Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1, 2010

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:5-11
This Sunday I will conclude my series on attitudes by focusing on the ultimate attitude, that of Jesus.
So far I have talked about three attitudes that the Apostle Paul urges upon this struggling Philippian church. Those three attitudes are unity and humility and community.
I guess this could beg the question, "Does developing these three attitudes lead to achieving the Christ-like attitude or does having the Christ-like attitude result in these?"
I think the answer would have to be, "Yes!"
This week in my posts I will do a detailed examination of the attitude of Christ. Not only is this crucial for the development of Christians and churches and His Kingdom, but it gives us the clearest look at understanding the mystery of the incarnation.
As we investigate the attitude of Christ we discover not just how to live but how to think.
Verse 5 lays out the mandate to choose the Christlike attitude. Obviously, if you don't desire it and pursue it and repent of lesser attitudes - you will never attain it. Surely you know that you won't just wake up one morning to discover that you think and act like Christ.
Here's how Jesus' thought and how He wants us to think. Verse 6 states, "being in very nature God".....
This is the first peek we get into the nature of the incarnation. Paul chose the word "morphe" to express this thought. Nowadays you might hear someone talk about "morphing" from one thing into another. Actually, that is an accurate portrayal. You are also familiar with the word "metamorphosis" in reference to a caterpillar spinning a cocoon and emerging as a butterfly. It has changed outward form but is essentially the same inward being.
Jesus was God "morphed" into human form. Outwardly He was a man - first a baby, then an infant, a toddler, a child, an adolescent and then an adult man. But in each stage of human development He was God wrapped up in human form! Wow!
Why would God do that? Why would an Infinite, Almighty, Spiritual Being put on the limitations of flesh? What sort of attitude would inspire that "metamorphosis"?
LOVE! COMPASSION! MERCY! KINDNESS! All of these are part of an incredible redemptive plan that wants to transform us into His likeness but first required Him to become conformed to ours!
And you think you can't change your attitude.....???