The Exalted Christ: Philippians 2:8-13

A teenager had just got his driving licence. He asked his father, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your Scriptures a little and get your hair cut and we’ll talk about it.” After about a month the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father’s study where his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your Scriptures diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut!” The young man waited and minute and replied, “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. Samson had long hair; Moses had long hair, why even Jesus had long hair….” To which his father replied….”Yes, and they walked every where they went!”

I think we would agree that God wants us all to grow. It’s a no-brainer. But have you noticed how different the word “grow” sounds when someone adds that little word “up”? “Grow up” It has negative connotations. It implies a degree of immaturity. It suggests we are not there yet. And that is the point. We are not there yet. We have not arrived. There is work to do, growing up. The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:1 and 5, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ…In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had.” (Philippians 2:1, 5)

Because we have some way to go, in our reading today, Paul introduces another “Therefore”. Verse 12, “Therefore… continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12-13)

Our heavenly Father’s goal is that we mature and become like Jesus Christ. But spiritual growth is not automatic. It takes time and energy. We must want to grow up and we must persevere in growing. Discipleship is another word to describe growing up or working out our salvation. Salvation is actually three dimensional. It involves my past, my present and my future. Let me illustrate this…

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