April 2, 2016
Part 3 of 3 in a Series
Core Scripture Passages: 1 John 4.7-21; Philippians 2.1-11
As people over the millennia have continued their attempts at describing how God, humanity and the cosmos are brought together into peace, love and harmony with each other, another understanding of Jesus’ role in bringing us to at-one-ment emerged.
In the view I looked at this time, commonly known as Moral Influence Theory, Jesus is understood as exhibiting the power of a human filled with God’s Spirit to the fullest, revealing the power that pure, unobstructed love has to transform human hearts and break barriers between humans and between divinity and humanity. We know God so loved the world because Jesus was willing to become a human being and was willing to die at the hands of humanity rather than do anything to compromise his love for our race.
When the followers of Jesus saw the extent of his love and believed that He revealed God’s love in its most complete form, they received that same Spirit after Jesus’ resurrection, and began to exhibit more and more of that same love, a Christ-consciousness, that led them to engage in the same transforming work that Christ had done. It is in this experiential understanding that Paul advised the Philippians to “have the same mind in you that was in Christ Jesus” and “continue working out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Paul says to treat the reality of the Christ-consciousness at work in them with great reverence and show that reverence in how they related to one another.
Love is the way that salvation came to the world in Jesus and love is the way salvation continues to come to the world, now through you and me.