Reflections

Hope for Today

Articles to help encourage and edify the people of God
by Julia Sinclair, Lay Deaconess
All Saints Lutheran Church
 Each month you will find a devotional "Hope for Today" written by our Lay Deaconess. Wondering what a Lay Deaconess does? Click Here. 

May 2022

This month we focus on the idea of

Solus Christus, “Christ alone” 

Jesus is our Lord, Savior and King.

 He is the mediator between God and man.  

 “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 

-John 3:16    

Salvation comes from faith in Christ alone. Through the atoning work of Christ on the cross, we are made right with God. You may have heard the word “justified” which according to the Oxford English Dictionary defines as: “declare or make righteous in the sight of God.” For God sees us through Christ’s work on the cross, Just—if —I’d, God has seen and accepted what Christ did and credited it to our account. Did you ever wonder how we got to the place that we would need a Savior? and the planning it took for God to bring our Savior to us?

"rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!" 

Phillipians 2:7-8

In Philippians 2:7-8 we see that Jesus gave up his freedom to be omnipotent and omnipresent. He took the form and body of a man to empty Himself completely in order to serve and to save us. God’s Son would become the “Son of Man” by uniting His divine nature into a physical body.

This was voluntary on his part and meant that God’s Son would sacrifice (but not give up completely) the use of his Divine attributes. The rest of the time he “only used it when it pleased Him. He abstained from using it in the state of His humiliation and because of this, He truly increased in all wisdom and favor with God and Men.” (Lutheran Study Bible notes Philippians. 2:7). He also didn’t go around in His full glorious divine state. He veiled His majesty, but He did show it on the mount of transfiguration.

To save us from the penalty of our sins Jesus would have to humiliate Himself and take on a human body so he could serve and empty himself completely for us. His physical body meant he could walk, talk and be with us, but he was limited to be in only one place at a time. He would experience hunger, cold, fatigue etc.…Yet he was not overcome by them to the point of using His divine powers to fill His own needs (think of Satan’s temptation to him to turn stones into bread). 

He used his powers to serve and fill the needs of the people instead.  Jesus had all the characteristics of being human except He retained his divinity and was a sinless and completely obedient servant. All his thoughts, words and deeds were done at his Fathers will. Even to death on the cross. 

Since he was still fully God He took his life up again, and showed that he had power over His nature, life, death and resurrection (Lutheran Study Bible notes Philippians.2:11)  After his resurrection He entered into his glory in Heaven, which will be ours too as believers. “God grants us the similar ability to  empty ourselves in the service of others, because we are His children too” (Lutheran Study Bible notes Philippians. Notes 2:6). But Jesus did not leave the disciples or us withhout a helper. He gave them the Holy Spirit on Pentcost and the disciples were empowered to do many great works and bring many to faith. Peter preached by the power of the Holy Sprirt and over 3,000 believed that day! We will learn more about Pentecost in my article next month. (Pentecost is on June 5th).

May we model our lives on Jesus, He cared for the needs of the people before the needs of himself. We are to be His ambassadors and we do this by being his hands and feet and voice to those in need both physicaly and spiritualy. 

 I was able to find wisdom and an in depth explanation for this passage, in my "Lutheran Study Bible" by Concordia Publishing. You can order a copy from most booksellers. If you would like a deeper understanding of God's Word and a great help for home or group study I recommed getting a copy.

-Julia Sinclair

 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13 (ESV) 

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