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New Testament Theology: Introductions to the Books of the Bible Essay

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Updated: Oct 29th, 2021

Philippians 2:5-11.

This is a letter written by Apostle Paul to encourage and his fellow believers. He wrote this letter in a prison argued to be in Rome. His main aim in writing this letter is to thank his friends for the gift they had sent him after them learning that he had been detained. He also used the letter to describe the special circumstances (detention for spreading the word of Jesus Christ) that had befallen him and also to encourage them to stand firm in their faith despite them being threatened with prosecution.

In this verse, Paul urges the believers to emulate the example of Jesus Christ by being of a humble nature and obedient. He tells them that these virtues can lead to receiving a blessing from God just like He rewarded Jesus by exalting His name so that it is worshipped by all creatures.

The key theological themes in this passage are:-

  • Meekness – Paul urges his friends to be of the same line of thought as Jesus Christ portrayed by choosing not to equalize himself with God but instead he chose to do the will of the Father.
  • Obedience – He urges them to emulate Christ’s example of obedience like when he obeyed God’s command to die on the cross for our sins even though he felt that this burden was heavy.
  • Humility – He cites the example of Jesus Christ regarding himself as a servant, for example the time he was born on a manger and the time he rode on a donkey, while we know he was the son of a King.
  • Reward – According to the verse, God rewarded this son for his virtue of obedience by exalting him to the highest place and giving him a very powerful name
  • Unity – By encouraging them to relate to one another with the humble nature of Jesus, Paul was encouraging unity among the Christian fraternity.

Below is a short real-life story that can be used to better explain how this particular passage can be applied in this day and age.

Smith was the brightest boy in my class when I was in high school. He knew the answer to almost all questions, even on topics that were far much complex for our young minds to comprehend. In fact even teachers used to refer to questions they found difficult to him. He was popularly known as the walking Encyclopedia. I remember almost everyone wanted to be associated with him. Our school was especially proud to be associated with him because of the many trophies he had won the school.

Despite him being very intelligent Smith was just like every other human being.

He began to feel superior above the rest including his parents and teachers. Believing he knew it all, he started missing classes and sneaking out of school during class time. Not even punishment would change the bad attitude he had adopted.

The situation was not any different at all at home. Considering himself to be of a higher level of intelligence he did not listen to anything his parents told him. Every time they suggested helping out in the house he would rudely retort that his level of intelligence did not allow him to do a servant’s work and insisted that his parents refrain from insulting his intelligence.

Everyone gave up on him and much to his shock and to everyone’s expectations he failed miserably in the end-of-semester exams. It took a lot of counseling for him to realize that for him to be the best he can be he had to work with others, more so his teachers. Finally he realized that knowledge cannot be exhausted.

One can never learn enough.

Therefore we all need to adopt a humble nature and listen and learn from others. It is only then that we can grow mentally. Not many people will want to help you if all you do is look down on them and criticize what they do.

Apart from humility, the story also teaches us about obedience. Smith should have been obedient to his parents (In Ephesians, this command comes with a promise of everlasting life to anyone who obeys his parents). His parents would have managed to veer him to the right path had he listened to them and so he would not have endured the shame and embarrassment that came with his failure.

The story also teaches us about unity which is necessary for the development and advancement of our social, economic and academic aspects. Smith should have worked in unity with his fellow students, teachers and parents for him to fully achieve his abilities.

Had he put all this into practice, he would have been rewarded with passing his exams, earning himself a place in a good college and consequently a good career that would ensure a good life.

Works cited

Introductions to the Books of the Bible. Web.

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IvyPanda. "New Testament Theology: Introductions to the Books of the Bible." October 29, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/new-testament-theology-introductions-to-the-books-of-the-bible/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "New Testament Theology: Introductions to the Books of the Bible." October 29, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/new-testament-theology-introductions-to-the-books-of-the-bible/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'New Testament Theology: Introductions to the Books of the Bible'. 29 October.

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