Thursday, December 26, 2013

God's Humiliation

The Christmas Story (most know) includes THE INCARNATION - Matt. 1:22-23  - Emmanuel - God with us
On one hand = great mystery - 1 Tim. 3:16 - beyond our comprehension
However, also = basic orthodoxy

Of necessity .. with the Incarnation (God in flesh comes God's Humiliation - He lowered Himself to become human.
This = difficult to define because synonyms for humble are mostly negative!! 
Examples:  on one hand humble can be:  modest, unpretentious, unpresuming, without arrogance, meek, mild, serviant
However, mostly used as:  plain, common, inferior - low birth, rank, apologetic, regretful, trivial, ignoble

Verb form "humiliate" = mortify, bring down, demean, belittle, deflate, degrade
Noun form "humiliation" = abasement, depreciation
Noun form "humility" = lowliness, timidity, passiveness

But in the New Testament - God's humiliation manifests His greatness and glory!! - Phil. 2:5-11
He "emptied" Himself of status, privilege, benefits, AND ..
1) became Man
2) became Servant
3)  became Sacrifice  
from pinnacle to pit

NOTE:  1)  this = 'Self humiliation - nobody ever could or would be able to humble God.  The cross did not humble Christ.  He chose to do it Himself.
             2)  Resulting in Divine Exaltation


Paul writes this for 2 reasons: 
#1.  To give Christ recognition and praise due Him for this.
*#2.  to admonish, challenge us to do likewise
Phil. 2:5  Phil. 2:3-5 - our attitude should be the same as Christ - self-humbling to help others

Look at:  1)  Jesus' teachings - Matt. 20:24-28
               2)  Jesus' example - John 13:1-5, 12-16
               3)  Jesus' promise - John 13:17 - not bless if you know them, but if you do them.

*this = a hard thing!!!  Easy enough short term, individual acts.  However, extremely  difficult long term, continual basis, Lifestyle.

BUT, it = 1)  distinctly Christian - John 13:34-35 - "love" expressed how??  Answer:  in actions!  Example:  Good Samaritan - Christ willing to serve even to point of sacrifice.
It is to be a clear distinction of Christian life.

               2)  Socially beneficial - might questions Jesus' sanity in doing this... But, nobody questioned His IMPACT!!
              3)  Externally effective - Make an Eternal Difference when we serve in the name of Christ and power of Christ. -  1 Pet. 4:10

Re-emphasize - this = self humility and DIVINE exaltation. 
James 4:10 - are called to this, but, to humble self not others.

So... question?  does Jesus call His disciples to this?
        answer:  Yes, But, st He calls them to be disciples!!
Example:  "feed my sheep" is preceded by "do you love Me?"

No comments: