27 February 2008

Like Christ

Philippians 2:5-11

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
These our the verses we're reading this week for B-Stud. I'm not going to talk about all of it right now. We'll start with 2:5.

Paul puts it out there in a pretty straightforward manner: Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

You've got the command. Now what? How do you go about changing your attitude if it doesn't reflect Christ's? Is your attitude something that you simply choose to change, or is it one of those "easier said than done" things? Paul's example of the type of attitude we should have is pretty powerful. Christ's attitude took him to the cross.

Attitude is a habit of thinking. We develop habits by practice. We can practice applying God's truth to our experiences. The more we apply God's truth to our lives throughout the week, the more we will begin to think like Him. You know, "What would Jesus do?" We should think of Christ's example when considering how to react to temptation or controversy.

What was Christ's attitude, specifically? During his death, it's pretty obvious that his attitude was giving and selfless. His goal was to die for the sins of the world. It was sacrificial. If our attitude is to be sacrificial, we should be thinking of others and not just ourselves. Paul talks about this in verse 2:4: Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

If believers are to have an attitude like Christ, it should be sacrificial. Christ sacrificed everything considering he was in the highest place as God and he came to the lowliest place: to live on earth as a man. He gave up his life for undeserving sinners. He was shamed and died a criminal's death. He could not have suffered any more; he could not have gone any lower than he died. We, too, should put no limitations on our attitude and willingness to give to our brothers and sisters. Paul says our attitude should be the same as Christ. We have a choice. God wants us to see Christ's attitude and be in awe of it, but also to see it as something that we must enter into an imitate.
Enjoy the randomness. I just liked this cartoon:


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