Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. — Philippians 2: 5–7
God comes to us in Jesus Christ in order to bring us truth, peace, and eternal life. Let us go to meet Him!
This passage from the letter to the Philippians has many facets, but it is quite easy to understand: God became a Man among other men in order to bring them salvation. By rejoicing over the events of Christmas we also signify that we are grateful for them.
God became man
The reason for which God became Man is as follows: God created human beings so that they would be able to live in fellowship with Him. However, human beings distanced themselves from God. Two examples will serve to illustrate this.
- Adam and Eve listened to the serpent and believed that they could recognize the truth on their own. The serpent, however, had lied to them. Without God, human beings cannot access the truth!
- The inhabitants of Babel combined their forces in order to build a city with a high tower (Genesis11). They were arrogant and relied upon their knowledge and skill alone. They wanted to create something that would endure for all time. However, God showed them that He alone is capable of securing the future.
God’s intention to save
God never gave up on His intent to save man. Even when mankind distanced themselves from Him, He went after them.
Our Bible text states that God, the Son, was willing to become human. He did not insist on remaining in the divine sphere. God became Man in order to
- Teach mankind the truth and show them that God is love.
- Show mankind how to live together in harmony, namely how to love one another and become one in Christ.
Our response to God’s act of salvation
In order to be saved, human beings must come to God in humbleness and
- Renounce their own notions of truth and accept that God alone is truth.
- Be prepared to forgive their neighbour, to understand him, and to love him.
- Respect the prerequisites established by Jesus Christ in order to attain eternal life: we must be reborn out of water and the Spirit.
Since God knows that we will never be able to attain the perfection desired by Him, He promised to send His Son again in order to meet us. When the Lord returns, He will cover our imperfections by grace and make it possible for us to
- Recognize the whole truth and see God as He is.
- Live in eternal peace.
- Be like Him.
* Thoughts from the Chief Apostle adapted for divine service held on Sunday, 27 December 2015 at Midrand Congregation.