The poured out life of Christ
Today I would like to encourage you to heed the admonition that Paul gave to the Philippine Church. He asked her to do something and I will show you what this was about and ask you to decide to do the same.
Jesus was completely God and completely human. Another scripture that speaks of the loss of his divinity is found in Philippians.
"For this sentiment is in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, when he was in the form of God, did not hold it as a robbery to be like God; but he uttered himself, took the form of a servant and was made the same as man, and in his external appearance invented like a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even to death on the cross. That is why God exalted him above all masses and gave him a name that is above all names, so that in the name of Jesus all the knees of those who are in heaven and on earth and below the earth bow and all tongues confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God, the » (Philippians. 2,5-11).
I would like to raise two things with these verses:
1. What Paul says about the nature of Jesus.
2. Why he says that.
Having determined why he has testified about Jesus' nature, we also have our decision for the year to come. However, the meaning of the verses 6-7 could easily be misinterpreted as meaning that Jesus had given up his divinity in whole or in part somehow. But Paul did not say that. Let's analyze these verses and see what he really says.
He was in the shape of God
Question: What does he mean by the figure of God?
Verses 6-7 are the only verses in the NT that contain the Greek word that Paul for
"Gestalt" is used, but the Greek AT contains the word four times.
Judges 8,18 "And he said to Zebah and Zalmunna: What were the men you killed in Tabor? They said: They were like you, each as beautiful as royal children. »
Job 4,16 "He stood there and I did not recognize his appearance, there was a figure before my eyes, I heard a whispering voice:"
Isaiah 44,13 «The carver spans the guideline, he draws it with the pen, works it with carving knives and draws it with the compass; and he makes it look like a man, like the beauty of a person, that he lives in a house. »
Daniel 3,19 "Nebuchadnezzar became angry and the appearance of his face changed against Sadrach, Mesach and Abednego. He gave the order to make the stove seven times hotter than usual. »
Paul means [the term form] that means Christ's glory and majesty. He possessed glory and majesty and all the insignia of divinity.
To be equal to God
The best comparable use of equality can be found in Johannes. John 5,18 "Therefore the Jews now tried even more to kill him because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his own father, with which he made himself equal to God."
Paul thus thought of a Christ who was essentially equal to God. In other words, Paul said that Jesus had the full majesty of God and was in his nature God. On a human level, this would be the equivalent of saying that somebody had the appearance of a member of the royal family and was really a member of the royal family.
We know everyone who behaves like a member of the royal family, but is not, and we read about certain members of royal families who do not behave like a member of the royal family. Jesus had both "the appearance" and the nature of divinity.
held up like a robbery
In other words, something that you can use for your own benefit. It is very easy for privileged people to use their status for personal benefits. They are treated preferentially. Paul says that even though he was God in form and in essence, Jesus, as a human being, did not take advantage of this fact. Verses 7-8 show that his attitude was diametrically opposed.
Jesus disentangled himself
What was he missing out on? The answer is: nothing. He was completely God. God can not stop being God, not even for a while. He gave up nothing of the divine attributes or powers he had. He performed miracles. He could read thoughts. He used his power. And in the Transfiguration he showed his glory.
What Paul meant here can be seen from another verse in which he uses the same word for "uttered".
1 Cor. 9,15 «But I have made no use of it; I also did not write this to keep it with me. I preferred to die rather than let someone destroy my fame! »
"He gave up all his privileges" (GN1997-Übers.), «He did not insist on his privileges. No, he waived » (Hope for All-Translators.). As a human being, Jesus used neither his divine nature nor his divine powers for his own benefit. He used it to preach the gospel, to educate the disciples, etc. - but never to make his life easier. In other words, he was not using his strength for his own benefit.
- The heavy test in the desert.
- When he called no fire from heaven to destroy unfriendly cities.
- The crucifixion. (He said that he could have called armies of angels in his defense.)
He gave up voluntarily all the benefits that he could have enjoyed as God in order to fully participate in our humanity. Let's read again the verses 5-8, and see how clear this point is now.
Philip. 2,5-8 «For this attitude is in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, when he was in the form of God, did not hold on like a robbery to be like God; 7 but he uttered himself, took the form of a servant and was made equal to men, and in his appearance like a man, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even to death on the cross. »
Then Paul concludes by remarking that God eventually raised Christ above all men. Philip. 2,9
«That is why God exalted him above all masses and gave him a name that is above all names. So that in the name of Jesus all the knees of those who are in heaven and on earth and below the earth and all tongues confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God the Father. »
So there are three levels:
Christ's rights and privileges as God.
His choice not to exercise these rights, but rather to be a servant.
His ultimate increase as a result of this lifestyle.
Privilege - Service - Increase
Now the bigger question is why these verses are in Philippians. First of all, we must remember that Philippians is a letter that was written to a special church at a special time for some reason. Therefore, what Paul says in 2,5-11 has to do with the purpose of the whole letter.
Purpose of the letter
First, we should remember that when Paul first visited Philippi and started the church there, Paul was arrested (Acts 16,11: 40). However, his relationship with the Church was very warm from the start. Philippians 1,3: 5–4 “I thank my God as often as I think of you, 5 by always interceding with joy, in each of my prayers for all of you, for your fellowship in the gospel from day one to now.”
He wrote out this letter from the prison in Rome. Philippians 1,7 “It is only right that I think of you all because I carry you in my heart, which you all share in grace both in my bonds and in defending and affirming the gospel with me. »
But he is neither depressed nor disappointed, but rather happy.
