“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Tit. 2:11-12)
Jesus Christ is the absolute expert on everything…the physical universe, morality, and everything theological. John 1:3 says: “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” When Jesus repeatedly says throughout the gospels: “but I say unto you”…this is the eternal, divine Word of God speaking to us.
Yet Jesus did not insist upon His rightful place as the leader in Jerusalem, according to the modern-day self-assertive mindset. The modern saying: “If you’ve got it—flaunt it”…is totally absent from the program and lifescript of Jesus. Jesus does not rely upon the validation of external, visually authenticating glory in presenting Himself to mankind.
“Whom maketh thou thyself” is one of the key components in the earthly ministry of Jesus. The salvation of mankind is rooted in the rejection of the Son of God…absent His outward divine glory. Belief in Jesus as Christ and Savior is free of all outwardly visual influence. This is a unique, narrowly exclusive zone of character where arrogant pride cannot go.
This is beyond human literary invention.
I want to make three points in this post.
First, God is willing to endure Isaiah 53 as the redeeming Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for our sakes…to create a human commonality as the foundation for a personal relationship with God. This is what is so beautifully expressed by Paul in Philippians 2:5-11.
Second, God can enter into a human body through the Second Person of the Trinity…Jesus…to establish a relationship with us only because of this exemplary character trait of divine humility. The “son of perdition” personage of 2 Thessalonians 2:4 cannot and would not similarly do this. Divine humility is a character “narrow gate” pathway not passable while carrying the extra baggage of pride and arrogance.
Third, the incredibly unconventional human life of Jesus Christ from incarnation through the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension is the acid-test that forever separated salvation faith from skeptical unbelief (Jn. 9:39-41). Anything even slightly more pride-filled than the super-humility of the totally human outward appearance of Jesus Christ…the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world (Jn. 1:29; Rev. 13:8)…would not only have upset the ongoing delicate balance between belief and unbelief, but would have prevented a thorough-going unbelief to have been separated out and exposed at the cross of Calvary (Lk. 23:34).
I have the sense that if we can…over time…correctly and accurately explain 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12…then we have maybe 50 percent of the end-times understood.
We did not in the first-century foresee Jesus, the cross, and the resurrection. We will probably need to witness the actual event of the end-times to fully understand 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. But I think this issue of the exclusivity of humility is a large part of the final controversy to be separated out, clarified, and decided in the upcoming end-times.
We have this crucial moral character trait of humility…expertly personified in the life and teaching of Jesus…giving us the positive half as a present guide for Spirit-born Christians today to aspire to and to emulate in our own God-composed journeys of faith (1 Cor. 4:9-17).