Pastor's Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“The First Christmas Carol”
December 24, 2017
Not long ago I discussed this passage with a man representing the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He argued that this passage proves that Jesus was not Divine, but a created being who knew his place. He insisted that Jesus recognized his inferiority to God and admitted his real station in life. The Jehovah’s Witness, who believe that Jesus was a created being, the angel Michael, cannot accept any reference to Christ’s deity (their faith depends on stripping the Lord Jesus of His deity). This passage, confirmed by the totality of Scripture, confirms the Deity of Jesus, and the ROLE of redemption assigned to and accepted by Christ which required sacrifice and submission.
Jesus, as God, of His own volition, set aside His robe of majesty, His prerogatives of Deity, and adorned Himself in the robes of human flesh; He became a man for the purpose of man’s redemption.
Jesus was not a created being, who by obedience to the Father, was elevated to a position of power; He was God who surrendered, for the purpose of redemption, His majestic rights.
There was a momentary interruption of the Lord’s Deity, when He “became flesh and dwelt among us.” The Lord’s rightful position as God was resumed after the plan of salvation was complete.
While we may view Jesus from our hearts as the Lamb of God, He is now the Lord of Glory and is therefore worthy of our obedience and worship.
Christ’s Humility: From Heaven to Earth (Philippians 2:5-7a).
Jesus is our example of humility. We are to live willing to surrender our personal rights for the benefit of others ….just like Christ surrendered His Divine position for man’s redemption.
Verse six speaks to the reality of Christ’s deity corresponding to John 1:1. Jesus was co-existent, co-eternal and co-equal with God. Jesus knew Who He was. He was God
“He emptied Himself” – He set aside His Divine prerogatives and privileges, accepting the position of humanity, not as a Sovereign but as a servant.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14).
Application … Our rights should never supersede the needs of others. We should be willing to be less than we are so that others can be more than they are.
Christ’s Obedience: From the Manger to the Cross (Philippians 2:7b-8).
Christ’s coming was without pomp and circumstance. He was born in a stable because there was no room for them in the inn. The Son of God, the King of kings, was born in a manger.
The death of Christ was an act of humility. He didn’t have to die, He chose to die so that others might live.
Even the place of His death, “the cross,” speaks of His humility. The cross was an instrument of death reserved for those guilty of some crime. The Lord’s guilt was not His own, but ours.
Christ’s Exaltation: From the Cross to the Throne (Philippians 2:9-11).
This verse does not say that Jesus, was nothing more than one of God’s creation, who as a result of His obedience, was promoted to the position of the Son of God. What this verse teaches is that Jesus, after His act of humility, His death on the cross, RESUMED His previous position, reigning from the throne of God.
The world may disregard Christ now, but one day, every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess the He is Lord.
“to the glory of God the Father” – just a reminder that all that we do should be done for the glory of God. The ultimate end is God’s glory.
Theological Theme: God the Son became a man. Jesus, through His incarnation was both God and man.
Christological/Christ Connection: Following the example of the early believers, let us celebrate the Lord’s incarnation, His death on the cross for man’s sin, and His exaltation as Lord of lords and King of kings.
Missional Application: God calls the believers to follow the example of Christ’s humility, a willingness to set aside personal wants and rights for the benefit of others.