The Great Example: Part 1 (Philippians 2:1–11)

Phil 2.5-11People can rob us of our joy. Paul was facing his problems with people at Rome (Phil. 1:15–18) as well as with people in Philippi, and it was the latter who concerned him the most. When Epaphroditus brought a generous gift from the church in Philippi and good news of the church’s concern for Paul, he also brought the bad news of a possible division in the church family. Apparently, there was a double threat to the unity of the church: false teachers coming in from without (Phil. 3:1–3) and disagreeing members within (Phil. 4:1–3).

Paul knew what some church workers today do not know, that there is a difference between unity and uniformity. True spiritual unity comes from within; it is a matter of the heart. Uniformity is the result of pressure from without. This is why Paul opens this section appealing to the highest possible spiritual motives (2:1–4):

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Since the believers at Philippi are “in Christ,” this ought to encourage them to work toward unity and love, not division and rivalry. In a gracious way, Paul is saying to the church, “Your disagreements reveal there is a spiritual problem in your fellowship. It isn’t going to be solved by rules or threats; it’s going to be solved when your hearts are right with Christ and with each other.” Paul wanted them to see the basic cause of their conflict was selfishness and the cause of selfishness is pride. There can be no joy in the life of the Christian who puts himself above others.

The secret of joy in spite of circumstances is the single mind. The secret of joy in spite of people is the submissive mind. The key verse is: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (2:3). In Philippians 1, it is “Jesus first” and in Philippians 2 it is “others next.” Paul the soul winner in Philippians 1 becomes Paul the servant in Philippians 2.

It is important we understand what the Bible means by “humility.” The humble person is not one who thinks meanly of himself; he simply does not think of himself at all! (I think Andrew Murray said that). Humility is a grace that, when you know you have it, you have lost it. The truly humble person knows himself and accepts himself (Rom. 12:3). He yields himself to Christ to be a servant, to use what he is and has for the glory of God and the good of others. “Others” is the key idea in this chapter (2:3–4); the believer’s eyes are turned away from himself and focused on the needs of others.

The “submissive mind” does not mean that the believer is at the beck and call of everybody else or that he is a “religious doormat” for everybody to use! Some people try to purchase friends and maintain church unity by “giving in” to everybody else’s whims and wishes. This is not what Paul is suggesting at all. The Scripture puts it perfectly: “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor. 4:5). If we have the single mind of Philippians 1, then we will have no problem with the submissive mind of Philippians 2.

Paul gives us four examples of the submissive mind: Jesus Christ (2:1–11), Paul himself (Phil. 2:12–18), Timothy (Phil. 2:19–24), and Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25–30). Of course the greatest Example is Jesus and Paul begins with Him. Jesus illustrates the four characteristics of the person with the submissive mind.

He Thinks of Others, Not Himself (2:5–6)

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.

Phil 2.5The “mind” of Christ means the “attitude” Christ exhibited. Our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Jesus did not think of Himself; He thought of others. His outlook (or attitude) was that of unselfish concern for others. This is “the mind of Christ,” an attitude that says, “I cannot keep my privileges for myself, I must use them for others; and to do this, I will gladly lay them aside and pay whatever price is necessary.”

A reporter was interviewing a successful job counselor who had placed hundreds of workers in their vocations quite happily. When asked the secret of his success, the man replied: “If you want to find out what a worker is really like, don’t give him responsibilities—give him privileges. Most people can handle responsibilities if you pay them enough, but it takes a real leader to handle privileges. A leader will use his privileges to help others and build the organization; a lesser man will use privileges to promote himself.” Jesus used His heavenly privileges for the sake of others—for our sake.

It would be worthwhile to contrast Christ’s attitude with that of Lucifer (Isa. 14:12–15) and Adam (Gen. 3:1–7). Lucifer once was the highest of the angelic beings, close to the throne of God (Ezek. 28:11–19), but he desired to be on the throne of God! Lucifer said, “I will!” but Jesus said, “Thy will.” Lucifer was not satisfied to be a creature; he wanted to be the Creator! Jesus was the Creator, yet He willingly became man. Christ’s humility is a rebuke to Satan’s pride.

Lucifer was not satisfied to be a rebel himself; he invaded Eden and tempted man to be a rebel. Adam had all he needed; he was actually the “king” of God’s creation (“let them have dominion,” Gen. 1:26). But Satan said, “You will be like God!” Man deliberately grasped after something that was beyond his reach, and as a result plunged the whole human race into sin and death. Adam and Eve thought only of themselves; Jesus Christ thought of others.

