Jesus never attempted to advance a personally painless agenda but gave of Himself for our benefit. If the magnificent Jesus can humble Himself so much for our sake, what excuse can we reasonably provide?
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus Is Our Savior
This early hymn provides key doctrinal confessions regarding Jesus:
- Jesus is eternal.
- Jesus was never Plan B presented in the New Testament, but He has always been Plan A existing eternally.
- Jesus was born.
- Jesus didn’t surrender His deity; He relinquished His privileges.
- Jesus was crucified.
- No one could have defeated Jesus on the cross because He humbled Himself to go there intentionally.
- Jesus was resurrected.
- The resurrection of the Christ was the reversal of the Garden.
- Jesus has ascended.
- Jesus’ lordship is not dependent upon anyone’s acceptance over it.
Jesus Is Our Standard
Christ’s example provides key ethical considerations regarding our lives:
- We are not eternal.
- While we do not exist eternity back, we will live somewhere forever based on how we respond to Jesus.
- We must be reborn.
- Our sins caused spiritual death, but Christ’s sacrifice can give us life.
- We must crucify ourselves to this world.
- Following Jesus cannot be spent pursuing things for which Christ had to die.
- We are resurrected to a new way of living.
- You will never out-humble Christ, so no opportunity to serve should ever be beneath you.
- We will be exalted.
- The prideful in life will be humbled at death, but the humble in life will be exalted at death.
All will behold Jesus as Lord one day, but your ability to enjoy Him forever depends on if you embrace Him now.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.