The Reward for Humility – November 12, 2021

Over the past two weeks, we have examined the need for humility in the believer’s life. Unity in the church only persists as long as its members are humble. Further, last week, we examined Christ’s life as an example of humility. We cannot finish the text in Philippians 2 without looking at verses 9-13.

We see the reward for humility in two ways. First, God has given Christ an exalted position. Because of Christ’s humble sacrifice on the cross, God exalted Christ to his state of glory. He sits enthroned as King and rules over everything. As sovereign over all things, Christ cannot be conquered. Even death could not hold him. Second, God gave him a great name. At the very mention of his name, every knee will bow to him one day and declare that he is Lord over everything. From this, we learn again that God grants grace to the humble.

Verses 12-13 contain our expected response. Paul indicates that these verses are the desired response through the word “therefore.” Since we must humble ourselves for the sake of unity and since Christ set the example of humility and has been exalted into heaven, we must live out our salvation. Humility requires a daily dying to self. We must recognize that we are what we are only through the grace of God.

We live out our salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that God expects much of us and that we owe him everything. We fear disappointing our King. We tremble at the thought that we would love for another. And we recognize that we don’t have the strength to live out our salvation on our own.

For this reason, Paul introduces the two-track method of sanctification. We live out our salvation, but it is God who strengthens us to obey. God’s Spirit empowers us to do what we cannot do on our own. In this context, the Spirit empowers us to live for others and not for ourselves. The Spirit empowers us to look to others first and humble ourselves. Man is not naturally humble. However, the Spirit empowers us to obey God in this matter and to glorify him with our life. And the reward is eternal glory. So live for others and not for yourself.