We expect unsaved people to be selfish and grasping, but we do not expect this of Christians, who have experienced the love of Christ and the fellowship of the Spirit (2:1–2). More than twenty times in the New Testament, God instructs us how to live with “one another.” We are to prefer one another (Rom. 12:10), edify one another (1 Thes. 5:11), and bear each other’s burdens (Gal. 6:2). We should not judge one another (Rom. 14:13), but rather admonish one another (Rom. 15:14). Others is the key word in the vocabulary of the Christian who exercises the submissive mind.

He Serves (2:7)

He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

washing-feetThinking of “others” in an abstract sense only is insufficient; we must get down to the nitty-gritty of true service. A famous philosopher wrote glowing words about educating children, but abandoned his own. It was easy for him to love children in the abstract, but when it came down to practice, that was something else. Jesus thought of others and became a servant! Paul traces the steps in the humiliation of Christ: (1) He emptied Himself, laying aside the independent use of His own attributes as God; (2) He permanently became a human, in a sinless physical body; (3) He used that body to be a servant; (4) He took that body to the cross and willingly died.

What grace! From heaven to earth, from glory to shame, from Master to servant, from life to death on a cross! When Christ was born at Bethlehem, He entered into a permanent union with humanity from which there could be no escape. He willingly humbled Himself, so that He might lift us up! Jesus did not pretend to be a servant; He was not an actor playing a role. He actually was a servant! This was the true expression of His innermost nature. He was the God-Man, Deity and humanity united in one, and He came as a servant.

Have you noticed as you read the four Gospels that it is Jesus who serves others, not others who serve Jesus? He is at the beck and call of all kinds of people—fishermen, harlots, tax collectors, the sick, the sorrowing. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). In the Upper Room, when His disciples apparently refused to serve (minister), Jesus arose, laid aside His outer garments, put on the long linen towel, and washed their feet! (John 13) He took the place of a menial slave! This was the submissive mind in action—no wonder Jesus experienced such joy!

In Part 2, we will look at two more characteristics of the person with the submissive mind.

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About Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.

Pastor Joe has been serving in Christian ministry for 19 years. He is the author of "Back to the Basics: A Guide for Christian Living." Through a commitment to servant leadership, he proclaims relevant Bible truth, equips the saints for effective ministry, and builds up the body of Christ. Married thirteen years, Pastor Joe and his wife live in New Jersey and have two children.
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50 Responses to The Great Example: Part 1 (Philippians 2:1–11)

  1. jmsabbagh says:

    Lively sermon,to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.Blessings.

  2. Pingback: The Great Example (Philippians 2:1–11) | A disciple's study

  3. Truth2Freedom says:

    Reblogged this on Truth2Freedom's Blog.

  4. Yes it is in giving Pastor Joe that we receive, not referring to material rewards but Eternal and it is not our words that show a humble heart, it is our actions, they show if we consider others first or ourselves, do we share our God given gifts and blessings with others to build them up or keep them for ourselves to make a profit or gain popularity, do we take an interest as you said, in what interests others for God’s glory, or is it all about what we think is important and want…. Friendship and Unity in Christ Jesus is a two way street, not a single passageway.

    Yes Jesus had inner Joy, He was filled with The Spirit but He was known as a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, He knew the destiny of those who would reject Him and it grieved Him greatly, He did not take it lightly…Love never does, it always wants the best for those that are Loved.

    There are two different types of pride, Godly and worldly or Carnal and fleshy, as we can see in the Scriptures below.

    What Worldly pride is…

    Mark 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

    1 John 2:15- 17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

    What Godly Pride is …

    Galatians 6: 4 Each one should understand their own actions. Then they can take Pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to others.

    2 Corinthians 8:24 show these men the proof of your Love and the reason for our Pride in you, so that the Churches can see it.

    2 Corinthians 5:11-12 Because we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. It is plain to God what we are, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are giving you an opportunity to take Pride in us not trying to commend ourselves again to you , so that you have an answer for those who take Pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.

    Romans 11:13b I take Pride in my Ministry.

    As a Christian I also take Godly Pride in my Ministry to those who are in darkness, and rejoice with those who are not, as I’m sure you do too Pastor Joe.

    Christian Love in our Unity in Christ Jesus – Anne.

  5. Pastor, thank you again for a well written word. It is sometimes hard to understand how humble Jesus really was, yet He was God. I pray for God to give me that mind that was also in Christ Jesus.

