Summary: Working through the book of Philippians using consecutive expository preaching. Philippians 2:5-11
Sermon: “The Mind of Christ”
Pastor John Bright
Philippians 2 “5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
What’s on your mind?
O never mind!
I really don’t mind.
Hey, mind your own business.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Well, make up your mind.
That just blows my mind!
Maybe I’ll give him a piece of my mind!
You must be out of your mind!
There are so many ways we use that one word – “mind.”
So how do we begin to understand “the mind of Christ”? Well, let’s connect back to the end of Chapter 1 – v. 27 begins with “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ,…” Paul is not just getting them to think like Christ or feel like Christ. Jesus is the example for the Believers in Philippi and Believers today – right here and right now. These verses speak to us about selflessness, humility and obedience. If you are watching this online – some of you will want to stop right here because those words are practically toxic to the modern-day Believer. For the last couple of weeks, I have been teaching on persecution from outside the Church and disunity inside the Church. Today, we look the conduct of each believer by looking at the Mind of Christ which we see revealed through His conduct.
There is a long quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. Part of that quote goes like this:
“Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,”
To have the Mind of Christ is to get ahold of your thoughts that lead to your words, your actions and your habits. Why? Because there is a reason we treat selflessness, humility and obedience like they are toxic – we all can be self-centered and selfish. We can all be prideful. We can all be disobedient.
So where do we start?
Look at Jesus being Selfless
“6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
We are hard-wired to be selfish. I’ve told you before – we stand in the line of Orthodox Christianity and we still have a belief in original sin. My practical proof is always the same – did anyone ever have to teach a child to be bad? NO! We teach them to be good. We teach them to share because they already know how to be selfish.
Old story that you may have heard before: A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, and Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake; I can wait.” Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus!” 😊
(Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.)
If we look to Jesus – the Son was equal with the Father. So then, the Son had to be selfless in order to be less than God. We are not equal to God and we are not gods ourselves – despite what the false religions of this day may say. Scripture is clear:
4 What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
5 For You have made him a little lower than God (Elohim),
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Humanity is so far below the Awesome Holy God, that Paul would describe Jesus as becoming a bondservant or slave. In Paul’s day, the institution of slavery was alive and well. In the Roman Empire, the slave had no rights and was usually exploited. So, what did Jesus do in this position? Listen to His own words from Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”