In the Bible, God sets aside His redeemed people primarily to fellowship with Him and to glory Him by reflecting His character through His people in this world. God is glorified when His redeemed people show certain marks that remind the world about God and His kingdom. In this passage, we learn how sincere love for others and constantly fighting sin in our lives through repentance and overcoming temptation, are the ongoing marks of a true Christian.
We’ve often heard a cliché about the necessity of leaders being ’empathetic’ and ‘humble’ towards people. But how does a leader cultivate such character qualities to serve people well? The Bible says that only the gospel of Jesus Christ enables leaders to have a heart of humility. In this passage, we learn how gospel authenticates and produces genuine humility in a leader through the path of suffering, so that he displays character qualities like Christ did.
Elisabeth Elliot on suffering once said ― “Whatever is in the cup that God is offering to me, whether it be pain and sorrow and suffering and grief along with the many more joys, I’m willing to take it because I trust Him.” This needs to be the response of every Christian in times of suffering, because hardships are inevitable in this life. In this passage, we learn how suffering should enable us to trust in God, an expression of our humility and dependency on Him alone.
Religious leaders often seem very kind in public, but get aggressive and violent when someone opposes them. Sometimes Pastors even beat up their wives and do not respect them in private. There are other leaders in the church, who serve people because of money. Some leaders are good with people in public but poor in managing their own household, their children don’t listen to them and are extremely rebellious. As a father and husband, they’re very passive about family matters, and the list goes on and on. But the Apostle Paul has a response against all these bad character qualities of a leader in this passage.
God already showed us in scriptures what it means for us to be His children, and what it costs us to follow Him. In many ways, the Cross of Jesus Christ is the way of Christian Life. He humbled Himself to the cross and sacrificed His own life for us, He suffered for our sake, He endured all kinds of rejection from His own people. In this passage, we see how the Cross becomes the model for christian life.
Christianity doesn’t demand us to perform many rituals and sacrifice to Idols or become a monk, but it demands us to forsake our selfishness and pride; only then are we able to believe that Christ is the only Savior of our lives because we couldn’t save ourselves from God’s righteous judgment. In this passage we learn how God chooses unintelligent people, people with low social status, people who are not very influential, demonstrating His grace to those who are helpless and crushing the pride of those who believe they are self-sufficient, wise and powerful enough.