“The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
When we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, He comes again in the person of the indwelling Holy Spirit to instill in us the same quality of unselfish devotion to God and man that characterized His earthly life.
“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Philippians 2:4).
As did our Lord, we find our blessing in the blessing of others. God lavishly fills us with His love when we believe – “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5). Thus, our joy results from the same sensibility and sacrifice known by the joyful Christ who “pleased not Himself,” but who rather revealed that true fulfillment lies in devotion to “the things of others” (Romans 15:3).
This runs counter to our fleshly understanding and feeling. Temporary pleasure, “for a season,” results when we succumb to the temptation of selfishness (Hebrews 11:25). It doesn’t take long in the born again believer, however, for the thorns of the world’s carnal rose to prick our hearts from within. A grieved Holy Spirit always results in a grieved believer because the new heart He births in us when we believe is “created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Whether we know it, believe it, or act like it, the current of our born again hearts flows in the same direction of unselfishness as that of our God. This is why emptiness and misery quickly find us when we think, speak, act and relate in a manner contrary to His nature, and ours. “Now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).
God undertakes a work of turning us inside out, as it were, when we trust in the Lord Jesus. The primary facet of this internal revolution involves our full transformation from selfishness to unselfishness. The work won’t be finished in this lifetime. It will, however, always be ongoing. “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Recognizing the process of love in which we are involved with God makes it far more likely we will submit ourselves to a work both blessed and challenging. Indeed, our Heavenly Father has given to His trusting sons and daughters in Christ the greatest gift and honor He could bestow. He is making us like Himself in character, nature and way. Perfect unselfishness will be the end result. Progressive unselfish is the ongoing process.
“But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more.”
(I Thessalonians 4:9-10)