The Submissive Mind - Cont'd.
And as God, Christ wasnt concerned with protecting Himself, and His
rights; rather, He was concerned with what needed to be done to provide salvation
to fallen mankind. The Creator took on the form of creature. Kent notes that,
Paul implies that even though Christ became a genuine man, there
were certain respects in which he was not absolutely like the other men.
(He may have had in mind the unique union of the divine and human natures
in Jesus, or the absence of a sinful nature.)" 3
Can anything be more humbling than God taking on human form? Now note the
starting point. First Christ, in His mind, was more concerned with the needs
of others than Himself. This is the attitude of humility. And if that
wasnt enough, Christ who is very God, was willing to allow His creations
to put Him to death in the most despicable way, the death of the cross. There
was nothing that God was willing to withhold, in order to provide the way
of salvation. It isnt enough to simply have an humble attitude; one
must also be willing to have this attitude expressed in action.
Even service isnt the bottom line, though. Lets face it, there
are many unbelievers who take action in their lives which benefit others.
There are many people who are willing to care, to a point and to even put
themselves out for a time. Even today, the Jewish people are known for their
humanitarian acts, regardless of the quality of their faith.
True humility then goes beyond service into sacrifice. Some of what Jesus
did in His ministry, which would be "service" if people performed it, was
"sacrifice" because God carried it out. Jesus followed up the attitude of
humility with the actions of a servant, and finally the sacrifice of His
tasting of separation from God and death on the cross. His servanthood meant
that all He did was in obedience to the Father. This is why he is our example.
"So Jesus said, 'When you have lifted up the Son of Man,
then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing
on my own, but speak just what the Father has taught me.'"(John 8:28).
Keeping these facts in mind, we can see why people cant steal our joy,
if we put them ahead of ourselves. They cant steal our joy if we give
to them with no need to receive anything in return. Jesus was willing to
die for us because of His love, not because He was anticipating the results
of that act. He would have died even if none had ever accepted His sacrifice.
And God rewarded Christ for His sacrifice for us. Christ became the only
way by which any can be saved. He was "superexalted." All creation will bow
before Him. Even those who reject that gift of salvation, will one day be
forced to acknowledge who Christ is.
"By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity
a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every
tongue will swear
It is written: 'As surely as I live, says
the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess
to God." (Isaiah 45:23; Romans 14:11).
The message that we must get out to the unbeliever is that one day you will
acknowledge the deity of Christ. Will you do so willingly now, or later when
it is too late?
How can the acts of any person steal our joy, when we think on the total
unselfishness of God and His love of us? How can we do anything other than
rejoice, when we are so loved of Him? And we will see later, that Christ
isnt the only example of Biblical humility available to us. We
wouldnt be able to say that "of course, Jesus could live this way,
Hes God, but dont expect this of me. After all Im only