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

Phil 2.9Jesus illustrates the four characteristics of the person with the submissive mind. In Part 1, we saw the first two traits. Now, we will look at the last two virtues of the person with the submissive mind.

He Sacrifices (2:8)

Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Many people are willing to serve others if it does not cost them anything, but if there is a price to pay, they suddenly lose interest. Jesus “became obedient to death, even death on a cross.” His was not the death of a martyr, but the death of a Savior. He willingly laid down His life for the sins of the world.

Ministry that costs nothing accomplishes nothing. If there is to be any blessing, there must be some “bleeding.” At a religious festival in Brazil, a missionary was going from booth to booth, examining the goods. He saw a sign above one booth: “Cheap Crosses.” He thought to himself, “That’s what many Christians are looking for these days—cheap crosses. My Lord’s cross was not cheap. Why should mine be?”

The person with the submissive mind does not avoid sacrifice. He lives for the glory of God and the good of others; and if paying a price will honor Christ and help others, he is willing to do it. This was Paul’s attitude (Phil. 2:17), Timothy’s (Phil. 2:20), and also Epaphroditus’ (Phil. 2:30). Sacrifice and service go together if service is to be true Christian ministry.

A church council was planning the annual “Youth Sunday” program and one of the members suggested the teenagers serve as ushers, lead in prayer, and bring special music. One of the teens stood up and said, “Quite frankly, we’re tired of being asked to do little things. We’d like to do something difficult this year, and maybe keep it going all year long. The youth have talked and prayed about this, and we’d like to work with our trustees in remodeling that basement room so it can be used for a classroom. And we’d like to start visiting our elderly members each week and taking them recordings of the services. We’d also like to have a weekly witness on Sunday afternoons in the park.”

He sat down and the new youth pastor smiled to himself. He had privately challenged the teens to do something that would cost them—and they enthusiastically responded to the challenge. He knew that sacrifice is necessary if there is going to be true growth and ministry.

The test of the submissive mind is not just how much we are willing to take in terms of suffering, but how much we are willing to give in terms of sacrifice. One pastor complained that his men were changing the words of the hymn from “Take my life and let it be” to “Take my wife and let me be!” They were willing for others to make the sacrifices, but they were unwilling to sacrifice for others.

It is one of the paradoxes of the Christian life that the more we give, the more we receive; the more we sacrifice, the more God blesses. This is why the submissive mind leads to joy; it makes us more like Christ. This means sharing His joy as we also share in His sufferings. Of course, when love is the motive (2:1), sacrifice is never measured or mentioned. The person who constantly talks about his sacrifices does not have the submissive mind.

Is it costing you anything to be a Christian?

He Glorifies God (2:9–11)

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

This, of course, is the great goal of all that we do—to glorify God. Paul warns us against “selfishness and vainglory” in 2:3. The kind of rivalry that pits Christian against Christian and ministry against ministry is not spiritual, nor is it satisfying. It is vain, empty.

Jesus humbled Himself for others and God highly exalted Him; the result of this exaltation is glory to God. Our Lord’s exaltation began with His resurrection. The very last thing any human hands did to Jesus was bury His body. From that point on, it was God who worked. Men had done their worst to the Savior, but now God exalted Him and honored Him. Men gave Him names of ridicule and slander, but the Father gave Him a glorious name! Just as in His humiliation He was given the name “Jesus” (Matt. 1:21), so in His exaltation He was given the name “Lord” (2:11; Acts 2:32–36). He arose from the dead and then returned in victory to heaven, ascending to the Father’s throne.

His exaltation included sovereign authority over all creatures in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. One day all will bow to Him (Isa. 45:23) and confess He is Lord. Of course, it is possible for people to bow and confess today, and receive His gift of salvation (Rom. 10:9–10). To bow before Him now means salvation; to bow before Him at the judgment means condemnation.

The whole purpose of Christ’s humiliation and exaltation is the glory of God (2:11). As Jesus faced the cross the glory of the Father was paramount in His mind: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so that the Son may glorify You” (Jn. 17:1). He has given this glory to us (Jn. 17:22) and one day we will share it with Him in heaven (Jn. 17:24; Rom. 8:28–30). The work of salvation is much greater and grander than simply the salvation of a lost soul, as wonderful as that is. The ultimate purpose of our salvation is the glory of God (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14).

