The essence of Jesus Christ
This article progresses into the very essence of who Jesus Christ is so the tone of Paul is really changing from should I stay or should I go to admiration for the Son of God. He starts by saying, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." 2:6.
It would be unthinkable for a person to say, "I am equal with God". Lucifer went for broke and wanted to be greater than God. Most people know where that got him but Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and was not guilty of saying that if you have seen Me you have seen my Father. (9) "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? (10) Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself : but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works. (11) Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works' sake." John 14:9-11.
"But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men." 2:7. Yes it is a fact that Jesus Christ walked on this earth as a human being. We did not ask for our existence as people but our Lord voluntarily took upon Himself human nature as an act of God for us. Jesus Christ emptied Himself with the rags of being a man. You may ask ,"How did an All Powerful God do this" but this is not an easy question to answer. The Apostle Paul takes several verses to explain this truth.
When Jesus Christ became a man He was not only a servant of God but to people. Did you notice how this lowliness of mind and heart keep coming up over and over again? Let me ask you another question ... how many people do you know that apply this truth to their life? I know of a couple but they usually do it for the wrong reasons. He did not come as a King but a servant. The Bible says He will come again as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords but first He served God and man on earth. It is my opinion that everyone in heaven regardless of who they are is a servant in one form or another. It is the way of God.
I did a little experiment one day as I was walking through life. I asked myself a question --- am I a servant? So I began to take mental notes of every response and attitude from the backdrop of the question am I a servant. Well I have to tell you that I came short several times but I noticed that when I was a genuine servant my soul had a lighter yoke. When I thought I was entitled to something without giving anything I had to bear a burden in my spirit. Just because we do a job does not mean we are a servant. It is a meek, lowly, humble spirit of wanting the best for people in the form of some sort of labor which could be as small as listening with an open heart.
(8) "And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name." 2:8-9. Notice empathies is placed on the Lamb of God dying on a cross because it is one thing to live right as a human being but it is another thing entirely to die at the mercy and hands of brutal men who could not stand Him and be voluntarily obedient to the process which involved torture and dying the most painful death a person could ever go through known to man. Jesus Christ did this for us so we could be forgiven of our sins. This is how much He loves everyone of us.
The Holy Spirit has been tugging on the hearts of people for centuries to point to the Son of God and explain that Jesus Christ died for their sins and it is urgent for them to make that all important decision of accepting Him into their hearts as personal Savior and Lord. If you are one of these people just repent of all your sins and invite Jesus Christ into your life. This is the right decision for your journey through this world and eternity.
Everyday of my life I can sense demons keeping people from this message because you can not be giving the gospel for 35 years and not understand the way they operate. People will respond to me with good intensions and literally remember everything else but forget their promise to come face to face with God through Jesus Christ. I can remind them but there is a specific resistance I can not put more finger on except to say the minions that serve the devil are very good at what they do to take away thoughts or detour them into something worldly.
What did this death involve? When it was happening people cursed Him, it was a shameful death, the physical pain was so bad that I am not going to even attempt to comprehend everything our Lord endured for us. There have been doctors that attempted this and they even fell short. The law referred to Jesus Christ as a malefactor which in their eyes was a person beyond human redemption and they made sure that our Lamb of God became a public spectacle which only incited hate in the hearts of the crowd.
Jesus Christ humbled Himself for us but God highly exalted His human and divine nature by raising Him from the dead on the third day. Jesus is now in His glorified body in Honor and Power. This is why Paul then says, (10) "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, of things in earth, and things under the earth. (11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." 2:10-11. Jesus Christ has a name above every name and every knee will bow before Him. This is a reality that all of creation will be in subjection to Him because His exaltation will be in honor and power.
Notice the honest and the dishonest before God are bowing before Jesus Christ. Nobody will be exempt but people that love the Son of God will do it willingly. People that kicked Him out of their lives in one way or another will get down on their knees with some sort of fear. We can love God with respect or we can fear God with disrespect. It seems to me that because Jesus Christ is our Creator the first option is obedience but the second option is disobedience. I am trying to convince people to love God with respect as opposed to fearing God in a bad way with disrespect by ignoring Jesus Christ either subconsciously or consciously. By the way it is the same thing. One is blunt and the other is settle but both have the same consequences.
Verse ten covers every category in heaven, earth and under the earth because at the name of Jesus Christ all will give homage to Him but it is very interesting that the Bible takes this one step deeper that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. As Christians remember one thing that when we give respect to the Son of the Living God His Father always gets the honor. These words such as bowing, confessing, adoration, respect and honor in this context are reserved for the Triune Godhead. I wake up every morning and say, "Lord you are God and I am not."
(12) "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but how much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." 2:12-13. These two verses are one of the most popular verse in the Bible. We need to take our Christian life serious and be very diligent about the work of the gospel. For the most part I can understand who truly is a disciple of Jesus Christ and who really does not care about serving God. If the second is the case you need to ask yourself if you are truly a Christian.
Look at how stern the world is regarding the deadlines we have to meet or some kind of consequence take place in our lives. How much more serious should we take the business of the kingdom of God. The eternal destination of people are at stake. Man made rules will come and go but eternity lasts forever.
These verses are saying that it is in our best interest to care about the welfare of our soul regardless of our circumstances which will come and go but our pureness and intimacy with God through His Son Jesus Christ will last forever. I don't even remotely think about judging other people because I have my hands full making sure I am clean before God. This involves our personal fellowship with Jesus Christ and our service to Him. This is me working out my own salvation in my Christian journey with my Lord because I want a clear conscience on earth so I can give a good account of my life to Jesus Christ when I am judged in heaven.
There can be true pain in this exercise but not necessarily all the time because this process does require us to do everything we can on the inside (fellowship with Jesus Christ) and outside (our service to Him in true obedience). If we feel something is missing it is our responsibility to either (1) being more obedient in that area or (2) if nothing is there obedience in that particular realm in our walk with our Lord Jesus Christ. I don't think I have to say this but that is not the responsibility of God. The Holy Spirit will show us but ultimately we will be held responsible and accountable to Jesus Christ for our obedience or lack of obedience.
The reason why we are to do this with fear and trembling is because "Fear" is a guard against evil. If we did not have the proper "Fear" of God we would just sin any time we wanted to whenever it is most convenient for us in our life. This with circumspection in our life is working out our salvation with fear and trembling.
When these verses talk about the absence of Paul all this means is the Philippian church was obedient all the time even when the Apostle was not in their presence.
When this passage says ... "It is God which worketh in you" ... we need to understand that the Holy Spirit works His grace through us but it is based on our faithfulness to Him. This passage is an example on how a relationship works both ways because it is never one sided in that this is where the connection is made between Jesus Christ and His children.
The last part of this verse says, ... "Of His good pleasure." The grace of God and the goodness of God go hand in hand but to be more specific it is the love that the Holy Spirit bestows on our soul that motivates our will to do good. It is in the best interest of God, ourselves and other people for us to trust and obey Jesus Christ so in turn we will receive more grace and our will is then prompted to do good for other people. Do we see how all this is connected together (God, His children and other people) is described so perfect in this passage of Scripture.
We get all kinds of people reading these articles and I don't know if you are a believer in Jesus Christ or an unbeliever but as you can see God has laid the blueprint out for a strong relationship with Him on the inside and an active service for Him an the outside. If you are a believer I urge this for you and if you don't know Jesus Christ as your very own personal Savior then this is probably a good time to repent of all your sins and invite the Son of the Living God into your heart. If you just made that decision then by all means focus on a strong fellowship with Jesus Christ on the inside and use your gift to serve other people on the outside.
God Bless you,