Philippians Week 4. Lesson 3

The One God Exalts

(Matt Chandler)

Introduction:

Matthew 18:23-25

“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” [1]

 “Pay what you owe.”

How insane that the one who had just received mercy upon mercy for a large debt, now offers none for a much smaller one!

So it is with mercy and forgiveness, is it not?

We have been forgiven greatly from God and he has, through the blood of Christ taken our punishment for sin from us. We should be the most humble, merciful, forgiving people on the planet, right?

We should live lives in constant gratitude to the One that has forgiven us much.

But do we?

Nope.

Philippians 2: 1-4, Luke 1: 39-55

 Phil 2:1-4: So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. [2]

 Luke 1:49-55: “In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

 (The Magnificant)

And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.” [3]

Read Mary’s song (the Magnificant) again.

    1. Is pride in your life?
    2. Is a sense of entitlement in your life?
    3. How can you, like Mary, say that your soul “magnifies the Lord” (Luke 1:46)
    4. Mary sang this after receiving great news. How can we do that after we have just heard:
      1. Dreadful news
      2. News of Any kind?
      3. How is it that we have managed to kill gratitude in our lives?
      4. Why do we feel a sense of entitlement instead of thankfulness?
      5. Are you around meek people?
        1. Who?
        2. Are you sensitive to desiring to emulate them?
        3. Do you admire them?
        4. Do you leave their presence as the same person?
        5. What are the effects on a community of believers when Phil 2:2 is followed?
          1. Ignored?
          2. Phil 2:3 says to do nothing out of rivalry or conceit. Is that realistic?
          3. We can learn a lot about what the Scriptures do say by what they do NOT say.
            1. 2:3 Does say: “In humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
            2. Does NOT say: “Treat others more significant than yourselves.”

i.      What if it said the latter?

ii.      What would the implication be?

  1. We are called to have confidence in Christ
    1. 2 Cor. 3:4
    2. Eph. 3:12
    3. Heb 3:5-6
    4. Heb 4:16
    5. How do you “fear” God while approaching with confidence?
    6. Summarize the teaching of this passage in one sentence.

Memory Verse:

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Phil. 2:3 ESV)

 Diving Deeper:

There is a close Old Testament parallel to Mary’s song in the New Testament. It is the song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 Read this incredible passage of another woman magnifying the Lord upon hearing the news that she will in fact have a child. The set up is 1 Samuel 1 and the song of response is chapter 2.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Mt 18:23–35). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Php 2:1–4). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Lk 1:39–56). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.