  6. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).”
    I am all about lifting high the name of Jesus, so I love the title of your post.
    I am also all about lifting high the voice of Jesus, (this is my son, whom I love, listen to HIM), so I loved the Matthew 20 quote.
    I had to sigh, though. In a post primarily about the example of Jesus, Jesus got only one line, one reference while Paul got many. Oh how I long for a post, sermon, Sunday school lesson that lets Jesus speak for Himself. What a powerful post, sermon, Sunday School lesson that would be!

    • Raul Lopez says:

      There is just one slight problem with that. Jesus never wrote a word of scripture. The gospels are a rendition of the words of Jesus as written by His apostles (or those directly under them) after His death. The Pauline epistles is simply a further rendition of the same words of Jesus as written by His apostle, Paul, after His death (as well as the General epistles also). They are not distinct but inseparable. Paul’s words in the scriptures is the words of Christ as inspired of God just like the words of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

      Truly, one can provide sermons of the words of Jesus but, when Jesus was on earth, a different rule of thumb was occurring and the dispensation of the Church (the Church Age or the Age of Grace as separate from the Law, etc… Anyway you want to call it) has not yet started. Paul’s writings are more directly applicable to us and Jesus, at the time of Paul’s writings, has already made the transition from the offer of the promised kingdom to Israel to the mystery kingdom of a personal family with God and God in us. Because of this, it makes it a little hard to provide a more applicable sermon with only the words of Jesus as rendered by the gospels (audience being Israel and subject being the ‘thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” – the Eternal State) and much easier to provide applicable sermons with the Pauline and General epistles after Christ’s resurrection (audience being the sons of God, joint heirs with Christ with the hope of salvation from the presence, penalty and power of sin).

      • Matthew, Mark, Luke and John directly quoted Him, hence the quotation marks. Paul was talking about Him, second hand. I prefer a direct quote when getting to know someone, it’s more reliable.

        • There has been a raging battle during the last several centuries over the nature and authority of Scripture. All good theological studies should begin with Scripture. But what is Scripture? How can we know it is God’s Word? Is it reliable?

          I do not want to put words in your mouth, but it seems you doubt the inspiration and trustworthiness of the entire Bible. Is this really what you mean to say?

          • You are putting a lot of words in my mouth. I meant to say to Raul what I did say, which is that the gospel writers quoted Jesus’s words directly while Paul taught about them. Eyewitness accounts and direct quotes are what make a news story reliable.

            • Raul Lopez says:

              What I’m trying to say is that Paul is doing exactly what the gospel writers did and more directly than they did. While they were writing historically, Paul was penciling down the will of God (the words of Christ) immediately as the Holy Spirit told him. If anything, all parts being equal and assuming that you believe the totality of scripture to be the verbal plenary word of God (or words of Christ), the Pauline and General epistles are even more trustworthy than the historical writings. They were being written as God (that being Christ) told them, on the spot, so to speak rather than after a period of approximately anywhere between 15-25 years after the fact.

              I am, in no way, minimizing the authority of the gospels. What I am pointing out is that the Pauline and General epistles are likewise the directly quoted words of God (or words of Christ, if you so will). There is no question on the reliability of either, any or all of the scriptures, unless of course, you do question the validity of the New Testament and only accept, as inspired, the writings of Matthew and John (since Luke and Mark were not apostles anyways).

            • “all parts being equal and assuming that you believe the totality of scripture to be the verbal plenary word of God (or words of Christ), the Pauline and General epistles are even more trustworthy than the historical writings”

              If all things are equal (equally infallible, equally inspired), then how can one (the epistles) be even more trustworthy than another (the Gospels)? Unless you question the validity of the Gospels and only accept as inspired the writings of Paul.

              “Paul was penciling down the will of God (the words of Christ) immediately as the Holy Spirit told him.”

              How do you know that? When did Paul say that? More importantly, when did Jesus say that? One commenter on one of this blog’s previous posts said Jesus revealed things to Paul in secret. Perhaps He did but He never said that. Why would He choose 12 disciples and spend three years teaching them as a group and then reveal everything upon which the church bases its doctrine to just one man? With no checks and balances? It sounds a bit Joseph Smithesque to me.

              Why didn’t Jesus tell His disciples about Paul in advance? The only thing Jesus said in advance that might apply to Paul was to the Pharisees: “I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.” Since Paul was flogged and pursued from town to town, Jesus may have been referring to him, but He never mentioned him by name.

