Here we are at an unprecented time of discovery in history. Technology gave us the ability to see further, deeper, and for longer periods of time. As a result, humanity’s progress soars beyond our past learning by leaping huge chasms in understanding every day, and yet one simple truth stops us and delays all our progress.
The Bible talks about pride being the defeat of Lucifer the Angel of Light and the Second in Command in Heaven. If pride can be powerful enough to cause a war in heaven, then I think it’s worth being listed on the “World’s Deadliest Temptations” list, or the “Most Harmful Emotion Abuses” list, or the Guinness Book of World of Record’s, “Most Often Underestimated” list. Wouldn’t you agree? If this is the case and the Bible warns of pride’s hindrances, why don’t we understand it more? Why isn’t it advertised more? If we want to wipe out bullying in schools, rape, theft, adultery, murder, lying, and anything else evil, let’s start by educating people about the harmful effects of pride.
The bully thinks, I want to be in control. I want the power.
The rapist thinks, I want to be in control, I want the power.
The murderer thinks, I want to be in control, I want the power.
The Devil thought, I want to be in control, I want all the power.
Pride is all about being a self-made man, but who do they worship? Themselves. Pride has an antidote and thank God there is deliverance for pride!
Today’s verse gives us this antidote in our greatest example Jesus Christ.
“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” Philippians 2:7
Jesus Christ could have made a way bigger deal of his birthright. He could have used it to live a very long time and put Israel under his rule. He could’ve done things much differently! He was a man with holy blood and a Holy Father.
Look at the literal translation of that verse.
“But he emptied himself of reputation by taking on the likeness of a slave, by resembling other men, and by having the fashion and manner of a man.”
I love that turn of phrase. “But he emptied himself.” That is just the opposite of someone filled with themself isn’t it. He shows us how to be humble. Instead of saying, I’m going to do it my way and I will be in control. He said, God you have it your way. I’ll let you be in control. Look at the next two verses.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phil. 2:8 KJV
And the literal:
“He humbled himself becoming obedient unto death, death by the cross.”
Again we must go back to our context. Phil 2:5 says, to think the thoughts that Jesus Christ thought. This is what he thought. He emptied out his pride. He had every right to be proud too. He didn’t use it. He didn’t force himself on people. He loved them and helped them. He confounded their pride with the very essence and being of his humility. If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll remember our definition of humility, which is; being willing to listen to God and put God’s opinion above your own. Jesus did this with every moment of his life including his death.
I need to stop for a second.
You parents out there, would you ever put your child in harm’s way? How about your only child? How much greater of a parent than us is God? He is the ultimate parent. I never understood the strength of a parent’s love until I had my son. Now, I can’t imagine anything that would convince me to do what God did. Ever. Why? Because I…just couldn’t do it. I’m selfish. I couldn’t allow it to happen. For God and mankind, Jesus dying was the only way to save us. God knew this. So I ask you…how humble must God be to give us this opportunity?
We cannot conceive of it. I know I can’t!
To know that the only way your creation will be saved is to see your son die at the hands of an evil….sorry… I am crying right now. I just can’t imagine…having to watch your son be tortured. And how painful is it to God to watch Christianity laud that torture and replay it over and over? Especially when the devil could have just killed him quick and been done with it. He just needed to die. But no, the devil had to drag it out and make God pay. I’m sorry, but seeing the crucifixion reenacted is disgusting. Seeing the cross, a tool of the devil’s torture, is…
The power is not in that torture. The deliverance is not in the cross. The relief and rescue of all mankind is in the RESURRECTION!! Yes, Jesus had to die, but who killed him? The devil. The devil The devil. God knew he would do it, Jesus had to die because God had to raise Jesus from the dead. The most humane way to kill someone is quick and easy. Is the devil humane? Finally, Jesus stole the devil’s last pleasure and gave up the ghost, or died on his own. The devil wanted to make it last and rub it in God’s face. The devil thought he was in control and he had the power. And just as the evil dictator he was, he crucified God’s only son.
I’m sorry if I stepped on some of our religion’s there, but keep in mind, religion is man-made. They are filled with the traditions of man. Men can be indoctrinated and manipulated. The devil has had a long time to do that.
I’d like to look at the next verse with me.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11
Wow. Now that is exalted. THAT is deliverance. What is humility? Being willing to listen to God’s opinion and put it above your own. It’s as easy as saying God, if you were me, what would you think about this situation?
God bless you today!