Posted by: missionventureministries | April 12, 2018

HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST – Philippians 2:5

“Let this mind or attitude be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) 

Jesus Christ’s example of humility helps us to see the apex of virtue from which the apostles drew illustrations and admonitions for us. Jesus gave up inexpressible glory to take upon Himself the humble form of humanity and perform the lowliest of services for us. He consented to be without distinction or honor and was willing to be despised and rejected by mankind. When He laid aside his former rank and dignity, He became a lowly servant, yet now He is exalted above everything and everyone. He set this example for us that we might overcome self-exaltation and develop true humility. 

His humility was the highest example that could be provided for us. Jesus left heaven and all His majesty, and took upon Himself the most inferior form of humanity, so that He might benefit us with a renewed relationship with the Father. 

We need to understand that although salvation is free, it is not cheap since it required the Creator Himself to become man and submit to an agonizing death on the cross. And, by the same token, although our salvation is not conditioned on any meritorious acts of our own, the standard by which we must measure our lives is nothing less than the perfect life of Jesus Christ. In the first place, our words and deeds are to be compared to His: “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). Our standard of holiness is to be the same as His life of holiness as Peter stated: “But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior” (1 Peter 1:15). 

If we truly follow His steps, they may well lead to suffering and persecution, but “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6), and this involves a willingness to be “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). 

One of the things that we need to keep in mind is that God the Father did not withhold suffering from His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ. He shared suffering with us despite His high status as God in the flesh and lived a totally sinless life. He did this to be our Savior. He did it in order to be our example. 

Jesus maintained a perfect attitude in every situation. He prayed about everything and worried about nothing. We, too, should seek God’s guidance about every aspect of our lives and allow Him to work out His perfect will. Jesus’ attitude was never to become defensive or discouraged. His goal was to please the Father rather than to achieve His own agenda (John 6:38). In the midst of trials, He was patient. In the midst of suffering, He was hopeful. In the midst of blessing, He was humble. Even in the midst of ridicule, abuse, and hostility, He “made no threats . . . and did not retaliate. Instead He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). 

When Paul writes that our “mind or attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus,” he had summarized in the previous two verses what such an attitude was: selflessness, humility, and service. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). 

In other words, the attitude a Christian should reflect is one that focuses on the needs and interests of others. Without question, that does not come naturally to us. When Christ came into the world, He established a whole new attitude to relationships with others. One day when His disciples were arguing among themselves regarding who was to be greatest in His kingdom, Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28). 

Jesus is teaching us that, when we become preoccupied with our own things, it can cause conflicts and other problems with people we know. Instead, God wants us to have an attitude of serious, caring involvement in the concerns of others, meaning “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” 

Paul speaks more about this Christ like attitude in his letter to the church in Ephesus: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Many religions of today, including the New Age philosophies, promote the old lie that we are divine or that we can become gods. But the truth of the matter is that we will never become God, or even a god. Satan’s oldest lie was promising Adam and Eve that, if they followed his advice, “you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). 

Each time we try to control our circumstances, our future, and the people around us, we’re only demonstrating that we want to be a god. But we must understand that, as creatures, that is an impossibility. God doesn’t want us to try to become gods; instead, He wants us to become like Him, taking on His values, His attitudes, and His character. We are created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24). 

Finally, we must always keep in mind that God’s ultimate goal for His children is the transformation of our minds into the attitude of godliness. He wants us to grow spiritually, to become like Christ. This doesn’t mean losing our personalities but transforming our minds to be Christ like. Again, Paul tells us, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). 

It is God’s will that we develop the kind of mindset described in the Beatitudes of Jesus (Matthew 5:1-12), that we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), that we emulate the principles in Paul’s great chapter on love (1 Corinthians 13), and that we strive to pattern our lives according to the characteristics that Peter describes in (2 Peter 1:5-8). 

So being, “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

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