              I believe Jesus spoke to Paul and I believe He gave him a mission. But the longer I study the Scriptures (30 years now), the more I see things in the epistles that just don’t add up. Perhaps they don’t add up because Paul’s enemies misquoted him. Just watch election ads for a primer on how humans can twist words. Perhaps they don’t add up because his letters were mistranslated by those who wanted to preserve the teachings of the Talmud. I don’t know. I believe God’s word is perfect. The translation of it and the teaching of it, not so much. He put His perfect Word into the hands of sinful, prideful, corrupt men. Everything in this world has been corrupted by sin – including the translation and teaching of God’s perfect Word.

              But, Hallelujah!, One day He is going to restore all things back to the way He intended them to be. And when He does, I pray I have ears to hear, because the only difference between a Christian and a Pharisees back in the day was that one had ears to hear, and the other insisted upon teaching the precepts of men as doctrine.

            • Raul Lopez says:

              For purposes of separating my response, I will write in caps. Please do not assume that I am screaming on the net.

              “all parts being equal and assuming that you believe the totality of scripture to be the verbal plenary word of God (or words of Christ), the Pauline and General epistles are even more trustworthy than the historical writings”

              If all things are equal (equally infallible, equally inspired), then how can one (the epistles) be even more trustworthy than another (the Gospels)? Unless you question the validity of the Gospels and only accept as inspired the writings of Paul.

              THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I WROTE THE SECOND PARAGRAPH. BOTH ARE EQUALLY INSPIRED SINCE BOTH WERE WRITTEN UNDER THE INSPIRATION AND DIRECTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO EACH OF THE INDIVIDUAL WRITERS.

              “Paul was penciling down the will of God (the words of Christ) immediately as the Holy Spirit told him.”

              How do you know that? When did Paul say that?
              PAUL DID NOT SAY THAT. PETER SAID THAT ABOUT PAUL (II PETER 3:15-16). PETER IS ALSO THE APOSTLE THAT VALIDATES THE GOSPEL OF MARK SINCE JOHN MARK DID NOT RECEIVE CHRIST UNTIL AFTER HIS RESURRECTION.

              More importantly, when did Jesus say that?
              WHAT YOU ARE STATING HERE IS THE CRUX OF THE MATTER. JESUS NEVER WROTE WHAT HE SAID. WE MUST TRUST 2ND AND 3RD PARTY ACCOUNTS (THE APOSTLES AND THOSE THAT WERE DIRECTLY TAUGHT BY THEM). SINCE THROUGHOUT ACTS (WRITTEN BY LUKE WHICH WAS NOT AN APOSTLE YET WROTE ONE OF THE GOSPELS) PETER AND JAMES GIVES PAUL THE SAME POSITION AS THEY HAVE (ACTS 15:6-35) AND SINCE PETER (AN APOSTLE) WROTE ABOUT THE WORDS OF PAUL EQUATING THEM TO THE HOLY SCRIPTURES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT (II PETER 3:15-16), WE CAN ONLY TRUST IN WHAT THEY’VE SAID ABOUT JESUS AND THAT THEY HAVE BEEN EYEWITNESSES OF.

              One commenter on one of this blog’s previous posts said Jesus revealed things to Paul in secret. Perhaps He did but He never said that. Why would He choose 12 disciples and spend three years teaching them as a group and then reveal everything upon which the church bases its doctrine to just one man? With no checks and balances? It sounds a bit Joseph Smithesque to me.
              THERE WAS CHECKS AND BALANCES SOME OF THEM BEING RECORDED THROUGH THE BOOK OF ACTS AND NOT DISCLAIMED BY ANY OF THE ORIGINAL 11 APOSTLES AND, IF WE SEE THE CONTEMPORARY WRITINGS, ACTUALLY SUPPORTED BY THE CONTEMPORARY WRITERS.

              Why didn’t Jesus tell His disciples about Paul in advance?
              DIDN’T NEED TO BUT HE DID TELL THEM IN ACTS AND ONWARD WHEN GOD WILLED HIS REVELATION.

              The only thing Jesus said in advance that might apply to Paul was to the Pharisees:
              IT’S NOT JUST THAT. JESUS CHRIST SAID MANY THINGS THAT WERE NOT RECORDED AS JOHN HIMSELF STATES. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THOSE THINGS ARE AND THE WRITERS DID NOT MENTION IT. THE THING IS… IF YOU ARE GOING TO TRUST THE FIRST HAND ACCOUNTS AS INSPIRED, YOU NEED TO TRUST IN WHAT THEY ALSO SAY AFTERWARDS AS WELL. EXAMPLE: IF YOU TRUST THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE, THEN YOU MUST HAVE TO TRUST THE TEACHER OF LUKE, THAT BEING PAUL. IF YOU TRUST IN THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK, THEN YOU NEED TO TRUST PETER. IF YOU TRUST IN PETER’S WORDS, THEN YOU LIKEWISE NEED TO TRUST IN PAUL’S. REMEMBER AND I REPEAT… THERE IS NO RECORD WHATSOEVER ABOUT WHAT JESUS SAID EXCEPT THAT WHICH WAS WRITTEN BY THOSE THAT FOLLOWED AFTER AND TWO OF THEM WERE NOT EYEWITNESSES.

