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Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

December 24, 2014 | Pastor Bruce Plummer

There is a difference between condescension and humility. God did both for us in His coming on Christmas and by the life that He lived

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Sermon Notes

Philippians 2:5-11
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What we’re celebrating today and tomorrow is called the Incarnation. The marvel of it is just what the name indicates: God Himself took on flesh and became one of us. He is the God of the impossible because only God could have come up with this perfect idea, the only one that had a guarantee of being effective for us as a race.

What it took from His vantage point was humility, condescension, humility, condescension, humility and condescension.

For one, He humbled Himself and took on human form, a body. For the Supreme Heavenly Being to do that, not just an angel ambassador but He Himself, it took humility. He had to humble Himself to take on flesh; dependent, human flesh. But it was also condescension. To condescend means to voluntarily descend from one’s rank or dignity in relations with an inferior.
So humility and condescension may be related but they’re different.
Think about what He did.
He left eternity to live in time. He left omnipresence to be confined to one place. He left total independence to become dependent upon parents and family, food and water, sleep and rest. He changed living as the Supreme Being to becoming the second Adam. By changing His existence like that and embracing us, he had to condescend.

Humility and condescension, that’s what He did and continues to do in order to reach to and save us; selfless humility and condescension.

So what are we called to do?
If we take the command here seriously, we are to “have the same mind which was in Christ Jesus”. That is, we are to get a hold of our insides, corral them, and then direct them to agree with His insides. To humble ourselves and go beyond ourselves to reach to others, no matter what we have to set aside to do it.

But we can’t do something that Jesus did. We can’t really condescend, not like He did.

We can’t leave our being behind and take on another infinitely lower creature’s form or lifestyle. We can only be people. So we’re left with the one thing we can do; to humble ourselves and give in real self sacrifice. To other humans, who are just like us.

You can’t condescend past your identity. When you minister to the homeless person and you’re a suburbanite homeowner, you’re just humbling yourself not condescending. You are just like that homeless person with real emotions, thoughts and human tendencies. You’ve heard the term, “But for the grace of God go I”, haven’t you? The person, who is younger/older, has less than you/ more than you is still a person. Humble yourself and minister to them and you’ll be partly like the Lord Jesus.

Here’s what you need to do:
1. Bless and worship the Lord your God for His condescension and humility.
2. Adopt His mindset.
3. Reach to those who may not even be asking.

Kids, be patient with your younger brothers, sisters and cousins. Humble yourselves. Love your Mom and Dad and thank them, your teachers too, and you will have the same mind as Christ Jesus.

The reason for the hush when He was born was the marvel of what He did.