September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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In this study guide, we’ll discuss key thoughts and practical ideas from Philippians 2:1–11. Talk through the example of Jesus’ humility and how you can put it into practice, and learn why unity and service are vital to the life of a healthy church!
Ice Breaker: If you had to sing karaoke right now, which song would you pick?
Memory Verse: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”—Philippians 2:5–8 (NIV)
In the preceding verses, Paul writes Christians should relate to one another with humility, considering others above themselves. He then goes on to explain that humility should be a characteristic of God’s people because it’s the character of Christ.
Vincent’s Word Studies Commentary says it this way: “Christ, being before his incarnation, in the form of God, did not regard his divine equality as a prize which was to be grasped at and retained at all hazards, but, on the contrary, laid aside the form of God, and took upon himself the nature of man. The emphasis in the passage is on Christ’s humiliation. Had he come into the world emphasizing his equality with God, the world would have been amazed, but not saved.”
Christ’s incarnation—a term that describes how God’s Son, who was a Spirit and never had a body, took on a human body and life just like ours (John 1:1–12)—is the ultimate depiction of humility and love. We’re to model Christ by putting others first and in love serving our neighbors. May we, like Jesus, be known for our selflessness—the way we give of ourselves for others. May we impact the lives of others with our service and generosity and, in doing so, live as Christ lived. In your group time, discuss how you can practically live out the humility of Jesus.
Discussion Question 1: What words or phrases of today’s Scripture stand out to you the most, and why?
Discussion Question 2: What does this passage teach you about Jesus? What does it teach you about yourself?
Discussion Question 3: How would you define humility? What are the qualities of a humble person?
Discussion Question 4: Consider your thoughts and motivations for a moment. Are you motivated by your needs? Do you seek ways to serve others and put their needs first?
Discussion Question 5: Is there something in your life you’re holding on to (e.g., ego, comfort, control, etc.) that is holding you back from serving others? What steps can you take to surrender this area to the Lord?
Discussion Question 6: How can you apply the principles of Philippians 2:1–11 into your life right now?
The next time you’re with a group of friends, think about how you can prioritize their needs over yours. If you’re in a grocery store, consider letting the person with fewer groceries than you go first through the checkout line. If you disagree with your spouse, pause and defer your preference.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.