              “I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.” Since Paul was flogged and pursued from town to town, Jesus may have been referring to him, but He never mentioned him by name.

              I believe Jesus spoke to Paul and I believe He gave him a mission. But the longer I study the Scriptures (30 years now), the more I see things in the epistles that just don’t add up. Perhaps they don’t add up because Paul’s enemies misquoted him. Just watch election ads for a primer on how humans can twist words. Perhaps they don’t add up because his letters were mistranslated by those who wanted to preserve the teachings of the Talmud. I don’t know. I believe God’s word is perfect. The translation of it and the teaching of it, not so much. He put His perfect Word into the hands of sinful, prideful, corrupt men. Everything in this world has been corrupted by sin – including the translation and teaching of God’s perfect Word.

              But, Hallelujah!, One day He is going to restore all things back to the way He intended them to be. And when He does, I pray I have ears to hear, because the only difference between a Christian and a Pharisees back in the day was that one had ears to hear, and the other insisted upon teaching the precepts of men as doctrine.

              I CAN AGREE WITH THAT IN A GENERAL SENSE. THERE ARE MISTRANSLATIONS FROM THE ORIGINAL WRITINGS OF PAUL FROM THE GREEK TO THE LATIN AND ENGLISH (AS WELL AS ANY OF THE OTHER LANGUAGES). IT WOULD BE BEST TO READ THE LETTERS IN THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGES AND I WOULD AGREE. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT I THINK YOU’RE SAYING. I THINK YOU’RE SAYING THAT THE VERY WORDS WRITTEN BY PAUL IN THE ORIGINAL WERE CORRUPTED. THAT IS WHERE MY DISAGREEMENT WOULD LIE. NOW, IF THE DISAGREEMENT IN THE INTERPRETATION AND TEACHING OF THE WORDS OF PAUL IS WHAT IS CORRUPTED, THEN A PROPER ATTEMPT AT INTERPRETING PAUL’S WORDS MAY BE IN ORDER. I PERSONALLY ATTEMPT TO FOLLOW A HISTORICAL-GRAMMATICAL METHOD OF INTERPRETATION USING DEDUCTIVE AND INDUCTIVE METHODS OF INVESTIGATION WITH IT. WHAT ARE YOUR HERMENEUTICAL PRINCIPLES, IF I MIGHT ASK?

            • My method of interpretation is this:
              1. I ask the Holy Spirit to show me what He, the Father and the Son intended me (and all of us) to know.
              2. I look at the passage in the context of the whole. Is it consistent with the rest of Scripture? Is it consistent with God’s character and stated purpose? His M.O.?
              3. I look up the key words and phrases to see how they were translated from the original Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic. I look at the root words from which they were derived. I look at other places in Scripture where the original word was used and how it was translated there. I see red flags when a word is translated one way in a verse and another way in all other verses using that word. Then I investigate further.
              4. Sometimes I diagram the sentence.

              “PETER SAID THAT ABOUT PAUL (II PETER 3:15-16)”

              You, like the others who use this verse to “prove” that Paul’s words were “God-breathed”, are linking Paul’s letters with “the rest of the Scriptures”. But, if you diagram the sentence, you will discover that the link is actually between “these things” (the difficult to understand Scriptures that were being distorted) and “the rest of the Scriptures”.

              Peter was linking the distorted Scriptures that Paul was writing about with the other Scriptures that were being distorted. In other words, Paul was writing to them about “these things” that the unstable distort – just as they distort the other Scriptures.

              I’m guessing that our beliefs are probably 99% similar, though. Nice talking with you. I’ll give you the last word. I am not going to discuss further because I want to turn my attention to writing a post for my own blog.

            • Correction: The more a few things in the epistles don’t add up.

            • Raul Lopez says:

              Can you give me some examples, please?

