Thursday, April 5, 2007

Carmen Christi (Philippians 2:5-11)

Philippians 2:5-11 is commonly known as "The Carmen Christi" or "The Hymn of Christ." It has been treated as a Carmen Christi, a Christological ode, devoted to the praise of the Lord and hailing Him in confession and worship as Jesus." This 'hymn of Christ' details the basic doctrines of Christianity concerning Jesus. The doctrines addressed include the preexistence of Christ, His deity, His equality with God the Father, His incarnation, His voluntary death, His exaltation by the Father, and His ultimate triumph over evil.

The example of Jesus is set before us. We must resemble him in his life, if we are to have the benefit of his death. There are two natures of Christ of this passage; his Divine nature, and human nature. Who being in the form of God, partaking the Divine nature, as the eternal and only-begotten Son of God, had not thought it a robbery to be equal with God, and to receive Divine worship from men. His human nature; here he became like us in all things except sin. Thus low (a servant), of his own will, he stooped from the glory he had with the Father before the world was. Christ's two states, of humiliation and exaltation, are presented. Christ not only took upon him the likeness and fashion, or form of a man, but of one in a low state; not appearing in splendour. His whole life was a life of poverty and suffering. But the lowest step was his dying the death of the cross, the death of a malefactor and a slave; exposed to public hatred and scorn. The exaltation was of Christ's human nature, in union with the Divine. Here we see such motives to self-denying love as nothing else can supply.

We should all realize this example of servanthood and Christlikeness. How much better would your life be if you took the focus off of you and placed it on others? How can we hate or be bitter and spiteful if we "love our neighbor?" It is my hope that all of you can grasp the fulfillment of serving others. The reward is greater than any selfish act could ever provide.

1 comment:

marinna said...

verse 6 is really cool. "Who, being in the very form of God , did not consider it robbery to be equal with God"

Since Jesus is God in the flesh, being equal with God really couldn't be considered 'robbery'. He can't really steal God's glory if He is God.
He humbled Himself as an example to us to not try to seek any glory for ourselves, but to seek to glorify the Father. So that they may see our good works and praise our Father in heaven (Matt 5:16).

It seems that everything in life comes down to focus. If our focus is on God, then all the glory will naturally go to Him. We won't have to think about serving others because it should flow out of us, out of a love for our Father. It makes so much sense...makes me wonder why it's so hard.