“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
A decision was made on my behalf, before I was born, to be loved. To be loved, in its fullest expression, meant that the Son agreed to die for me, on my behalf, for the glory of the Godhead as no one else could.
Paul is encouraging us to be the same, to have the same mind as Christ. A worthy goal, to be sure, but how and why?
We live and move and have our being in such a way that promotes the goodness of the Gospel by serving each other. Just as Christ served us before we knew it, we avail ourselves to be useful, never forgetting how deeply we are loved before we knew it.
And why? We do this not just because we are loved, but because our salvation is due to such extravagance. We are obedient because Christ was obedient, even unto death. We work out our own salvation in “fear and trembling” because we know we are being asked to die daily to each other. We die our death in such a way that promotes the goodness of the body and promotes the glory of the gospel.
This is a challenge to me, as I fight against my desire to self-promote in all areas that I can. I fight against this when it comes to my wife, my kids, and my unit. I want to self-promote. I want to get what i think I deserve. I want to take a nap. I want to watch the TV shows I want to watch.
Even as Christ defeated death, so I now run to it, no longer afraid of the punishment I once faced. Instead I die to myself and my wants in order to help my wife, my family, those I serve, to see the gospel clearly. I run to death because I’m working out my salvation in fear and trembling, sure of the One who has called me to obedience.