            • 1. Women in leadership – Paul’s writings are inconsistent with each other and with his practices.
              2. Head coverings – his writing on this makes no sense, it is inconsistent with the OT and it is inconsistent with his own practices. Because Bible commentators work within the framework that all of Paul’s words being perfectly inspired, they twist themselves into some rather bizarre pretzels to try and explain it.
              3. Paul’s understanding of how it went down in the garden seems to be based more on the teachings of the Talmud then on Genesis 3. You can read a bit about how it went down in one of my recent posts: http://thereluctantbaptist.com/?s=Winning+the+War+on+Women&submit=Search

              I won’t go into any more detail on any of these because it takes more effort than I am willing to put forth right now, but I will likely be posting about them in the near future.

            • Raul Lopez says:

              Just for further study, you may want to take into account also the historical question as well as the grammatical question when interpreting scripture. You need to account for the specific situation that is being addressed as well as the cultural background, religious background, and sociological background of the intended audience as well as the same thing from the writer of the subject in question.

              Taking these things into account, you should, upon your own personal examination, be able to have an answer to all three of the concerns you’ve placed except maybe for point 3.

              I’ve looked at that site and I understand what you’re trying to say. To solve this question, you need to look at both Genesis 2 and 3 and take Paul’s own words for himself. He’s not ‘blaming’ women for it. The point here goes into Genesis 2 – the reason women were created in the first place and which may require further study from you.

              I’m at work and I think, from a previous comment, that you are also busy on your site so I’ll leave you to your site and won’t expound much further unless I receive another comment concerning this.

            • Thank you for your insights and suggestions. I’ll just end by saying that I have looked at the cultural background of the intended audience and I know some of Paul’s words were specifically intended for a specific audience. What I don’t understand is why many church leaders extrapolate them to a wider audience. Women in leadership, for example. If Paul’s remarks were aimed at a specific audience for a specific time, why are they applied to the church today? I know that many denominations do not apply them, (just as most denominations do not require head coverings), but my denomination does apply Paul’s teachings on women in leadership today and hence I question their understanding and interpretation of the Scriptures. Especially since many other denominations have come to a different understanding.

              May your work be fruitful. – trb

            • Raul Lopez says:

              Well, how I see it is not necessarily women in leadership or even so much that women cannot teach men (Apollo was taught by both the a man and a woman (a married couple)). The main thing I see is the usurpation of authority towards a man. That is specifically against the natural form of creation (woman as a help-meet to the man rather than the opposite in Genesis 2 which likewise makes sense of the way both man and woman was eventually cursed in Genesis 3). The idea is that a woman is not to take on the role of a leading authority of a full congregation (unless her husband which should be a Christian can likewise submit to her authority). Also, as in I Corinthians, the idea is not that a woman could not speak in public or teach publicly as Paul himself implies in chapter 7 of the same letter but, that women were speaking ‘against’ established male authorities creating confusion.

              The passage in Timothy concerning women (I believe it is I Timothy 3?) is a bit different and a more ‘harder’ statement towards women but the idea is the same. A woman is assumed to be married to a Christian man and a wife definitely should not usurp a husband’s authority. If both are in the same congregation, then the husband should be the leading authority of that family and not the wife (as is plain in Ephesians 5 and does follow the law as found in Genesis and onwards).

            • That is exactly what I thought you meant. I remember the very first time I read the title of your blog: “The Reluctant Baptist.” It immediately caught my eye! “Reluctant about what?” I thought. So I clicked your blog and read the tagline: “A non-denominational woman trapped in a baptist body.” It drew me in (I will admit while all my theological beliefs are Baptist, if you were to look at me and talk to me in person, you would quickly realize I hardly fit the profile of most Baptist pastors).

              After reading several of your comments and posts, it sounds like you know a good deal about Scripture. However, I need to point out some of what you are teaching is contrary to God’s Word. At best, you are demonstrating a misunderstanding about the inspiration of Scripture. At worst, you are attacking God’s Word and His servants, and possibly causing others to stumble. I cannot be sure. I do not know your heart.

              But I do know this: a powerful tool in Satan’s arsenal is the lie that the Bible is full of errors and cannot be trusted. Many have been confused by such thinking. Our understanding of and obedience to Scripture will affect every area of our lives, from how we think to the way we act. I want to encourage you to be accountable to the entire Word of God.

              God bless!

              Pastor Joe

              https://joequatronejr.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/jesus-wants-loving-obedience/

            • I understand what you are saying and I know your intention is to be a responsible pastor, but what if another of Satan’s tools is to silence those who set their minds to understanding (as Daniel did); those who are not satisfied with pat answers, who seek a more accurate understanding of the uncorrupted heart of God?

