Summary: To establish that Christ had a mind of submission, sacrifice and serenity (great patience); when He came to earth, to do the will of His Father. This lesson is the first of three in the series: “The Mind of Christ.”
Christ’s Mind of Submission
1. Today we are going to be discussing the mind of Christ. The beloved apostle Paul encourages the saints at Philippi to: “If there be therefore in a consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each (esteemeth others) better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others,” Philippians 2:1-4. If there is something that we ought to be encouraging the church today, it is that it should cultivate; and maintain the mind of Christ.
2. First, we will investigate the mind of Christ, which was one of submission. Paul states: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men," Philippians 2:6-7.
BODY OF LESSON
CHRIST’S MIND OF SUBMISSION
A. Christ’s preexistence. In our first point, Paul speaks to Christ’s pre-existence; and mind of submission. Paul wrote: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God: thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself; and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross,” Philippians 2:5-8. It is important for us, to understand clearly the preexistence of Christ, before his incarnation.
B. First, Christ’s submission unto the will of the Father. Let’s hear how He speaks of it: “Jesus answered them, and said, my doctrine is not mine but his that sent me. If any man will do his will he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him,” John 7:16-18.
C. Further, Jesus hath glorified the Father. Notice how He states this: “I have glorified thee on earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest his me to do. And now, O Father; glorified thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with the before the world was... And the glory which thou gavest me I have given unto them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I and them, and thou in me that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and has love them as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am: that they may behold my glory which thou has given me: for thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,” John 17:4-5; John 17:22-24.
D. Paul speaks of His pre-existence. Paul says: “Who being in the form of God: thought it not robbery to be equal with God,” Philippians 2:6. Paul outlines the divinity of Christ before his incarnation and manifestation to the world. Because this text is so rich in Jesus’ pre-existence, it is important that we attend to each statement that Paul makes regarding Him. Notice:
1. He who being in the form of God. Paul states that Christ was in the very “form of God”; before his appearance on earth, and during his walk among us. He was God in the flesh. Notice:
a. First, the word “Who being” in Gr: is hypárcho, or hoop-ar'-kho; which means to exist beforehand or previously. It denotes, an existence or condition both previous to the circumstances mentioned and continuing after; referring to the deity of Christ, which existed prior to his incarnation and continued at, and after, his birth (and earthly manifestation to the world); and continues NOW and forever.
b. Further, Paul declares the form of Christ. The word “form” in Gr: is morph? or mor-fay'; which means the shape; figuratively, the nature:—form. This is the form by which a person or thing strikes the vision; or, an external appearance, Philippians 2:6-7. His appearance was that of divinity or the “divine nature,” that is, God.
c. Finally, Paul states that this form, He willing “emptied himself of” to appear in flesh as a mortal man; though, still retaining inwardly His eternal nature and that was God.