S7P1 – Being Christlike: selfless

Through our Christian walk, we are to become perpetually more like Christ.  Although this sounds like an incredibly impossible feat, it is our calling [1 John 2:6].  Philippians 2:6-11 gives us not only an illustration of the character of Jesus Christ, but also an illustration of the Father’s response to that character.  In this series, we will explore the three Christlike traits discussed in this passage and the spiritual rewards that come as a consequence of living in such a way.

Philippians 2:6

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

The first trait shown in this passage is selflessness.  Having the power to harness His own godly powers while on earth, Jesus did no such thing.  Instead of acting from His own spiritual strength and thereby bringing glory to himself, He instead depended on the Father’s godly power and directed all the glory to the Father.  When hanging on the cross, He had the power to save Himself from bearing the weight of our sin and condemn us in the process.  Instead, despite His perfect equality with God, He bore our punishment.

Instead of using His equality with God for His own advantage, Jesus used it to save us and glorify the Father in the process.  And He not only deferred all credit to the Father in deed, but also in speech.  Jesus was clear that He spoke not in His own authority but in the authority of the Father [John 14:10].  In that verse, he says specifically that it is the Father dwelling in Him who does His works.  And at no time did Jesus act or speak out of a desire to glorify himself.  It was for the Father to glorify Him when His day arrived [John 17:4-5]. 

Is this not the selflessness that we are to exhibit to the world?  Our following Christ and becoming more like Him is not about what we can gain but about how the Father can be glorified.  If that glory comes only with the sacrifice of our comfort, our finances or our lives, so be it.  To be Christlike means to be selfless in that we contend for the purposes and the glory of our Father, not ourselves.  Father, teach us to walk in complete selflessness, emulating the example set by our savior, to the glory of Your name.