The person with the submissive mind, as he lives for others, must expect sacrifice and service; but in the end, it is going to lead to glory: “Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Pet. 5:6). Joseph suffered and served for thirteen years; but then God exalted him and made him the second ruler of Egypt. David was anointed king when he was a youth. He experienced years of hardship and suffering, but at the right time, God exalted him as king of Israel.

The joy of the submissive mind comes not only from helping others, and sharing in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings (Phil. 3:10), but primarily from the knowledge that we are glorifying God. We are letting our light shine through our good works and this glorifies the Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16). We may not see the glory today, but we will see it when Jesus comes and rewards His faithful servants.


  1. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14 – 16)

    The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of the Father. (Matthew 13:43)

    Spread the love and joy in the Lord.

  2. Thank you Pastor Joe and yes there will be bleeding, this is not by God’s hand or does He willingly allow it, He tolerates it but not for ever. When we serve Him in Love and Truth, as you said in confirmation of Jesus’ warning to us below, we will suffer and be hated, rejected, slandered, abused and even Martyred and not just by our enemies but family, friends and so called Christians too, the cost will be great but the reward greater and God will protect our souls.

    Luke 6:21-23 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for Joy: for, behold, your reward is great in Heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

    Luke 21:16-18 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.

    John 15:17-19 These things I command you, that ye Love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

    1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of Love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.

    Christian Love in our Unity with Christ Jesus – Anne

    P.S I hope your Birthday yesterday was very special, Pastor Joe, yes you do look older today… Lol and just in case you don’t get my email, thank you too for the wonderful Photos of your family.

  3. Pastor Joe I hope you don’t mind my sharing a concern I have with you but I was very disturbed recently reading a Post which listed signs of those having the Jezebel spirit, it was correct in some of these but the rest were not Scriptural and could be unfairly condemning about some people.

    They seemed to be based on this person’s own perceptions and past hurts, some things listed claimed you can recognize this spirit if the person is chronically in ill health physically, I know some of the Elderly I visit are but their also Loving Christian men and woman or they are seeking to be, do I judge them too as having the Jezebel spirit and others who were Born with physical and mental disabilities or who were were in accidents, even quiet a lot of those who are Mentally ill are because of Chemical imbalances or a malfunction in the Brain, which is like us having a broken leg only it’s their brain. They also said, they seek friendship because they have had rejection and abuse in their life and so we can’t Trust them but this person had previously Posted about the abuse they had experienced in their own life, so do I not Trust them too and do they never seek to make friends.

    I was going to e-mail you about this Pastor Joe but realize how busy you are but hopefully you will address this very misunderstood warning in God’s word if lead some time in the future, I would very much appreciate it if you did , as wrong teaching can be very dangerous and lead to heartache and division.

    Christian Love – Anne

    1. I will add it to my list of topics/Scriptures people have asked me to write about. In the meantime, here is a short answer:

      There are a variety of opinions about what constitutes a Jezebel spirit, everything from sexual looseness to the teaching of false doctrine—by a man or a woman. The Bible does not mention a Jezebel spirit, although it has plenty to say about Jezebel herself.

      Jezebel’s story is found in 1 and 2 Kings. Ahab, king of Israel, married Jezebel and led the nation into Baal worship (1 Kings 16:31). Ahab and Jezebel’s reign over Israel is one of the saddest chapters in the history of God’s people.

      Perhaps the best way to define the Jezebel spirit is to say it characterizes anyone who acts in the same manner as Jezebel did, engaging in immorality, idolatry, false teaching, and unrepentant sin. To go beyond that is to engage in conjecture and can possibly lead to false accusations and divisiveness within the body of Christ.

      Hope this helps! God bless!

      1. We know that Revelation is in reference to the end times Pastor Joe when all the Churches will be judged, if we are Born again we do not need to fear judgement but if we walk in sin we will be judged, so are we the Redeemed Children of God or Jezebels Children. Those Churches that are named are examples of what is now in the world, each one of us represents a Church, do we partake in The Lord’s Supper or Satan’s, meaning what type of spiritual food are we consuming, that which is of the carnal flesh or The Spirit.

        Revelation2:18 -29 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the Nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

        Blessings – Anne.

        1. Good point, Anne! So infamous was Jezebel’s immorality and idol worship that the Lord Jesus Himself refers to her in a warning to the church at Thyatira. Most likely referring to a woman in the church who influenced it the same way Jezebel influenced Israel into idolatry and sexual immorality, Jesus declares to the Thyatirans that she is not to be tolerated. Whoever this woman was, like Jezebel, she refused to repent of her immorality and her false teaching, and her fate was sealed. The Lord Jesus cast her onto a sick bed, along with those who committed idolatry with her. The end for those who succumb to a Jezebel spirit is always death and destruction, both in the physical and the spiritual sense.

