3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:3-8 ESV
During prayer Sunday morning, this passage was used as a focal point. As we were led through this passage and prayer, something clicked. I got it! In verse 4, we’re told not to look out for ourselves, but for others. In verses 6-8, the letter then talks about Christ who was the perfect example of this principle. He didn’t look to His own interests. He came down to earth and took the form of a servant and made our need for a Savior a priority. He didn’t look to His own comforts. He laid down His life on His own (1 John 3:16, John 10:18). He didn’t buck against the crucifixion (Isaiah 53:7). He put the will of the Father above His own (Matthew 26:39). The Son of God willingly gave His life so that those who would be called and chosen would have eternal life through His blood. He gave His life so that we would receive His righteousness. In 3 hours, He endured the wrath of God that would have taken an eternity to pour out on all men. Christ is the ultimate example of looking ‘to the interests of others’. He, though being God in the flesh, was the perfect epitome of humility by willingly laying His life down for His sheep.
These points are driven even further home when I look at the definitions of rivalry and conceit:
Rivalry – the act of competing as for profit or a prize.
Conceit – an excessively favorable opinion of one’s own ability, importance, wit, etc.
We’re to do nothing out of a spirit of one-upmanship. We’re to do nothing only for the sake of getting something back. We’re not to, as Paul says not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to (Romans 12:3).
Jesus Christ is such a perfect example of EVERYTHING! How amazing is it that He would die for His elect ones to be reconciled to the Father. We have relationship with the Father because of the atoning blood, sacrifice, and death of the unique and Holy One – Jesus the Christ.