means it must be the only way. How cruel it would be For the Father to put His Son Through this humiliation for nothing!

How meaningless would it be For the Son of God to have died on the cross for nothing!

God did it this way Because it was the only way: The Creator had to become a creature

9 And suffer and die on the cross, Because it was the only way He could save us!

This is the true meaning of the incarnation: That God became man to save man. If you are to be forgiven of your sins, You must turn from all of them, And trust the God man – Trust Jesus Christ and what He did – To save you!

B. But now, what does Jesus get out of all of this? Why did He do this?

As God, He doesn’t really gain anything. He was already perfectly blessed and infinitely happy – Before, during and after His earthly work. He already has infinite glory and majesty – He couldn’t have had any more than He already did!

He didn’t really gain anything, Rather He showed something: His love to His Father – In being willing to do this for Him –

10 And His love to us – So that we could see just how great it is.

And how great is His love? Great enough to be infinitely blessed, And yet to stoop so low To raise His enemies out of a well deserved hell In order to bring them to heaven! This is infinite love! I hope you see it this morning, And respond to it as you should: Put down your weapons And embrace this Savior!

But since the incarnation There is another part of Jesus That does gain something: As a man, He is exalted over the universe!

Because He was willing To humble Himself to this degree – To become a man, a servant, and an offering for sin – The Father exalted Him And gave Him glory and honor, Power and dominion (v. 9).


He gave Him a name that is above every name (v. 9) – He hasn’t given Him a new name, But has so honored Him That His name is now the greatest of all –

So that every knee would bow to Him – The saints and angels in heaven, The saints and all His enemies on earth, And the demons and damned souls in hell (v. 10) –

That every tongue would confess that Jesus is Lord! This is the honor the Father has given His Son, Jesus Christ.

But why did the Father do this? What does He get out of it? He did it to reveal the glory of His love as well. Whenever His Son is honored – When both men and angels bow to Him And confess Him as Lord – He is glorified.

That’s why He has done all of this. He doesn’t really gain anything,

12 He just gets to show His creatures How great His love is.

And so Christmas reminds us again Of the most wonderful thing that God has ever done:

The Father so loved the world – Even for a sinful and fallen mankind –

That He gave His only begotten Son – He sent One who is God Himself Into the world to become one with us –

That the Son might live and die for us – That He might love His Father and His neighbor perfectly, And make a payment on the cross Great enough to cancel any sin –

So that whoever believes in Him – Whoever turns from their hatred And trusts in Him and His work alone to save them –

Will not perish – Forever in hell for their sins –

But have eternal life – Spend eternity with the saints, angels


The Father and Jesus, forever in heaven.

If you want to go to heaven This is the way you must do it. This is the only way God has provided, The only way He could have done it.

And the only way you can receive it Is as He offers it to you: Freely, by His grace!

Won’t you turn from your sins this morning, And take hold of Him by faith, And receive His forgiveness?

This evening, we’ll consider That if you do receive this gift, There is something He wants you to do, And to the degree you do this, To that degree He will exalt you as well. Amen.


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