Becoming Obedient to the Point of Death

Philippians 2:5-8 ESV

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

He Emptied Himself

Jesus Christ is God, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He always existed with God and he is God, and he is God the Son, the Son of God. He is also our creator God. He is the one who made us and who breathed into us the breath of life. But even though he is God, he willingly left his throne in heaven, came to earth, and he was born in the likeness of men to a human mother with God as his Father.

So, when he lived on this earth he was fully God and fully man. He felt pain like we do and he was tempted to sin as we are tempted to sin. And when he was around 30 years old he began his earthly ministry which lasted around 3 years before he died. And during his time of ministry he fed the hungry, comforted the sorrowful, raised the dead, healed the afflicted, delivered people from demons, and performed many miracles.

Many of the Jews, who were his people, hated him and wanted to get rid of him. Mostly they were people of influence and power in the temple of God. They were jealous of him because of his temporary popularity among the people because of the many miracles he performed. And they were threatened by him, fearful that their own positions of power and influence might be in jeopardy. And that is one of the reasons they hated him.

They also hated him because he claimed to be God, because he is God, and because he confronted them in their sin, and he called them out on their sin, and he told them that they must repent of their sin and that they must follow him in obedience. But they were full of pride and they were not going to have him telling them what to do and threatening their own positions of power, so they sought to destroy him in any way they could.

When they could not stop him, then they plotted and carried out his death with the help of the public authorities. He was arrested on false charges, beaten nearly to death, given a mock trial, and hung on a cross to die as though he was a common criminal. But this was the will of God the Father that Jesus should die this horrible death, for in his death he put our sins to death with him so we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness.

Have This Mind

We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are to be likeminded with Jesus, for if we are truly his, by genuine faith in him, a faith which comes from God and which is perfected by God/Jesus, we have the mind of Christ living within us, because Christ/God is living within us in the person of the Holy Spirit. So we are to have the same mindset as him about life, love, sin, repentance, obedience, faithfulness, honesty, and uprightness, and the like. And to confess our sins means to have the same mind as Christ about sin.

Now we will never be God, and we won’t ever be sinless like he is sinless until we are in heaven with him where sin does not dwell. So we have no equality with God in ourselves. So we can’t fully comprehend what it took for Jesus to leave heaven and to come to earth and to take on human flesh like he did and then to die on a cross for our sins, becoming sin for us, putting our sin to death with him that we might become the righteousness of God.

But we can understand humility, and giving up what we feel are our rights, and being willing to let go of what we think are our rights in order to see others be free from their slavery to sin. We can humble ourselves, too, and we can take the position of servant to our Lord Jesus and in order to serve other people, too. And we can give up having people like us and approving of us in order to tell them the truth about their sin and of their need to turn from their sins and to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.

We can surrender our lives, too, to the will of God the Father, laying down our lives and our reputations in order to see others be delivered from their slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin and to walk in holiness and in obedience to the Lord Jesus. We can deny self and daily die with Christ to sin and walk in obedience to our Lord, but not in our own power and strength, but in the power of our Lord who dwells within us, and we can accept that being hated, rejected, falsely accused, and persecuted goes along with following Jesus.

We can do all of this because of God’s grace to us in delivering us from our slavery to sin so we might now become slaves of God and of his righteousness, in his power and strength. We can leave our lives of sin behind us and walk in obedience to our Lord in doing what he has called us to do, and he has called us all to obedience and to live holy lives, pleasing to him. And he has called us to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others so that they can be delivered from their slavery to sin, too, and live holy lives.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

You are Loving and Forgiving

An Original Work / February 19, 2012
Based off Psalm 86

You are loving and forgiving,
Jesus, Savior, King of kings.
You provided our redemption.
By Your blood You set us free.
You are gracious; full of mercy.
No deeds can compare with Yours.
Great are You; there is none like You.
Glory be to Your name.

Teach me Your way, and I’ll walk in it.
O Lord, I will walk in Your truth.
May I not have a heart divided,
That Your name I give honor to.
I will praise You, O Lord, my Savior,
For great is Your love toward me.
You have delivered me from my sins.
Your grace has pardoned me.

You, O Lord, are full of compassion,
Slow to anger, bounteous in love;
Faithful to fulfill all You promise;
Glory be to Your name above.
Hear, O Lord, and answer Your servant.
You are my God. I trust in You.
Turn to me and grant Your strength to me.
You are my comforter.

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