Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:…
I. LET US TRACE THE HUMILIATION AND GLORY OF CHRIST.
1. The point of departure, where is it? On earth or in heaven? In humanity or in Deity? Those who contend from the simply human view of the nature of Christ say that He began to condescend somewhere in His earthly lifetime, as if that could be a mighty argument for humility. No, we must begin where Paul begins. "In the form of God" can only mean possessing the attributes of God (2 Corinthians 4:4; Hebrews 1:3; John 1:1).
2. Being thus Divine, He did not deem His equality with God a thing to grasp at and eagerly retain. He emptied Himself of His heavenly glory, and having humbled Himself as a common man He humbled himself yet more, becoming obedient to the death which only the lowest malefactors could die.
3. Of course there could be no essential change in this humiliation. Jesus could never be less than Divine. The Divine glory dwelt within the human nature as within a veil. It shone out at times and then all was dark again. The glory of His boyhood was seen in the temple; of His manhood on the Mount of Transfiguration; He gave but a look in the garden out of His divinity and the soldiers fell back.
4. At the lowest point of the humiliation the ascent begins in the worship of the penitent thief, in the words of the soldier, in the reverence shown to His body, in His resurrection and triumphant ascension.
5. The name is the character, influence; and to that all creation shall do homage, because in some way affected by it.
II. THE PRACTICAL PURPOSE.
1. The inculcation of humility. You see what Christ has done. Do likewise; be lowly, go down. Ah, the contrast between Christ and many who bear His name! He in greatness and glory coming down so far! We in our blindness and littleness, all struggling to rise.
2. If His life is the model of my own; if His cross repeats itself in the cross I bear for Him; then there comes to me a truer elevation. "God hath highly exalted Him," and that is a pledge that those who have been with Christ in His humiliation shall together sit on His throne.
3. Wherefore work out your own salvation — by self-denial, humility, and this with fear and trembling, because it is the only thing you need fear about.
(A. Raleigh, D. D.)
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