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Weekly Devotionals

To Know God

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man,  he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue acknowledges that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2: 5-11

Every Sunday morning, as I sit at the corner of my bed, I pray, “Lord, may I live and fully believe every word I preach to the students today.” I pray this prayer because I acknowledge the fact that I’m still much embedded in the mindset that divides knowledge and action. The head and the heart. The “orthodoxy,” the right teaching, and “orthopraxy,” the right practice. However, as I began to read a book that thoroughly explained Philippians 2, I began to realize that this should no longer be the case.

In Philippians 2:5, Paul talks about having the same mind as Jesus Christ, and the book explains how this can be understood as an effort for the correct theology. Theology is the study of God, and to be specific, it is the study of God who revealed himself to us. And the way that God revealed himself to us is through Jesus Christ whom we are united by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we know God only by being united to Jesus Christ, and we join in the mind of God himself with the help of the Holy Spirit. We do theology or we understand who God is through being united to Jesus Christ and His mind.

Then, Paul expands this further with explaining the meaning of being united to Jesus Christ and His mind. From verses 6-11, he writes that we become like-minded as Christ by doing what Christ did: leaving all his glory and power to the most humble self to die on the cross. This is how we become like-minded as Christ, and this is how we truly “know” God or truly do theology. What this shows us is that there is no such divide between orthodoxy and orthopraxy. Our knowledge of God, which can truly be gained through being like-minded like Christ, comes from our action of following Jesus’ humility, sacrifice, and obedience.

Now, why is this so important? I believe that in this season with only the online church service with less opportunity to serve others, it becomes very easy for us to feel complacent from being fed by the word from online service or our personal time of studying God’s word. However, I believe that this can be a dangerous place to be when we feel complete and whole only with all the “knowledge” and the “spiritual nourishment” without feeling the need to serve those around us and display our like-mindedness with Christ. In fact, it is crucial for us to remember that we truly get to know Christ and be like minded with him by joining in his sacrifice and humility, laying down our privileges and power for others.

So, how are we doing theology today? How are we getting to know God today? Are we getting to know him by being united to him and his mind through our service and humility for the least of these around us? Or, are we dividing what the Scripture doesn’t seem to divide?

I believe that this is an important question that we must ask ourselves in this particular season where we may perhaps feel more justified to hold tighter on our power, authority and resources.

May we live out every word that we hear, know and believe by being united in Christ.