Phil. 2,17-18 «But if I should be poured out like a drink offering over the sacrifice and the priestly ministry of your faith, I am glad and happy with all of you; 18 in the same way you should also be happy and rejoice with me! »
Even when he wrote this letter, they continued to support him very eagerly. Philip. 4,15-18 «And you Philippians also know that at the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the account of the income and expenses than you alone; 16 Yes, you sent me once and even twice to Thessalonica to meet my needs. 17 Not that I ask for the gift, but I want the fruit to be plentiful on your account. 18 I have everything and abundance; I have been completely cared for since I received your gift from Epaphroditus, a pleasant victim, pleasing to God. »
Thus, the tone of the letter implies close relationships, a strong Christian community of love and a willingness to serve and to suffer for the Gospel. But there are also signs that not everything is as it should be.
Phil. 1,27 «Only lead your life worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that I, whether I come and see you or am absent, hear from you that you are firm in one spirit and fight unanimously for the faith of the gospel . »
"Lead your life" - Greek. Politeuesthe means fulfilling its obligations as a citizen of the community.
Paul is worried, because he sees that in Philippi once so obvious attitudes of community and love have some tensions. Internal disagreement threatens the community's love, unity and community.
Philippians 2,14 "Do everything without grumbling or hesitation."
Philipp. 4,2-3 «I admonish Evodia and I admonish Syntyche to be of one mind in the Lord.
3 And I also ask you, my loyal fellow servant, to take care of them who fought with me for this, together with Clemens and my other employees, whose names are in the Book of Life. »
In short, the community of believers had problems when some became selfish and arrogant.
Philipp. 2,1: 4-2 «Now there is admonition in Christ, there is encouragement of love, there is fellowship of the spirit, there is warmth and mercy, 3 so make my joy complete by being of one mind, equal love have, unanimously and mindful of the one. 4 Do not do anything out of selfishness or vain ambition, but in humility respect one another higher than yourself. Everyone does not look at his own, just look at each other's. »
We see the following problems here:
1. There are clashes.
2. There are power struggles.
3. They are ambitious.
4. They are conceited by insisting on their own ways.
5. This shows an exaggerated self-assessment.
They are primarily concerned with their own interests.
It's easy to fall into all these settings. I have seen them in me and others over the years. It is also so easy to blind oneself that these attitudes are wrong for a Christian. The verses 5-11 basically look to the example of Jesus, to let the air out of all arrogance and all selfishness that can so easily attack us.
Paul says: Do you think that you are better than others and deserve respect and honor from the church? Consider how great and powerful Christ really was. Paul says: You do not want to submit to others, you do not want to serve without recognition, you are annoyed because others see you as given? Consider what Christ was willing to do without.
"In William Hendrick's excellent book Exit Interviews [interviews at the exit] he reports
about a study he made about those who left the church. A lot of 'church growth' people stand at the front door of the church and ask people why they came. In this way you wanted to try to meet the 'perceived need' of the people you wanted to achieve. But few, if any, are standing at the back door to ask why they are leaving. That's what Hendricks did, and the results of his study are worth reading.
When I read the comments from those who left, I was amazed (besides some somewhat very insightful and painful comments from some thoughtful people who left) some things that some people expected from the church. They wanted all sorts of things that are not essential to the Church; how to be admired, to be petted and to expect others to meet all of their needs without any obligation to meet others' needs. " (The Plain Truth, January 2000, p.23).
Paul points the Philippians to Christ. He urges them to live their lives within the Christian community as Christ did. If they lived like this, God will glorify them just as they did Christ.
"For this spirit is in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, when he was in the form of God, did not hold on like a prey to be like God; 7 but he uttered himself, took the form of a servant and was made the same as man, and in his outward appearance like a man, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on the cross. 9 That is why God exalted him above all masses and gave him a name that is above all names, 10 so that in the name of Jesus all the knees of those who are in heaven and on earth and below the earth bow, 11 and all tongues confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God the Father. »
Paul claims his personal obligation as a citizen of heaven Fulfilling the (kingdom) means to express yourself as Jesus did and to take on the role of a servant. You have to give yourself not only to receive grace, but also to suffer (1,5.7.29-30). Philipp. 1,29 "For as far as Christ is concerned, you have been given the grace not only to believe in him but also to suffer because of him."
You have to be ready to serve others (2,17) to be "poured out" - to have an attitude and lifestyle that are different from the values of the world (3,18-19). Philipp. 2,17 "But if I should be poured out like a libation over the sacrifice and priestly ministry of your faith, I am glad and happy with all of you."
Philipp. 3,18-19 «For many walk, as I have often told you, but now also say weeping, as enemies of the cross of Christ; 19 their end is ruin, their god is their belly, they boast of their shame and their senses are directed towards the earthly. »
You have to show true humility to understand that being in Christ means being a servant because Christ came into the world not as a Lord but as a servant .
There is a risk of being selfishly concerned about one's own interests at the expense of others, as well as developing an arrogance stemming from pride in one's status, talents or achievements.
The solution to problems in interpersonal relationships lies in an attitude of humble engagement with others. A spirit of self-sacrifice is an expression of the love for other love explained in Christ, which was "obedient to death, yes to death on"!
Real servants abandon themselves. Paul uses Christ to explain this. He had every right not to choose the path of a servant, but could claim his rightful status.
Paul tells us that there is no room for a religion of well-being that does not seriously practice its servant role. There is also no room for piety that does not emanate even completely pouring out for the interests of others.
We live in a self-dominated society, imbued with the "I first" philosophy and shaped by the corporate ideals of efficiency and success. But these are not the values of the Church as defined by Christ and Paul. The body of Christ must again aim at Christian humility, unity and community. We must serve others and see it as our primary responsibility to perfect love through action. An attitude of Christ, like humility, does not demand rights or protection of one's own interests, but is always ready to serve.
by Joseph Tkach