We saw last time that Paul tells us to live a life worthy of the gospel. But what is that gospel? He makes it crystal clear in chapter 2.
The gospel is all about Christ,
who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! (6-8)
Think about that a moment. Jesus was by his very nature God. But he did not say, “I am equal to the Father and the Spirit. Why should I be the one that goes down to save a wretched, rebellious people?”
Instead, he made himself nothing. He let go of the glory that rightfully belonged to him as God and he became a mere man. And not a king among mere men. But a mere carpenter born of a poor family.
More, he didn’t come doing his own will as he had every right to do. Instead, he came as a servant, humbling himself, doing only what his Father in heaven told him to do. And when the Father told him, “It is time to die for the sins of the world,” Jesus replied, “Not my will, but yours be done.”
Why? Because he loved the Father. And because he loved us. And because of that love, he was willing to lay down everything that was rightfully his to die a shameful death on the cross.
But the gospel doesn’t end there. For Paul says,
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (9-10)
God not only raised Jesus from the dead, but has now placed him above all things as head and ruler over all. And the day will come when all who are saved will fall at his feet in worship, proclaiming him as Lord, unified as one under him, a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, holy and blameless, to the glory of the Father.
And it is this gospel that Paul says we are to live lives worthy of. Since Christ did all this for us, how can we not follow his example? As Paul said,
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. (5)
We are now united with Christ. How can we not live as he did? How can we not show tenderness and compassion as Christ did, even to those who reject us?
Since we will one day all together worship him as Lord, how can we not now love one another, and work with one another for his kingdom?
And how can we not throw aside selfishness, putting our brothers and sisters’ interests above our own, and laying down our lives for them as Christ did for us?
How about you? Do you believe the gospel? And if you do, are you living this gospel every day?