              I have not set myself up as an authority and I am not teaching anything. I am merely pondering aloud, asking questions and sharing what I have gleaned from my study. I was in Bible Study Fellowship for many, many years and that is what I was taught to do. If Christianity does not allow for questioning its understanding of things, then a) We are arrogant and b) we are nothing more than a cult. Jesus questioned the religious leaders of His day and they swiftly endeavored to shut Him up. Paul questioned them and they set out to shut him up, too. Jesus said His followers shouldn’t expect to be treated any better than He was, so it is no surprise that some church leaders would write me off, or worse, try to shut me up.

              I do not disparage the Bible, God or even Paul. I do not dogmatically assert anything. I do not tell people they should think what I think. In fact, I tell them not to take my word for it, to examine the Scriptures for themselves under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

              But now I have a bit of a dilemma: I was planning to move on from your blog after I finished my conversation with Raul because I have noticed that some of your posts (perhaps all?) are recycled material from SermonCentral. I prefer to read original material so I will spend my reading time elsewhere. I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to think that you drove me away with this comment or that I am taking my ball and going home.

              All the best to you. – trb

            • I am sorry to see you go, but that is certainly your choice.

              Many people want to live their lives independent of God’s authority. They don’t want God running their lives. They hate the very idea of having to submit to a higher authority than themselves.

              One of the greatest challenges facing the church today is the predominance of post-modern thinking, particularly the loss of belief in absolute truth. As a result, the church has joined the world in questioning the authority of Scripture as the sole rule for Christian faith and practice. Having lost this foundation there is growing confusion regarding the basic doctrines of the faith.

              On July 2, I did an article about false teachers: https://joequatronejr.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/how-can-i-recognize-a-false-teacher. You made similar statements about the Apostle Paul and Scripture that you are asserting here. You were accused by others (not me) of being a false teacher and false brethren. At the time, I was not sure if you were intentionally attacking God’s Word or simply misled. Finally, because I felt the accusations and general conversation was getting out of hand, I issued a strong warning to everyone and deleted everyone’s comments. When it was all over, I remember you saying something like, “I have great respect for you and how you handled this…”

              However, I am now hearing a different message. I hear you are discontent with the answers God has given in His Word. I hear you are intentionally refusing to submit to God’s authority and the absolute truth of Scripture. This is a dangerous place to be!

              Rebellion against God is perhaps the most serious sin of all because as long as a person rebels, he or she closes the door of forgiveness and restoration with God. King Saul was both rebellious and arrogant, so it is little wonder why God finally took away his kingdom. Rebellion and arrogance are serious sins. Scripture equates them with divination (witchcraft) and idolatry, sins worthy of death (Ex. 22:18; Lev. 20:6; Deut. 13:12-15, 18:10; Mic. 5:10-14).

              We normally think of idols as statues of wood or stone, but in reality idols are anything natural that are given value and perceived power above God. Worshipping idols involves relativism and pursuing our own human understanding apart from God’s absolute truth revealed in Scripture. We often throw out norms and values no longer considered necessary or acceptable, but we must be careful not to discard God’s Word. If we do that, only godlessness and evil will remain.

              As you have seen, I am willing to dialogue with you, but will not debate the absolute truth of God’s inspired Word. If you would like to speak further just let me know. If I do not hear from you, I can only hope our time together will prove profitable in the long run. Either way, I pray God will overwhelm us with His grace, and we will grow in Him and bear much fruit.

              Pastor Joe

    • Thanks for commenting, ReluctantBaptist. This post is part of a verse-by-verse commentary I am doing in the Book of Philippians. This teaching covers 2:1-11. I will be spending the next month or two in this book until we are finished.

      While I do believe all Scripture (including Paul’s letters) is the inspired and inerrant Word of God, I do have several sermons and articles quoting only the words of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels. I will leave a few links for you. Feel free to browse around and comment if you’d like.

      1. Jesus Wants Loving Obedience – https://joequatronejr.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/jesus-wants-loving-obedience/

      2. Jesus’ Method of Making Disciples – https://joequatronejr.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/jesus-method-of-making-disciples/

      3. The Tribulation – https://joequatronejr.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/how-can-we-avoid-the-tribulation/

      4. In the World, But Not of It – https://joequatronejr.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/in-the-world-but-not-of-the-world/

      5. Parable of the Sower – https://joequatronejr.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/parable-of-the-sower/

      God bless!

      • Thank you Pastor Joe, Raul Lopez and thereluctantbaptist, each of you shared some Truth but as I have found before not all the Truth, although I’m not claiming you don’t know it just that you haven’t shared it here in reference to this Post.

