Christ Pleased Not Himself. The Holy Assembly in Conduct.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of * no reputation*, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. Jesus humbled Himself- Philippians 2:5-7
Jesus exemplifies a character I will have to follow, hard pressed, until I see him face to face. Although being equal with God he knew if He would be lifted up it would draw all men to Him. It is in this earthly ministry we find Jesus making himself of “no reputation”. As Abraham would offer Lot to choose what area he preferred, making himself of no reputation. As David would choose not to kill Saul as he cut off a piece of his robe, making himself of no reputation, even though God would give him this opportunity.
Jesus said, unequivocal "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matt 20:25-28)
When I see Jesus, the Apostles, and the letters there is one thing that is obvious. In doctrines they were anchored, steadfast and settled. On the other hand, I’m stupefied when one takes 1 cor 10:29why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience? Or 1 cor 8:8 we are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do, as a triumph moment of selfish gain. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. ... 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, (Phil 2:3, 5-7). When the fruit of the Spirit declares, taking care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak (1 Cor 8:9). The Stone of offence from the weak brother becomes a gotcha moment. They proclaim, who are you to be offended, stumbled and weak? Do we not know the vices daily thrown at us? Have you ever tried to push down lust of fornication while at a beach bbq, the powers of alcohol at a wedding reception, or walking as you have a half of a step in the world and one step towards the Lord?
Through experience and scripture, I can give you one advice “run away”. Flee from the devil (Jam 4:7), take the escape route (1 Cor 10:13). Walking into a world of lust I must stop drinking the milk , unskilled while looking at scripture ( Heb 5:13). My knowledge does not puff up but builds up. Words like don’t be a stumbling block to the weak, his conscience is weak, weak person destroyed and sinning against, becomes not just my liberty but a responsibility of no greater love that a man would lay down his life (John 15:13). Some when they read liberty, they smug up and say yes I can, others with a form of power and godliness say with conviction. For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. ... 21 To those outside the law, I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak, I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means, I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. – (1 Cor 9:19, 21-23). Some say, why should my strength be taken away for your weakness? Thou fool, in maturity, I have become a servant. Paul would never make this about legalism. It’s a love the world cannot know and unconditional love that says, give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:32-33) Therefore, let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way. ( Rom 14:13)The shepherd knows his sheep. My question is do you know your sheep enough to know what stumbles them? I speak in choices(liberties). What grieves the body of Christ? (v.15) What destroys my brother?(v.15) Do not destroy the work of God for food or drink.(v.20) Is it offensive? (v.20). It is good. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. (Rom14:21) Last of all, in liberties I look towards the commandments of God. Love God with all our hearts and love our neighbour. We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbour for his good, to build him up.
For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me." - Romans 15:3