5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!
If you are a believer, what kind of attitude should you have? What do you think verse 5 means for you personally? What would it take for you to live this way? What’s the picture you get in your mind when you think of taking on the nature of a servant (a bond-slave)? Paul reminds us that Jesus “humbled himself”. The God of the universe – the God who created you and me – chose to lower Himself – and not only became a man, but served mankind – even to the point of death. That’s pretty radical, but Jesus gives us the power (Phil. 4:13) to have His attitude and to humble ourselves in serving others – even if it means serving Him and them to the point of death.
I fail at having the attitude of Christ more than I’d like to admit. Too often my own attitude creeps in and I find myself being selfish which is totally unlike Jesus. I’m so glad that God is committed to completing the work He began in me (Phil. 1:6). Christ’s attitude was unselfish and I want His attitude to rule my life every day. The only way I’ve found this happens is when I submit to Him and the truth of His Word daily.
I believe attitudes always lead to actions, so if our attitudes are like Christ’s – our actions will be like His. Our circumstances do not determine our attitude; we do – it’s our choice. Whether our attitude is good or bad, is simply our choice. If your attitude is like that of Christ, it’s also because that’s the choice you make (and He gives you the power to make it – Phil. 4:13). Your actions ultimately reveal the attitude that rules your heart and life.
In verse 6, Paul talked about Jesus “being in very nature God”. Some translations say: Jesus existed in “the form of God”. The actual word used in this verse (translated “nature” or “form”) is a word that means “the outer manifestation of an inner reality”. In eternity past, Jesus Christ was God, and in eternity future He is God (John 1:1,14). However, Jesus didn’t selfishly claim His privileges as God; He sacrificed them and His life on our behalf. Jesus emptied Himself; the Creator became a creature to show us the incredible love of God and to purchase a pardon for our sin through His death on the cross.
For those of us who are Christ-followers, this ought to bring us incredible joy and encourage us to “have the attitude of Christ.” If you are not yet a follower of Christ, this may be hard for you to imagine. But the Creator of the universe went to all this trouble, and gave up His sovereign privileges for you. He became a man, died on the cross, and rose from the dead to pay the penalty for your sin and mine. He did this to obtain forgiveness, salvation and eternal life for us, but the only way to get these is by trusting Him. If you’ve never entrusted your life to Jesus Christ, why not do it now. Here are some verses that I hope will help you understand this more fully. If you have further questions, please call us at Grace Fellowship and one of our Pastors will be glad to assist you.
Rom 3:22-25a, 27-28
We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us …….. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds. It is based on our faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.