        God tells us if we lack wisdom we are to ask Him for it because it is the Principle thing in understanding His Truth by the empowering of The Holy Spirit, (Luke11:13 – James1:5-6) Jesus teaches us all things needed for our Maturity, giving us His, wisdom, knowledge, discernment and logic and also showing us man’s errors in Translation and in their own fleshy understanding. We were not Born with God’s wisdom or the empowering of The Holy Spirit, we ask and receive and than believe we have or we are unstable.

        Being a woman I’m going to respond first to the thereluctantbaptist as a woman… I have shared many times the need for woman to be under Authority, first Gods and than our husbands which also shows our submission to God and also under Men who are in Leadership in the Church. I have found that this Truth is not often accepted by other woman, especially if they are in a position of Authority over men in a Church and speak, which means Preach in the Greek. 1 Timothy 2:11-14

        One woman Preacher said to me after I shared all the Scriptures that confirms it is not a woman’ role, asked me to forget the Scriptures and tell her why wouldn’t God want her to Preach. I explained to her that we can’t put aside God’s inspired word, if He tells us something we don’t question it, we accept and obey it , He knows what is best for us. Her husband than wrote to me also rejecting these Scriptures, claiming they were not relevant today they were only cultural and when l didn’t agree him also sharing with him the confirmation of other Scriptures, I was accused of being Mentally ill or worse, having a lying demon spirit and of not being saved.

        Woman were created to be a Man’s Helpmate, this is not an inferior role, Spiritually we are all one in Christ Jesus both Men and Woman, if we read the Scriptures below we will see God’s guidelines are for all His Churches including those who are obedient to Him today. To disregard His guidelines means we are saying we do not consider today’s Churches to be under His Authority, He also tells us, if a man does not agree with His guidelines and this is so for woman too , they do not have The Holy Spirit’s empowering and so are ignorant and are just trusting in their own or others fleshy understanding wisdom and logic, by their fruit we will know them and disobedience is a bad fruit.

        1Corinthians 14: 34 Let your women keep silence in the Churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the Church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a Prophet, or Spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the Commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

        1Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

        Deborah God’s anointed judge under His Authority, rebuked Barak for wanting her to take a Leadership role but later she encouraged him to do so and he had the victory. , Deborah called herself Mother (Judges5:7 ) as Eve was called, ( Genesis3:20 ) which is the submissive role.

        As for not reading thereluctantbaptist Pastor Joe’s messages or sharing on his Blog under his Authority which of course is your choice, you are the one who will miss out.

        Why do I say this because Pastor Joe is a Godly man seeking after God’s Truth and not shrinking away from it, nor does he make excuses for disobedience like many do today, which means he faces strong opposition and persecution, he also sacrifices what other men would not because of their wanting material wealth and not being satisfied with just meeting their needs, it is very apparent that Pastor Joe’s Love for God and His Children come first.

        Thank you Pastor Joe for the opportunity to respond on your Blog in detail, when needed- Anne.

          • Pastor Joe in reference to thereluctantbaptist reason for no longer following you, I talked to Ron today after being bombarded with accusations about you on my Post Spots, we deleted most of the comments, and rebuked and corrected the person who falsely accused you to us and to others. We both believe strongly, that God’s Truth should be shared freely without worldly restriction and it is something that we shared from the start of our Blog in September 2011 as shown in our About. I have also written about Plagiarism and what we as Christians need to do in regards to it, see link below…..

            Plagiarism- http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/do-we-plagiarise/

            Personally I think it is wonderful that Christian Pastors share their God given heart thoughts with each other, with having different Congregations it means many more are uplifted and encouraged and I’m sure Ron has done this too.

            We can see great similarities in the Gospels this is because they have the same focus and yet we also see their individuality too. Paul also shared many Truths from the Gospels as Jesus did with the Old Testament, this is why not just some parts of the Scriptures but all of them are inspired by God as we see in the Scripture below and this includes all Paul’s letters too, making a distinction shows lack of understanding in regards to God’s Truth and is mostly caused by lack of submission which prevents the empowering of The Holy Spirit and Jesus leading them into all Truth and knowledge with His wisdom, instead they depend on fleshy man’s or woman’s understanding, reasoning and logic even though claiming they don’t but showing they do.

            2 Timothy 3:14- 17 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto Salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (KJV)

            Christian Love Always from both of us – Anne.

            P.S It you have any more sermons Pastor Joe, I would love to receive them, if not I will listen again to the ones you sent we can always miss something.

  7. This is a really well written and informative post. I liked the way you contrasted the mind of Christ (humility) vs the I/Me mentality. Very nicely done.

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