The following outline and discussion questions have been prepared to accompany the sermon from April 29, “The Essence of True Humility” (Phil 2:5–11). The questions can be used for discussion in small groups, family devotions, or for personal reflection. (Link to PDF)
Main Idea: The gospel frees us to find joy in the humble service of others.
I. The gospel celebrates the costliest act of self-denying humility in the history of mankind (Phil 2:6–11)
A. The gospel is anchored in infinitely undeserved and unexpected self-abasement (Phil 2:6)
B. The gospel was accomplished through infinitely undeserved and unexpected condescension (Phil 2:7–8)
II. The gospel empowers costly acts of self-denying humility among the people of God (Phil 2:5 & 1)
A. The gospel must humble us before we can humble ourselves
B. The gospel reminds us the God enables what he requires
1. How does Paul’s command in to “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:5 ESV) help us understand Paul’s command to “complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Phil 2:2)?
2. What one word describes this “mind” that Paul wants the Philippians to have?
3. How does Paul expose the surprising foundation of the gospel in verse 6?
4. In the message, pastor Mark explained that when Jesus “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped” (2:6) he was refusing to selfishly cling to his personal privilege and status as God. How does this help us act help us better understand the attitude that Paul wants us to have?
5. How do these passages help us understand what it really means that Jesus took on the “form of a slave” and was born in the “likeness of men”?
• John 1:1–3
• Genesis 2:5–9
• Genesis 2:15–17
• Genesis 3:1–7
• Mark 15:15–32
• Romans 5:18–19
6. Discuss the similarities and differences between Jesus’ example in Phil 2:6–8 and Paul’s command to us in Phil 2:3–4. Pay special attention to the key words that Paul repeats in both passages.
7. What might a church look like if its people were pursuing this attitude together?
8. How does Paul expect believers to fulfill this seemingly impossible command? (Phil 2:1; 5)
9. How does Hebrews 12:1–2 help us understand how humility and joy are not opposed to one another?
10. What has God shown you in this week’s message that you did not see or understand before?
11. Read James 1:22–25, quietly reflect on James’ exhortation and close in prayer.