by Philip Layton
'Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ'
- Characteristics of holiness are listed in this chapter. How do you measure up?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
We read that Christ ‘did not consider’ equality with God something to be grasped but he ‘emptied himself ’ (v 7 RSV ). Depotentiation (kenosis) is the word used in theology to express the action through which Christ ‘gave up’ the glory of God and ‘limited’ his divine attributes.
This was done in order to fulfil his mission: taking on the form of a servant, humbling himself and identifying with all human beings, becoming obedient to a terrible death on the Cross. It was the most humiliating kind of death for a Jew, as the Law of Moses declared one to be ‘damned’ if crucified.
Thinking about this, I wonder how I should deal with the many privileges I have. Our Bible passage for today begins by saying we are to have the same ‘attitude’ as Christ Jesus; love should be expressed one to another. Am I willing to give up the privileges that I have to love my neighbour?
There may be things that belong to me right now which are beyond what is ‘fair’ according to the law of love and grace. But I need to be willing to sacrifice these privileges in order to make a redeeming difference in the life of someone else. I might need to give up something in order that my life can serve the will of God.
Jesus gave up everything. Can we do likewise?
All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at his feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to thee, my blessèd Saviour,
I surrender all.
(SASB 474 v 2 and refrain)
Beverly IvanyTags: Philippians