          God bless!

          1. Yes I agree with you Pastor Joe, as the Scriptures tell us, those with the Jezebel Spirit teaches error which leads those who listen and follow to commit sin, she encourages the things of the evil flesh and also propagates the teachings of Satan, such as the Occult, New Age and Paganism.

            I have encountered a few Jezebel’s on the Blogs, tonight as I was checking those who I follow there was a young woman exposing her breasts not fully but enough to encourage men to think wrongly, she was also promoting Paganism, I had only just recently joined up with her but I will no longer follow her.

            Another woman Blogger is holding onto deep resentment and bitterness and shares these feelings in her messages, those who listen will be polluted believing it is OK to harbor these type of feelings, I rebuked her with Scripture but will she listen, no I don’t think so but others may.

            Yes the Jezebel spirit is very much a reality today and those who partake of what she has to offer will be poisoned and die spiritually, unless they come to heart repentance.

            Blessings – Anne.

  4. Joe, how does a person acquire a submissive spirit in the first place. Surrender is the same as submit. I was asked this question by a saved individual, who serves the Lord but wanted more out of her walk with God. I need to explain it to a teen and wasn’t sure how to explain it to them. Maybe you could help. Thanks much Joe. Have a great day.

    1. As you know, Correna, surrender is absolutely needed in the Christian life, so I am glad you have this opportunity to talk with this teen.

      Surrendering all to God is not a simple and easy thing to do. It is difficult, because surrendering means giving up. In our culture, we are not taught to give up easily. We are mostly taught to fight and hold on to things to get what we want. But, this is not how it works with God.

      The truth is that He is the One who is control. When we surrender to God – our life, our hobbies, our goals, or other circumstances – we have to give up control and give them to Him. We have to surrender ourselves to Him.

      It is like I am no longer driving my own car. I move to the passenger’s seat and I give the wheel to Him. He is in charge now. He is in control of my direction. I am not in charge any more.

      God is the only One we should give up or surrender to. And, we have a good reason to do so: He loves us! He is trustworthy! He is in control of the entire Universe around us! The only thing He is NOT in control of is our free will. He will not force us to surrender ourselves to Him without our permission. He has given us free will and will not break it, even when He knows we are not submitting to Him.

      Just imagine the one true God, Who is in control of the hurricanes, mountains, of heaven and earth, but not of your free will. It is only up to you to surrender it to Him and let Him do the good work in you and perfect you.

      Humble yourself to the Lord and let Him take over your spirit and life. He will not hurt you. Ask Him to build up your trust in Him.

      Surrender is what Jesus was commanding when He said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it” (Matthew 16:25)

      It sounds scary, but surrender—complete obedience to God—is what’s required of us. In our hearts, Jesus must come before our loved ones, self-interest, possessions, hobbies, goals, and even our very lives. Is this true in your life? If following Jesus obediently results in problems or interferes with your closest relationships, will you still follow Him?

      Now, in practice, our commitment to Jesus will be tested and sometimes, in a moment of weakness, He will not come first in our lives, but genuine disciples have made a sincere commitment in their hearts and will not continue to put other things before Jesus. Eventually, Jesus will come first. To be a disciple of Jesus means to be surrendered and committed to Him above everything else.

      Disciples must be willing “to give up everything.” Now, we may not literally “give up everything” at all times, but Jesus is referring to an attitude of the heart in which other things do not have ultimate priority over obeying Jesus in our lives. In other words, Jesus is saying we must be willing to renounce or forsake anything when it interferes with following Him faithfully and completely. To be a disciple of Jesus means to be committed to Him above everything else.

      To follow Jesus, a person must be totally committed. The question we need ask ourselves is not, “Am I able to follow Jesus completely?” But rather, “Am I willing to follow Jesus completely?” We are all human and sometimes we will fail in our commitment, but the thing Jesus is confronting is not our ability, but our willingness to follow Him with our whole hearts. Are you willing to surrender control to Jesus?

      God bless!

      1. thank you so much, what wonderful truth and it has helped me tremendously with the answers I needed to explain to this girls question. i am really glad that you tell the truth and your doctrine is so sound. Thank you again.

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