Down Is the New Up

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Philippians 2:6-7 ESV

[Christ Jesus,] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

CONSIDER THIS

We come now to one of the most visionary texts in all of the Bible. Philippians 2:6-11 comprise a fragment, perhaps the chorus, of one of the earliest hymns of the church. When the Philippians gathered for worship, this is what they sang.

When Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy,” this is the view Paul is referring to. In these few verses, the gospel is rehearsed with such profundity that it will be worthy of the rest of our lives to stand in awe.

As we enter in, it will serve us well to see the whole picture:

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 emptied himself, by 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. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:5-11 ESV)

Note the massive V pattern formed by the text. Verses 6-8 take us from the very height of heights to the depth of depths. Verses 9-11 then take us back from the depths of death to glory in the highest. While the turning point is the death and resurrection of Jesus, the entire journey from top to bottom to top is the way of the cross. The cross cannot be reduced to a single day of Jesus’ life. The cross is the whole tamale. The cross is the heart of God from before time. It’s why the cross must become the shape of our lives.

Christian, this is your story. This is your song. This is your raison d’être. This is the way to “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10). This is the meaning of, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33 ESV). This is the meaning of “Down Is the new Up.”

From time to time I will lift up a text and commend it to us for what we in the Daily Text Community call “rememberizing.” Philippians 2:5-11 is one of those texts. Move it to the top of the order. There is simply no time to waste.

THE PRAYER

Abba Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, who, is the way and the truth and the life, who calls us to follow him in this royal way of the holy cross. We confess we are afraid of this way. We trust you and yet we do not. Come, Holy Spirit, and fill us with insight that gives us courage that fires our faith to walk in this way. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

THE QUESTIONS

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being lowest), how do you consider the mind of Christ to be the shaping dynamic of your life?
  2. Same scale: What is the level of your desire for the mind of Christ to be the shaping dynamic of your life?
  3. True or false: You are going to rememberize Philippians 2:5-11 as a life text.

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

1 COMMENT

  1. Answer 1: 7 or 8
    Answer 2: 10
    Answer 3 : Very true, as I have been enlightened by this section of Scripture for some time already. I consider to have the mind of Christ as being our ultimate goal. As John states in his first epistle: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. (1 John 2:6). This is only possible if we have the mind of Christ.

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