Philippians 2:9-11 states that everybody will someday bow to Jesus and confess Him as the Lord and Savior. As Christians, we have already confessed that Jesus is Lord, but many Christians have not bowed down to him (we all have not fully bowed down). We bow down to our family, our job, our money and our selfish desires.
First, we must bow down to Christ in the area of our conduct (1:27-30). The Greek word translated “conduct yourself” is a term that involves civic responsibility (v27). Paul is saying to the Philippians that we have a responsibility to Christ to be a good citizen in the Kingdom of God. We are to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of Christ, refraining from judging others, avoiding sin, loving our enemies, etc. Simply put, we need to conduct ourselves as the Bible says we should; the same way Jesus lived. We should not give into a spirit of fear (literally running off like a frightened horse) when we face opposition (v28), whether that opposition is fear of imprisonment, execution, ridicule or ostracism. Remember, we (Christians) are told that we will face persecution (v29-30) because the world hates Christ (John 15:18), but “blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:10).”
We need to bow down to Christ in the area of our relationships, too (2:1-4). Churches, families and our relationships with others are too often filled with strife and turmoil. But if we are reborn children of God (v1), then we should be trying to be “like-minded (v2). ” Being “like-minded” involves humility and putting others ahead of yourself (v3,4). People’s selfish ambitions are the cause of continued strife within a body of believers and the family. If we can humble ourselves and put others first (Matt 22:37-39), unity in our church and families would certainly improve.
Paul has told the Philippians to bow down to Christ in their actions (1:27-30) and interactions with others (2:1-4). Now we must bow down to Christ in the area of our attitude (2:5-8). God looks beyond our actions and sees our attitude (ex. God loves a cheerful giver, not just a giver). We need to have the same attitude (mindset) that Christ had (v5). Paul describes Jesus as humble, obedient and a servant (v7,8). Humility (thinking of ourselves as we actually are) and obedience are not only useful in our interactions with others and our personal conduct. Humility and obedience are also necessary in developing a proper attitude, one that is acceptable to God. The Greek word rendered “servant” is often translated “bond-servant” or “slave”. Humility and obedience are two important attributes of being a slave.
New Coke, Michael Jordan’s baseball career and Windows Vista did not live up to the hype that the media reported. New Coke was replaced with Coca-Cola Classic. Jordan’s minor league career was very brief. Windows Vista was so disliked that the precious version of windows (Windows XP) was much more popular. Just like Coke told consumers that New Coke was better tasting, God has told the world (in the Bible) that Christians are to be loving, righteous, non-judgmental, etc. New Coke did not live up to the hype. We fail to live up to the hype as well when the world sees us act contrarily to the written Word of God. They call that hypocrisy. We can call it hypocrisy or not living up to the hype, but many people refuse to believe in the one true God because they don’t see any difference in our actions, relationships and attitudes. Let’s work at making our actions, relationships and attitudes more like Christ so we can live up to the hype.