The Mind of Christ

I. The immediate context is built around a series of instructions.

A. We are to be model “citizens” of the Kingdom (Philippians 1:27-30).

1. We are to “stand fast in one spirit.”

2. We are to have “one mind”

3. We are to “strive together for the faith of the gospel.”

4. We must not be terrified by our “adversaries”

5. We must appreciate the “favour” of “suffering on behalf of Christ”

B. We are use the spiritual assets available to us (Philippians 2:1)

1. There is consolation in Christ

2. There is comfort of love

3. There is fellowship of the Spirit

4. There are “deep feelings of concern and pity”

C. We are to be unified by godly behaviour patterns (Philippians 2:2-4)

1. We are to be “likeminded”

a. We should be intellectually convinced of the same matters.
b. We should love the same things.
c. We should be of one accord.
d. We should have one mind.

2. We should never yield to “strife” or “vainglory”

a. No selfish ambition or electioneering for office.
b. No conceit or groundless self-esteem.

3. We are to “look out for” others

a. Maintain personal humility and modesty
b. Seek to develop leadership in others.
c. Constantly consider ways to help others.

II. The supreme example is the “attitude” of our Lord Jesus (Philippians 2:5-8)

A. The key to the passage is the word translated “mind.”

1. It is the Greek word phroneo.

a. Not dianoia – the activity of thinking (deliberate)
b. Not nous – the ability to think (intellect)

2. It is used in Philippians 15 times out of the 37 in the New Testament.

3. It is the word that emphasizes “attitude” of mind – to be disposed.

a. Matthew 16:23 --thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
b. Romans 8:5 -- For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
c. Colossians 3:2 -- Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

B. The descriptions of the incarnation emphasize three major attitudes.

1. Humility

a. Acts 20:19 -- Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
b. Col 3:12 -- Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

2. Service

a. Romans 6:16--  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
b. 2 Corinthians 4:5 -- For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

3. Obedience

a. Romans 6:17 -- But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
b. Hebrews 11:8 -- By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

III. The doctrine of the incarnation is amplified in this passage.

A. Christ Jesus did not “begin” – He “is.”

1. Isaiah 9:6 -- For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

a. Prophecy about “THE” child
b. The “Son’s” name (title, character) = God; everlasting Father

2. Micah 5:2 --  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

a. Prophecy about the birthplace of the “Ruler” of Israel
b. The “goings forth” = origins
c. From “old” and “everlasting” = before the days

3. John 1:1-3 --   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

a. “In the beginning” – always equates to Genesis 1:1
b. The Word was with and was God
c. The Word created all things (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:3)

B. Jesus Christ did not grasp after equality with God.

1. He “possessed” (owned; had) the form of God

2. He “reckoned” (concluded, knew) himself to be equal with God.

3. He did not have to “rob” (steal, seek, covet) to obtain equality.

a. Clear reference to John 1:1-3
b. Possible contrast with Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-14)

C. Jesus Christ “emptied” Himself.

1. The unique word is ‘ekegosen (from kenoo)

a. The word is only used this one time in all of Scripture.
b. The word means to make empty, to render useless, to void.

2. The word is in the ACTIVE voice – Jesus Himself did the emptying.

a. This was not “forced” on the Lord Jesus
b. This was a willing act by the omnipotent and omniscient Creator.
c. This COULD ONLY have been done by God.

D. Jesus Christ “took on the form of a servant.”

1. The word (lambon) includes the idea of “welcomed”

2. Hebrews 2:14 -- Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part (participated in) of the same

3. Hebrews 2:16 -- For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took (took possession of) on him the seed of Abraham.

E. Jesus Christ “was made” in the likeness of men.

1. The PASSIVE MIDDLE voice is used with this verb

a. The clear expression is: “he began to be in” the likeness.
b. The emphasis is on Jesus being made in man’s form.

2. Hebrews 10:5 -- Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

3. Romans 8:3 -- God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh

4. 1 Corinthians 15:45, 47 -- And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit….The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

F. Jesus Christ “was found in fashion like a man.”

1. Two synonyms are used.

a. Homoioma, (verse 7) stresses similarity, looks like
b. Schema, (verse 8) stresses the character, the manner of life

2. Christ becomes completely human

a. John 1:14 -- And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
b. Hebrews 2:17 -- Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

3. Christ also remains fully God.

a. Colossians 1:19 -- For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell
b. Colossians 2:9 -- For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily

G. Jesus Christ became obedient even to the death on the cross.

1. He humbled himself.

a. He “owned” deity; He “welcomed” humanity.
b. Hebrews 2:9 -- But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

2. He became obedient.

a. The word emphasizes “listening” to commands.
b. Matthew 8:27 -- But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

3. He obeyed – even to the death on the cross.

a. John 15:13 -- Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
b. 1 Peter 2:24 -- Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Isaiah 53:4-6, 10 -- Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

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