Note: The following are several random paragraphs from my manuscript of this Sunday’s sermon (03/26/06).
Title: A Better Attitude than Adam!
Text: Philippians 2.1-11
Our text is about Jesus Christ! It’s a great text for showing that Jesus, the new Adam, is both human & divine. But while Paul’s belief in Christ’s humanity & divinity is obvious here, that isn’t the big idea of this passage. His point isn’t just to say that Christ is both true man & true God. Rather, as I see it, his main purpose is to present a proper vision of what true man is & what true God is.
In other words, Paul isn’t merely saying that Christ is human & divine, but what it should mean to be human & what it should mean to be divine. Here’s the question I want us to pursue. As followers of the new Adam, how do we live in the light of Jesus’ humanity & deity while in the shadow of the old Adam’s Fall?
You see the Christian life involves both negative & positive actions - it means avoiding sin (negative) & doing what is right (positive). Actually, since we’re living in the shadow of the old Adam, it means more than that - it means repenting from sin & endeavoring after holy living. And the death & resurrection of Christ, his humiliation & exaltation empower us to both of these activities. Notice how Paul relates Christ’s death & resurrection to his own Christian walk in Philippians 3.7-11.
Here’s the point: As long as we remain in this mortal flesh, our life will have to be a life of self-renunciation & repentance as well as one of righteous living. As J. I. Packer puts it, we must grow down in order to grow up in Christ Jesus.
Jesus didn’t abandon his deity in his humiliation. On the contrary, he revealed it. That’s the scandal of the cross, that it reveals God - the true God, who serves others & puts their interests before his own.
Scripture texts for further study: Genesis 1-3 (esp., 1.26-28); Psalm 8. 5-6; 1 Corinthians 15.20-28, 44-47 & Romans 6.1-4