Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5–8)
Today’s big question: did God really say Christ humbled Himself?
In AD 325, more than 300 Christian leaders came together to form the Council of Nicaea to discuss the teachings of a man named Arius. Arius wanted the church to accept his philosophy that Jesus was a created being rather than the eternally begotten Son of God—a teaching very similar to what the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe today. Out of the 318 bishops who voted, 316 voted to condemn the ideas of Arius (Arianism), and he was excommunicated from the church.
The Council of Nicaea defended the divinity of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Word of God. From this council comes the Nicene Creed, which many churches still recite on a regular basis today to help them to remember that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man.
Our passage for today and many other verses are very clear—before the incarnation, Jesus was unveiled in His infinite glory. He was truly in the form of God, and Paul makes it clear to the Philippians that Christ’s amazing humility is found in the fact that He did not cling to His infinite unveiled glory, but veiled Himself to be born of a virgin. Jesus, the Son, the second Person of the Trinity, enjoyed the full independence of being God. But He willingly became dependent by taking on human flesh—even to the point of becoming an infant—and He did it for us.
The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus was God before the foundation of the world (John 1). It also reveals that Jesus is the eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present God who became a man, lived a sinless life, and became the perfect sacrifice for our sin. This is the amazing glory of Christ.
Throughout history, people have tried to confuse our understanding of Jesus and His Word. In every case, it has always resulted in a direct attack on the very glory of God. The Council of Nicaea recognized that Arianism was such an attack, and those involved put their foot down on such compromise. We must do the same when people ask, "Did God Really Say?" and, in doing so, attack the character and nature of God.
Today’s big idea: oh what a Savior—God became man.
Today’s prayer: Be in wonder of your glorious Savior. What a Savior!