Summary: Of all the men who ever lived, none have impacted humanity as Christ. His impact cannot be denied. The sovereign God-Man humbled Himself in obedience to the cross. We are admonished to possess the mind of Christ.
Jesus Christ – the God-Man
Philippians 2: 5-11
Today we come to a passage of Scripture that I approach with great delight and humility. I am well aware that all Scripture was given by inspiration of God, and yet in my estimation, this is one of the greatest paragraphs recorded in the entire Bible. While we do not have the mental capacity to fully comprehend all Paul reveals here, it is clear that he is speaking of Jesus Christ our Lord, the eternal God-Man and Savior of humanity.
Of all the men who ever lived, none have impacted the entire human race as this Man. He is the central figure of all time and eternity. While the Bible offers much concerning Jesus Christ, He is also the focus of more books, songs, poems, and other literary works than anyone else in history. Even though many continue to reject Him as the only begotten Son of God, His impact on humanity cannot be denied. I am thankful I met Him as a young boy, submitting to Him by faith for salvation. Unfortunately many refuse to accept Jesus as the Christ. Larry King, the renowned news anchor and reporter was interviewed by Bryant Gumble on national television. At the close of the interview, Gumble asked King, “If you could as God one question, what would it be?” King, a self-professed Jew responded, “I would ask Him if He has a Son.” Dr. Adrian Rogers said this, “To explain Him is impossible; to ignore Him is disastrous; to reject Him is fatal. My speech is too limited to describe Him; my mind is too small to comprehend Him; and my heart is inadequate to fully contain this One whose name is Jesus.” (i)
As we move through this wonderful passage, I want to discuss the attributes of our Lord as we consider: Jesus Christ – the God-Man.
I. The Sovereignty of Christ (5-6) – As we begin today, Paul deals with the sovereign position of Christ. Consider:
A. His Identity (5) – Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. While our Lord is the focus of many of Paul’s writings, he never seems to miss an opportunity to proclaim Him again to the reader. It is also interesting to note that Paul rarely calls Him by the name Jesus alone. He usually identifies Him as Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus, using both names to refer to our Lord and Savior. This is quite significant when we pause to consider it. Christ is the Greek word Christos and has the same meaning as the Hebrew title – Messiah. It refers to Christ as the anointed One. He is recognized as our High Priest, our Redeemer, Mediator and Intercessor. Jesus was the Lord’s birth name, chosen by God. It means – Jehovah is salvation. The name Jesus speaks of His person and declares His deity as the Son of God. Christ Jesus is clearly the focus of this passage.
B. His Equality (6) – Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. Many of the Jews had great difficulty with this claim. In fact, this was the deciding factor in their consent to His crucifixion. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, literally God in the flesh. Although He dwelt among men in human form, He possessed all the deity and character of God. His very essence was that of God. The word “form” speaks of the outward appearance. Christ was the embodiment of God in human flesh. It is interesting to note this is the only time in Scripture that we find this word translated robbery. It pictures a thief taking something that wasn’t his. Christ was not in any way acting in deceit or assuming something that did not belong to Him through His claim of equality with God. He was, and is, God. John 14:9 – Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? John 10:30 – I and my Father are one.
C. Our Conformity (5) – Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Paul used this statement to lead into the thoughts to come. One cannot truly understand verse 5 apart from Vv.6-11. However, Paul admonished the believer to possess the mind of Christ. As we will discover, Christ possessed a heart and mind of submission, humility, and commitment to the Father. We cannot provide for our salvation; that was the work of Christ alone. However, we are to conform to His image, seeking to possess the same mind and attitude Christ had regarding our complete, surrendered devotion to the Father and His divine will for our lives. Eph.5:2 – And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. I will admit this is a daunting task, but it is expected of us. Alone we could never accomplish such submission and humility, but in Christ it is possible.