THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE TRIUNE GOD
THE SAME ATTITUDE AS CHRIST
Today’s reading: Philippians 2:1-11
Today’s passage from Philippians teach us about the
work of the Trinity in helping us to imitate Jesus.
First there is the Father. God is love, and we find “solace
in love” (Phil 2:1b). When we realize God’s great
love for us, that He even sent His very own Son to suffer
and die for us, then we have all the consolation that we need
in order to face every trial in life. The God of love, who
did not withhold His own Son, will give us everything else
God is also the one who greatly exalts Jesus (Phil 2:9a).
But this is after Jesus has emptied himself (Phil 2:7a) and
humbled himself (Phil 2:8a). This is a spiritual principle:
God raises those who are bowed down. Peter says, “So
humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may
exalt you in due time.” (1 Pet 5:6). We go through many
sufferings in life, but it is a great consolation, nay, encouragement,
when we realize God could just be priming us for great things
Further, all good works are for “the glory of God the
Father.” (Phil 2:11b). God calls and raises us, restores
us, and uses us such that His glory will be known throughout
the earth. “You are my servant .... through whom I show
my glory.” (Is 49:3). God is the God of glory, but the
amazing thing is that He gives us the privilege to serve Him
such that that glory shines forth through our work. And of
course, the glory rubs off on us as well, and we are “made
glorious in the sight of the Lord.” (Is 49:5c).
Second there is the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Here we find
our “encouragement in Christ” (Phil 2:1a). This
is because of what he has done for us. He was God who became
man, taking the form of a slave, and accepting death on the
cross (Phil 2:6-8). He has won salvation for us. He is Savior
Jesus shows us the way to selfless, unilateral, unconditional
love. He is our example of total self-giving, not counting
the cost, willing to endure any suffering. He does not stand
on position or power or prestige or privilege. He has denied
himself and embraced the cross, which gives him the moral
authority to ask his disciples to do likewise. He is obedient
to the Father’s will. He is faithful unto death. It
is he whom we imitate. “Have among yourselves the same
attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus.” (Phil
“Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed
on him the name that is above every name” (Phil 2:9).
That name given to Jesus is “Lord.” Thus, at the
name of Jesus, we worship and proclaim him as Lord (Phil 2:10-11).
Third there is the Holy Spirit. Paul refers to “participation
in the Spirit” (Phil 2:1c). It is the Spirit who enables
us to imitate Christ.
It is the Spirit who animates the life of the body so that
there will be unity, allowing us to be “of the same
mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing.”
(Phil 2:2). We take on the mind of Christ, the love of the
Father, the unity of the Spirit, the one vision and mission
of the community.
It is the Spirit who teaches us right relationships in community
and among brethren so that there will be peace. “Do
nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly
regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking
out not for his own interests, but also everyone for those
of others.” (Phil 2:3-4). We do not think only of our
own welfare and advancement. We are one body moving forward
together along the path of Christ. We look down on no one,
recognizing our equal dignity as children of God. We help
one another, we desire that no one be lost, we look to being
Christ to each other. We always extend “compassion and
mercy” (Phil 2:1d).
It is the Spirit who enables us to participate in spreading
the good news of salvation throughout the world. God intends
“that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of
those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every
tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:10-11a).
That is every knee and every tongue worshiping the Lord Jesus.
That is everyone everywhere giving praise.
Jesus took “the form of a slave, coming in human likeness”
(Phil 2:7). These we already are. We are human, and with Jesus
paying the price for us with his blood, we have become his
slaves. Now Jesus became like us so that we can become like
him. But we need to do our part. We need to empty ourselves,
we need to humble ourselves, we need to obey the Father even
unto death, we need to take on the very mind and heart of
God, we need to love one another as God has loved us. In other
words, we need to imitate Jesus.
Then will our joy be complete (Phil 2:2a), but more importantly,
then will we bring joy to God’s heart and glory to His
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