In two prior posts I have written about Christian attitudes as expressed by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2. The Atmosphere of Christian Attitudes examined the kind of character one could find in a group of people who were committed to viewing others as Christ does. In The Absolute of Christian Attitudes I sought to exalt Christ as the highest standard of attitudes and how He demonstrated those so powerfully. I want to be clear, however, that having a Christian attitude is not just about getting along with others and being nice. It accomplishes much more than that.
When the attitude or mindset of Christ is enacted, all focus shifts from the one who takes the role of humble servant to the Heavenly Father. Yes, our Abba is glorified beautifully in the transformed lives of believers who demonstrate these attitudes….Just as He was when Christ did this (Philippians 2:9-11).
Truly the purpose of God is fulfilled. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name… After all of the sacrifice, bloodshed, and humble obedience God lifted up His Beloved Son to such a status that there was no one above Him, no name more glorious. Not only did all of heaven acknowledge the glory of Christ, so shall every human. …At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord. All of this to the glory of God the Father.
What an amazing suite of results is enacted as Jesus’ attitude allowed God’s greatest good to be expressed in his ultimate exaltation. As Paul points this out to us, he also shares the power of the Christian mindset in our contemporary world. (Philippians 2:12-16)
When we decide to allow the attitude of Christ to have supremacy in our hearts, God’s purpose for each of us begins to unfold. Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. We do not work out our salvation hoping to earn God’s favor. No, that has been freely given. We realize, though, that the life of the saved person is not easy, it requires our effort, our intentional attention. Just as God’s purpose was worked out in Christ’s life, so His purpose for you begins to be revealed.
Just as Christ’s name will be acknowledged by all humans, so your life will begin to affect those around you. Both those who are good, and those who are evil, will notice the light that characterizes the Christian attitude. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Today there are so many Christians who want to blend in with the world, to identify with them, and even revel in being known as worldly people. But this is not the attitude of Christ. Those in darkness do not need more darkness to affirm their condition, they need light…a way out.
Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. The Christian attitude isn’t just so we will be likable people. It is to point the way out of darkness into His marvelous light. The stars in the sky, as we see them, may have extinguished eons ago. Their light remains, taking so long to reach us. And so your life, should you adopt the attitude of Christ, will be such a light. It will last, it will shine, it will persevere, and it will guide. Don’t be tempted to learn the way of Christ from me or anyone else – open up the word of life and learn from Him yourself. He is the best teacher of the attitude that glorifies the Father, shines light into the darkness, and influences all of those around.
Yes, the attitude of Christ accomplishes much. This must be the attitude of Christians today if we are ever to see God’s work fulfilled. Until then we await the day when we will bow the knee voluntarily when His name rings through the heavens.
Thanks for reading,
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