The Incarnation Models How We Should Live as Christians

Earlier this week I shared 5 theological truths about the incarnation of Christ. These are important things to know! Yet we do not study theology just to know stuff. We study it in order to strengthen our relationship with God and be transformed into the kind of people he desires us to be. In other words, good theology is practical and affects our day to day lives.

The incarnation is no different. In Philippians 2 we find one of the most significant reflections on the incarnation and how it models the way we should live as followers of Christ. See for yourself…

Philippians 2:3–8

[3] Do nothing from selfish ambition 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 emptied himself, by 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.

Do you see the flow of thought here from the apostle Paul? His command to believers is to be selfless and others-oriented. Then, after making this command, he gives the incarnation as an example of this in action. Christ himself, though he is God in heaven, humbled himself by coming to earth in the form of a lowly human, in order to serve others and meet their greatest need, up to and including dying on their behalf. Could there be a greater example of selflessness in the universe? I think not!

This is intensely practical theology. In the incarnation we see the humility of Christ, his love, his selflessness, his sacrifice, his giving for others even at great cost to himself. If this is how Jesus lived his life, then certainly we should also!

Let us remember this Christmas the great example we have been given in the incarnation of Christ: selfless love and service to others without bounds. May we follow in the steps of our Saviour and love others with the same kind of self-sacrificing love!

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