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TDB0003: Selfishness of Man

Philippians 2:
4 not looking each one for his own, but each also for the others.

Commentary

A commandment that is almost impossible to fulfill is to love your neighbor as yourself. You may be surprised by this, but let’s think of someone who loves his neighbor as well. Or even better, the reality is that we do not love anyone like ourselves, the only person who did such a thing was Jesus. The parable of the Good Samaritan makes us understand this, the neighbor is not our friends  or a relatives, but also a stranger and even an enemy. To love him as yourself is to do with that person what you would do with yourself; To spend for him, to care for him, to provide for his needs without reservation, and even to give his life for him, this is to love one’s neighbor as oneself. This is what the parable of the Good Samaritan presents, and the message is that while we are unable to do this, we need mercy and grace from God. Since Jesus was the only one who loved his neighbor (loving even his enemies) as well, giving his life unselfishly, we need his sacrifice of substitution in order to be saved.

Jesus fulfilled the law (loving God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves) as we are in Jesus, then that action and justice is applied to us. It is impossible for a man to do such a thing, to love another as well as himself. The problem here is not to love, the Bible tells us that this is the stamp of the Christian, he who does not love is not born of God.

1 John 4: 7 Beloved, let us love one another; Because love is of God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God; Because God is love. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

This is what distinguishes us from the world that we love one another, but here it does not speak of loving as ourselves or of loving those we do not know or even enemies like ourselves. The key phrase is “like ourselves”; We must love even our enemies and this is difficult in itself, but it is a commandment. Because man could not keep the law Jesus did not abort, but he fulfilled it.

The problem is ourselves, my person, my flesh. Although we are led by the Spirit, we confront the same problem of the apostle Paul in Romans 7,

Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual; But I am carnal, sold to sin. 15 For what I do, I do not understand; For I do not do what I want, but what I abhor, that I do. 16 And if what I do not want, this I do, I approve that the law is good.17 So that it is no longer I who do that, but the sin that dwells in me.

Paul is in this problem: warring against the flesh, Galatians tells us that the flesh and the Spirit fight each other. Our desires are opposed to those of God. There is an innate selfishness in man, always seeking his own, having reason, having advantage, accumulating for himself, in short, it is an innate selfish desire even when the Bible tells us not to do that.

Philippians 2: 4  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

To detach ourselves from ourselves have that same feeling that was in Christ Jesus that did not spare to be equal to God, but that he detached himself from all glory is the answer to love others unconditionally and to get rid the selfishness that stuns To today’s society including Christians.

Written by Robert Pool
Translated by Bruno Smith

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