Tag Archives: Philippians 2:8

“Being Lord He became a servant” by John Calvin

He became obedient. (Philippians 2:8) Even this was immense humility, that from being Lord He became a servant.

But he says that He went farther than this, because, while He was not only immortal but the Lord of life and death, He nevertheless became obedient to His Father, even so far as to undergo death.

This was extreme abasement, especially when we consider the kind of death, which he immediately adds to emphasize it. For by dying in this way He was not only covered with ignominy in the sight of men, but also accursed in the sight of God.

It is assuredly such an example of humility as ought to absorb the attention of all men. It is impossible to explain it in words suitable to its greatness.”

–John Calvin, Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, Volume 11, Trans. T.H.L. Parker (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1965), 249. Calvin is commenting on Philippians 2:8.

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“Pride cannot live beneath the cross” by Charles Spurgeon

“He humbled Himself.”—Philippians 2:8

“Jesus is the great teacher of lowliness of heart. We need daily to learn of Him. See the Master taking a towel and washing His disciples’ feet! Follower of Christ, wilt thou not humble thyself? See Him as the Servant of servants, and surely thou canst not be proud!

Is not this sentence the compendium of His biography, ‘He humbled Himself’? Was He not on earth always stripping off first one robe of honour and then another, till, naked, He was fastened to the cross, and there did He not empty out His inmost self, pouring out His life-blood, giving up for all of us, till they laid Him penniless in a borrowed grave?

How low was our dear Redeemer brought! How then can we be proud? Stand at the foot of the cross, and count the purple drops by which you have been cleansed. See the thorn-crown. Mark His scourged shoulders, still gushing with encrimsoned rills.

See hands and feet given up to the rough iron, and His whole self to mockery and scorn. See the bitterness, and the pangs, and the throes of inward grief, showing themselves in His outward frame. Hear the thrilling shriek, ‘My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’

And if you do not lie prostrate on the ground before that cross, you have never seen it: if you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus, then you do not know Him. You were so lost that nothing could save you but the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son.

Think of that, and as Jesus stooped for you, bow yourself in lowliness at His feet. A sense of Christ’s amazing love to us has a greater tendency to humble us than even a consciousness of our own guilt.

May the Lord bring us in contemplation to Calvary, then our position will no longer be that of the pompous man of pride, but we shall take the humble place of one who loves much because much has been forgiven him.

Pride cannot live beneath the cross. Let us sit there and learn our lesson, and then rise and carry it into practice.”

–Charles Spurgeon, “June 3 –  Evening” in Morning and Evening (Geanies House, Fearn, Scotland, UK: Christian Focus, 1994),  329.

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“The great humility of God” by Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430)

“The pride of man, which is the chief hindrance against his cleaving to God, can be confuted and healed through the great humility of God.

Man learns how far he has gone away from God and what it is worth to Him as a pain to cure him, when he returns through such a Mediator, who both as God assists men by His divinity, and as man agrees with men by His weakness.

For what greater example of obedience could be given to us, who had perished through disobedience, than God the Son obedient to God the Father, even to the death of the cross? (Phil. 2:8)

Where could the reward of obedience itself be better shown, than in the flesh of so great a Mediator, which rose again to eternal life?

It belonged also to the justice and goodness of the Creator, that the devil should be conquered by the same rational creature which he rejoiced to have conquered, and by one that came from that same race which, by the corruption of its origin through one, he held altogether.”

–Augustine of Hippo, De Trinitate, XIII.17.22.

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“Pride cannot live beneath the cross” by Charles H. Spurgeon

“Jesus is the great teacher of lowliness of heart. We need daily to learn of Him. See the Master taking a towel and washing His disciples’ feet! Follower of Christ, wilt thou not humble thyself? See Him as the Servant of servants, and surely thou canst not be proud! Is not this sentence the compendium of His biography, ‘He humbled Himself’? (Philippians 2:8)

Was He not on earth always stripping off first one robe of honour and then another, till, naked, He was fastened to the cross, and there did He not empty out His inmost self, pouring out His life-blood, giving up for all of us, till they laid Him penniless in a borrowed grave? How low was our dear Redeemer brought!

How then can we be proud? Stand at the foot of the cross, and count the purple drops by which you have been cleansed; see the thorn-crown; mark His scourged shoulders, still gushing with encrimsoned rills; see hands and feet given up to the rough iron, and His whole self to mockery and scorn; see the bitterness, and the pangs, and the throes of inward grief, showing themselves in His outward frame.

Hear the thrilling shriek, ‘My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ And if you do not lie prostrate on the ground before that cross, you have never seen it: if you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus, you do not know Him. You were so lost that nothing could save you but the sacrifice of God’s only begotten.

Think of that, and as Jesus stooped for you, bow yourself in lowliness at His feet. A sense of Christ’s amazing love to us has a greater tendency to humble us than even a consciousness of our own guilt. May the Lord bring us in contemplation to Calvary, then our position will no longer be that of the pompous man of pride, but we shall take the humble place of one who loves much because much has been forgiven him.

Pride cannot live beneath the cross. Let us sit there and learn our lesson, and then rise and carry it into practice.

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Evening – June 3,” in Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Vol. 1 (Charleston, SC: BiblioBazaar, 2008), 362-363.

[HT: Blake Hickman]

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