Summary: Possesing the mind of Christ is the key to unity and future glory.
The Mind Of Christ
1. Previously, Paul wrote about "The Unity That Produces Joy" (Philippians 2:1-4), in which he described:
a. The motivation for having this unity:
1) The consolation in Christ.
2) Comfort of love.
3) Fellowship of the Spirit.
4) Affection and mercy.
b. The nature of this unity; which involves:
1) Being like-minded (To think the same thing).
2) Having the same love.
3) Being of one accord.
4) Being of one mind.
c. The attitudes necessary to maintain unity.
2. In describing the latter, he called upon the Philippians to:
a. Do nothing through selfish ambition or conceit (Philippians 2:3a).
b. Have lowliness of mind in which they esteem others better than themselves (Philippians 2:3b).
c. Look out for the interests of others, and not only those of their own (Philippians 2:4).
3. Paul continues to exhort them to have "this mind" of humility, pointing to Jesus as the supreme example (Philippians 2:5).
4. In the following verses (Philippians 2:6-11), Paul elaborates on the "mind of Christ" (or the attitude of Christ), which will serve as the focus of this particular study.
[First, note that "The Mind Of Christ"...]
I. Lacked Selfish Ambition Or Conceit (Philippians 2:6)
A. Prior to His incarnation.
1. Jesus was "in the form of God" (2:6a).
a. That is, "He existed as essentially one with God" (Vincent’s Word Studies).
b. This is in accord with what John says (John 1:1-3).
2. He was also "equal with God" (2:6b).
a. John affirms this in his gospel (John 1:1).
b. He certainly shared similar glory with the Father (John 17:5), something the Father refused to share with any created being (cf. Isaiah 42:8).
B. Yet Christ did not consider such equality "robbery" (2:6).
1. Literally, "a thing to be grasped;" that is, something to be laid hold of, and retained jealously.
2. The "glory" of eternal equality with God was not something to which He clung.
3. A true demonstration of a lack of selfish ambition and conceit on the part of our Lord!
C. Do we have "the mind of Christ"?
1. Do we consider our "standing" before others (whatever that may be) something to be held on to?
2. Do we consider ourselves more important than others, and consider that distinction something to be preserved at all costs?
3. If so, then we lack "the mind of Christ"!
[As we continue to read on in our text, we see also that "The Mind Of Christ"...]
II. Looked Out For The Interests Of Others (Philippians 2:7-8)
A. When Christ became flesh:
1. He "made Himself of no reputation."
a. Some versions say "emptied Himself."
b. He divested Himself of the "glory" He had with the Father (cf. John 17:5).
2. He took upon Himself "the form of a servant."
a. He did not come as a "king", "nobleman", etc.
b. But as the lowly son of a simple carpenter.
3. He came "in the likeness of men."
a. As such, He could experience their temptations and sufferings (Hebrews 2:14, 17-18; 4:15; 5:7).
b. In other words, though deity, He was truly "man" (not some sort of "superman").
4. He "humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."