This is the sermon I’m preaching tomorrow, Sunday, September 28, 2008.
The Mind of Christ
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
- a fake address
- a fake phone number
- a fake website all my own
- a fake email address
- a fake social security number
- a fake mother, whose maiden name was “Berry”
- a fake credit card number
- a fake birthday (although they made me 5 years older than I really am)
- and, a fake UPS tracking number. I have no idea why..
- If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,
- if any comfort from his love,
- if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
- 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. – 2 Peter 1:3-4
The idea of theosis was not primarily individual, it belonged to the community. As the church was the body of Christ, partaking of the divine nature was the experience of the community of faith, not just privileged individuals. And, theosis expressed itself in very real ways. Tertullian said that Christians created “an alternate social order” that was different from the social order of the Roman empire. Theosis expressed itself as Christians acted –
“…to support the destitute, and to pay for their burial expenses; to supply the needs of boys and girls lacking money and power, and of old people confined to the home…we do not hesitate to share our earthly goods with one another.”
– Saving Paradise, page 178.
- did not “grasp” or hold onto his heavenly position for personal benefit;
- made himself nothing — literally, “emptied himself” in the image of pouring out a bottle until it is empty;
- took a servant’s form, human likeness;
- humbled himself;
- became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.