The Apostle Paul speaking of Jesus writes in Philippians 2:6 – 7
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness”
Some people have thought this means Jesus was divine, then gave up being divine when he became human, and then went back to being divine when he returned to heaven. This is not what Paul has in mind. His point is Jesus is equal with God but didn’t regard this equality as something to exploit. Instead, the eternal son of God, the one we now know as Jesus of Nazareth, regarded his equality with God as committing him to serving us by becoming one of us, by carrying our sin and shame through death, to become the world’s rescuer. All of this is what it meant to be equal with God.
As you look at the incarnate son of God dying on the cross grasp the true meaning of who God is: He is the God of self-giving love. This is a God who is known most clearly when he abandons his rights for the sake of the world.
Paul writes in this same chapter, (2:5) “You should have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had.” This attitude belongs to you because you belong to him and because of this you can:
v3 – 4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
In a world full of people using ‘equality’ for their own advantage, this is a dangerous way to live. Yet, if it is not beneath God to surrender his rights, to rescue the world he loves, then surely followers of Jesus would count it the highest honour to do the same.