Daily Meditation: March 28th

March 28, 2018

Today's Reading

Exodus 39          Proverbs 15          John 18            Philippians 2

Meditation Text

Distill the teaching 

What does this tell me about what God does?
What does this tell me about who God is?
What does this tell me that about who I am?
What does this tell me about who I should be?

Thinking Theologically

Few passages have as much theology and ethics in them as Philippians 2. We can pick up on only a few of its wonderful themes:

(1) Scholars have translated 2:5–11 in all kinds of creative ways. In large measure the NIV has it right. Christ Jesus, we are told, “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped [or possibly “exploited”], but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (2:6–7). All that is quite wonderful, a glorious description of the incarnation that prepares the way for the cross. I might reword the translation in the first line of verse 6: “Who, being in very nature God.” At the level of raw literalism, that is a perfectly acceptable translation. But Greek uses participles far more frequently than does English, and Greek adverbial participles, such as the word being in this line, have various logical relations with their context—relations that must be determined by the context. Probably most English readers mentally paraphrase this passage as, “Who, although he was in very nature God …” Certainly that makes sense and may even be right. But there are good contextual reasons for thinking that the participle is causal: “Who, because he was in very nature God.” In other words, because he was in very nature God, not only did he not consider equality with God something to be exploited, but he made himself a nobody: it was divine to show that kind of self-emptying, that kind of grace.

(2) “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (2:5), who did not regard his rights as something to be exploited, but who humbled himself and died a death of odious ignominy so that we might be saved—and was ultimately vindicated (2:6–11). The exhortation of 2:5 thus supports the string of exhortations in 2:1–4. Reflect on how this is so.

(3) The verses following the “Christ hymn” (as it is often called) of 2:6–11 emphasize perseverance. “Therefore” at the beginning of verse 12 establishes the connection. Christ made himself a nobody and died a shameful death but was finally and gloriously vindicated, and therefore we too should take the long view and “work out” our salvation “with fear and trembling” (2:12). Of course, there is all the more incentive when we recall that “it is God who works in [us] to will and to act according to his good purpose” (2:13). We reject utter passivity, “letting go and letting God”; rather, we work out our salvation. Yet at the same time we joyfully acknowledge that both our willing and our doing are evidence of God’s working in us. And he will vindicate us

Taken from For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2). 

A.C.T.S. Making the Word become Flesh

Adore: How can I love and adore God based on this teaching?
Confession: What do I need to confess to God based on this teaching?
Thanksgiving: What can I thank God for based on this teaching?
Supplication: What can I ask God to do based on this teaching?


Finish your meditation with a resolution.  Resolve with my Heavenly Father's enablement to . . .

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