Emptying Yourself

On Sunday we put on our theological thinking caps and dived deeply in Philippians 2:5-11. What we discovered was a clear picture not only of Jesus, but also of who God is. Because Jesus is the perfect representation and revelation of God.

cross-with-shadow-4-1356539-mThrough this hymn we discovered a God who is about emptying himself. The word in Greek is kenosis. So we read that Jesus made himself nothing, or literally emptied himself. So we worked the passage through to discover what did Jesus empty himself of? He didn’t empty himself of divinity, instead to be divine is to actually empty yourself. So what did he release and let go?

Well we discovered three clear things he actually emptied himself of, or divested himself of. The first was unilateral power. In coming to earth he gave up unilateral power, and actually embraced vulnerability. Because now for the first time God in the person of Jesus Christ could be beaten, bruised, and killed. Jesus emptied himself fo power, and embraced vulnerability. He also emptied himself of position. It says that Jesus humbled himself. He gave up his position above us to join us where we are at. He became human to reach us. So he gave up position, and embraced humility. And lastly, he gave up privilege and embraced obedience. Privilege is the right to choose and be in charge. Jesus gave that up and let the father direct him in all things and embraced absolute obedience.

So on Sunday we discovered that the way of Jesus is to empty yourself of power, position, and privilege and embrace vulnerability, obedience, and humility. And if this is the way of Jesus, it is to be our way as Christians as well. We will never ever change the world as long as we are holding onto our power, position, and privilege. Our church is to be known for how it empties itself on those who are around it. Because this is what Jesus is known for: emptying himself for our sakes. We need to do the same thing because being a Christian isn’t about knowing a lot about Jesus, it’s about living life in the way of Jesus.

Sermon Notes:

Big Idea: Live your Life on Empty

Take Aways…

  • Phroneo: To Cherish the Same Views as Jesus
  • People desire power and position to be able to use it
  • God is “Jesusy”
  • Our God is the self-emptying one
  • The decision to become human, and to go all the way along the road of obedience…was not a decision to stop being divine. It was a decision about what it really meant to be divine. N.T. Wright
  • The attitude of Jesus isn’t to hold onto power and position but to embrace vulnerability
  • “The voluntary downward plunge of the divine” Antoinette Clark Wire
  • The attitude of Jesus is one who gives up position and takes on humility
  • The attitude of Jesus is one who gives up privilege and embraces obedience
  • Christians we are to live our lives on empty
  • Being a Christian isn’t just about going to church and reading your Bible, Being a Christian is about living life like Jesus Christ
  • this church is to be known for how it empty’s its life on all those around it
  • As long as we are holding onto our power, our position, our privileges we will not change the world
  • We are not responsible to fill someone else’s life, we are absolutely responsible to empty ours
  • Measure your life not by how much you gain, but how much you give


Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new?

Why might it be so important to get our view of Jesus straight? What happens when our understanding of Jesus is off?

Why do you think there is such a temptation in our world to hold onto power, position, and privilege? Have you ever thought of Jesus as one who empty’s himself before? What do you think is hardest to empty yourself of – power, position, or privilege?

Who are you feeling called to “empty” yourself on around you? How might you do that in practical, meaningful, and creative ways? Are you prepared to try to live life without holding onto power, position, or privilege? Who can help you to live that way?

Discussion Questions for Young Families: Take a moment and talk to your kids about today’s message. Remind them that purpose of life – isn’t to gain things – it’s to give. Ask them if they have anything they’d like to give to someone else. Ask them if they have any ideas of how they might give something (time, a toy, whatever) to someone to brighten their day. Then actually go and do it.

Challenge for this Week: Empty yourself on those around you this week.


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