Philippians 2: Every Knee Shall Bow, and Every Tongue Shall Confess
Paul urges the Philippians to be “…likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” (Philippians 2:2) Paul explains that the Saints should not act from selfish ambitions. He urges the members to be like Jesus Christ; “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” (Philippians 2:6)
What does Paul mean when he said that Jesus Christ thought it was not robbery to be equal with God? What does that mean for the followers of Christ? It means that as Jesus Christ wanted to be like His Father, we too want to be like our Father. It is ok to have a desire to become like God, Paul himself said; “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there by gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6)
Can we become like God?
The question arises, can we as children of God, become like Him? OR in other words, is it possible for mankind to become gods? Notice I used a lowercase “g” for “gods”, instead of the uppercase “G” for God the Eternal Father. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that we are of divine nature and therefore have the potential to be like our Heavenly Father, and the Bible agrees with this doctrine;
From the beginning; “…God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our own likeness…” (Genesis 1:26) Later, after Adam and Eve had partaken of the fruit; “…the Lord God said, behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…” (Genesis 3:22) This suggested that the purpose for Adam and Eve to have partaken of the fruit and to have knowledge of Good and Evil was part of God’s plan from the beginning, for mankind (His Children) to one day return and live with Him in His Kingdom, and to become like Him. Remember we have divine potential to become LIKE Him, but NOT BECOME Him.
Later we read in the New Testament when Jesus Christ is being accused of blasphemy, they charge Him by saying; “…because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” (John 10:33) Jesus responds to them saying; “…Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:34-35) Jesus Christ was referencing an Old Testament Scripture; Psalms 82:6.
We need to understand that having a belief that one day a human can become a “god” is in no way devaluing our relationship with THE God. If we truly are His offspring, it is only natural for us to want to become like our Father. He has shown us the way, and has asked us to follow Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. If we truly believe in Them and have a desire to follow Them, we will also want to become like Them! It is like a father on earth who is an accountant, who has a son, who also grows up to be an accountant. Like father, like son.
Paul goes on to explain the divine nature of our Savior Jesus Christ, and how being obedient to the Father, He was exalted on High; “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things of earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11)
Paul explains that because of this great sacrifice from Jesus Christ we must do the work and will of God and “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12) This means that through Jesus Christ we can be saved, but we still have our part to accept His gift to us, therefore we must ‘work out’ our own Salvation, and do so; “…without murmurings and disputings:” (Philippians 2:14)
Paul then tells the Philippians that he will soon send Timotheus to them.