The great love story - Think like Christ, Philippians 2: 5-11
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On our last day in this great love story, we will focus on the heart of Paul's Letter to the Philippians. By meditating on the Hymn of Philippians 2:6-11 we will understand that we have not only been rescued, but that by being like Christ we participate in this rescue.
We will do well, then, to remember that we are treading on holy ground, a privilege that is given to us not to satisfy our intellectual curiosity, but to transform our lives.
Read Philippians 2:5-11
- Read Fil. 1:27. In the light of v. 5, how is it possible to behave in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ?
- What is the gospel, an idea, a person, a lifestyle? Reply after reading Fil. 1:27-2:4.
b. While it is correct to be challenged to think like Christ, it seems that the emphasis here is on behaving like Christ. As a community, what can we do to help each other put into practice what Paul asks in 2:1-4?
- Let's continue with our reading of the passage. Verse 6 tells us something very important about Christ, what is it?
It is good to stop here for a moment. What Paul wants to highlight here is the full divinity of Jesus. Since he existed in the form of God, he shared his glory with him (See John 17: 5 'the same glory that I had with you before the world existed'; Heb. 1: 3 'He is the glorious radiance of God, the very image of what God is'.).
- But the emphasis of v. 6 is not that Jesus existed with the same being of God. What is the surprising message here?
To rescue a humanity in need, Jesus is willing to make enormous sacrifices.
- The fact that Jesus existed with the very being of God is what really allowed him not to cling to this and come to this world to rescue the lost. We, in Christ, have been declared children of God (Christ lives in us, Gal. 2:20). Are we going to selfishly cling to this wonderful new reality or are we going to follow the example of Christ and live this reality, getting involved in sharing this rescue with others?
- Christ does not cling to what was His: His glory. He renounces it to take the nature of man. He does not stop being God. But by renouncing His glory, he becomes a man.
Why does he do it?
- What does this tell us about the character of Christ, and what does this tell us about our character?
- What is clear here is that Jesus freely and voluntarily chose the path of service. He ‘he denied himself’ out of obedience to the Father, which speaks of full trust. What can we do to grow in our trust in God and thus be more affective in sharing this rescue we have been talking about?
B. The Father
- How does the Father respond to the loving obedience of Jesus? v. 9
- What does this highest honor mean? v. 10
- Read Isaiah 45:23. This will help us understand what is being said to us here. Who has the supreme authority?
The rescuer, who humbled himself, is now the Lord. And we are called to share in His glory. What a way to end this series of readings on the great love story!
- In our culture, humiliation is seen as something totally negative. How is another way of understanding humiliation indicated here?
- Read Gal. 5:23. Let us pray that this fruit of the Spirit will be noticeable in all of us. With this in mind, we will be better prepared to get involved in God's great rescue.
Translated from the Chilean Book of Common Prayer, prayer for missions and extension. Page 128.
Show us, oh Lord, on this day that we are called to testify of you, how we can effectively present the gospel to those who are outside of your promises. We pray that the Holy Spirit fills us with love towards them and makes us understand their needs so that our lives and our deeds recommend your name and they receive your truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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