[CF Devotionals] 2003-08-24 - Philippians

Part 12

  1. The Submissive Mind - Cont'd.

    And as God, Christ wasn’t 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 wasn’t 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 isn’t enough to simply have an humble attitude; one must also be willing to have this attitude expressed in action.

    Even service isn’t the bottom line, though. Let’s 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 can’t steal our joy, if we put them ahead of ourselves. They can’t 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 isn’t the only example of Biblical humility available to us. We wouldn‘t be able to say that "of course, Jesus could live this way, He’s God, but don’t expect this of me. After all I’m only human."

  1. Ibid.

Questions or Comments?

[email geoff] gkragen@aol.com