For the apostle Paul, Christís coming to earth was a story of supreme self-surrender and self-denial, of deliberate choosing to relinquish rights and privileges, of decision to renounce comfortable and secure ways of existence, accepting instead insecurity and subjection and death. It was for Paul the ultimate in sharing, in reaching out to help, in giving, in redemption. It was for him the Great Exchange. It meant the rich became poor, the free submissive, the sovereign a subject, the God a man!
But it was also for Paul a supreme model for conduct, a challenge to Christians to pursue a particular way of life--the way of life lived by Christ:
"Live together in love.
"Live together in harmony.
"Live no longer for selfish ends.
"Stop acting from motives of rivalry and personal vanity.
"Stop thinking only of your own affairs.
"Humbly think more of each other than you do of yourselves.
"Learn to see things from other peopleís point of view.
"Look out for other peopleís interests and not only your own.
"Live the life of exchange.
"Think and act like Christ did.
"Let Him be your example for your own attitude and action toward others. Let Him be your power for implementation by allowing your conduct toward each other to arise out of your life in Him."
God would have Christians be channels through which His great generosity can flow out to a world bewildered by and lost in its own greedy acquisitiveness, not as objects only of the incarnation of Love, but as subjects, too, ourselves in some small degree incarnations of that Love.