Thursday, January 10, 2013

Attitude Counts

Paul continues to instruct the Philippians on how they can be more like Jesus.  He asked the believers to have a mindset of Christ.  To have an attitude of Christ, we must have Christ – like characteristics: obedience, servitude and humility.  Christ humbled Himself; He became a man and obeyed God will, to fulfill God’s will.  So, in this passage (Philippians 2:5-11) you will see self-humbling on the part of Jesus resulted in Him being exalted by the Father. 

Paul admonishes the saints of Philippi to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.  To accomplish this, the church or congregation must seek to maintain the spirit of unity and cooperation.  Our purpose then must not be self-centered; rather we should consider the good of others and the body of Christ.  We are to develop our thoughts, understanding and attitude by growing in grace and increasing in the knowledge of God.  Jesus walked during His generation as a servant doing the things that pleased His Father in heaven.  Believers, then, have a model or pattern to follow – Jesus Christ.

Paul proclaimed Jesus was God and that He always has been.  For the good of mankind He was humiliated.  He went from deity to becoming a human, with the limitations of human.  Jesus was God from the beginning and did not cease to be God when He came to the earth in the form of a baby.  So, one meaning of the phrase, “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, (NIV, 6)” was that although Jesus was God, He did not use His deity to His advantage.  In order for human redemption to be accomplished with God’s plan, Jesus was totally committed. He lived on the earth, did not sin nor give into temptations.

It is because of Jesus’ obedience and sacrifice; He has been exalted to the highest place of honor and given a name to be honored. Recall, “Every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”  Paul points out these honors were bestowed on Jesus because His Father was pleased that He had fulfilled the plan of salvation.  One day, everyone will stand before the judgment throne of Jesus Christ to give account of his or her deeds, good or bad (Matthew 25:31-46).  Our duty then is to become obedient to the Word of God by serving the least on the earth, and walk in humility before the Lord.

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