Reading for Today:
- Isaiah 65:1–66:24
- Psalm 116:1-4
- Proverbs 26:28
- Philippians 2:1-30
Isaiah 65:1 not ask…not seek…not called. Though Israel sought the Lord, they did so only superficially. They did not genuinely seek Him. The New Testament assigns an additional sense to the words in Romans 10:20, applying them to Gentiles who find Him through the work of His sovereign grace.
Isaiah 66:1, 2 Isaiah began the final summary of his prophecy with a reminder that God is not looking for a temple of stone, since as Creator of all things, the whole universe is His dwelling place. Stephen cited this passage before the Sanhedrin to point out their error in limiting God to a temple made with hands (Acts 7:49, 50). On the contrary, God is looking for a heart to dwell in, a heart that is tender and broken, not one concerned with the externalities of religion. God is looking to dwell in the heart of a person who takes His Word seriously.
Philippians 2:2 fulfill my joy. This can also be translated “make my joy complete.” Paul’s joy was tied to a concern for the unity of believers (Heb. 13:17). like-minded. The Greek word means “think the same way.” This exhortation is not optional or obscure, but is repeated throughout the New Testament (Rom. 15:5; 1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11–13). same love. Believers are to love others in the body of Christ equally—not because they are all equally attractive, but by showing the same kind of sacrificial, loving service to all that was shown to them by Christ. one accord. This may also be translated “united in spirit” and perhaps is a term specially coined by Paul. It literally means “one-souled” and describes people who are knit together in harmony, having the same desires, passions, and ambitions.
Philippians 2:6 being in the form of God. Paul affirms that Jesus eternally has been God. The usual Greek word for “being” is not used here. Instead, Paul chose another term that stresses the essence of a person’s nature—his continuous state or condition. Paul also could have chosen one of two Greek words for “form,” but he chose the one that specifically denotes the essential, unchanging character of something—what it is in and of itself. The fundamental doctrine of Christ’s deity has always encompassed these crucial characteristics (John 1:1, 3, 4, 14; 8:58; Col. 1:15–17; Heb. 1:3). not…robbery. The Greek word is translated “robbery” here because it originally meant “a thing seized by robbery.” It eventually came to mean anything clutched, embraced, or prized, and thus is sometimes translated “grasped” or “held on to.” Though Christ had all the rights, privileges, and honors of Deity—which He was worthy of and could never be disqualified from—His attitude was not to cling to those things or His position but to be willing to give them up for a season. equal with God. The Greek word for “equal” defines things that are exactly the same in size, quantity, quality, character, and number. In every sense, Jesus is equal to God and constantly claimed to be so during His earthly ministry (John 5:18; 10:33, 38; 14:9; 20:28; Heb. 1:1–3).
DAY 7: How did Christ humble Himself for our salvation?
In Philippians 2:7, Paul writes that Christ “made Himself of no reputation.” This is more clearly translated “emptied Himself.” This was a self-renunciation, not an emptying Himself of Deity nor an exchange of Deity for humanity. Jesus did, however, renounce or set aside His privileges in several areas: 1) heavenly glory—while on earth He gave up the glory of a face-to-face relationship with God (John 17:5); 2) independent authority—during His Incarnation Christ completely submitted Himself to the will of His Father (Matt. 26:39; John 5:30); 3) divine prerogatives—He set aside the voluntary display of His divine attributes and submitted Himself to the Spirit’s direction (Matt. 24:36; John 1:45–49); 4) eternal riches—while on earth Christ was poor and owned very little (2 Cor. 8:9); and 5) a favorable relationship with God—He felt the Father’s wrath for human sin while on the cross (Matt. 27:46; 2 Cor. 5:21).
“Taking the form of a bondservant” (v. 7). Again, Paul uses the Greek word “form,” which indicates exact essence. As a true servant, Jesus submissively did the will of His Father (Is. 52:13, 14). “Coming in the likeness of men.” Christ became more than God in a human body, but He took on all the essential attributes of humanity (Luke 2:52; Gal. 4:4; Col. 1:22). He became the God-Man: fully God and fully man.
“And being found in appearance as a man” (v. 8). Christ’s humanity is described from the viewpoint of those who saw Him. Paul is implying that, although He outwardly looked like a man, there was much more to Him (His deity) than many people recognized naturally (John 6:42; 8:48). “He humbled Himself.” After the humbling of incarnation, Jesus further humbled Himself in that He subjected Himself to persecution and suffering (Is. 53:7; Matt. 26:62–64; Mark 14:60, 61; 1 Pet. 2:23). “Obedient…death.” Beyond even persecution, Jesus went to the lowest point or furthest extent in His humiliation in dying as a criminal, following God’s plan for Him. “The cross.” Even further humiliation was His because Jesus’ death was not by ordinary means, but was accomplished by crucifixion—the cruelest, most excruciating, most degrading form of death ever devised.
From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.