“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. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
The amazing story of how the eternal Son of God stepped out of eternity into time, and became a man as God intended man to be.
Paul speaks of two things when talking to the church, he called “the mind of Christ” in two major parts, referred to as Jesus “humiliation” (vv. 6-8) and “exaltation” (vv. 9-11).
Having the mind of Christ, it brings humility, peace, and unity.
The secret to this unity set forth in verse 5 is a certain set of mind. I think “disposition” would be a better word to use here. “Have this disposition among yourselves which you have in Christ Jesus.”
- the predominant or prevailing tendency of one’s spirits; natural mental and emotional outlook or mood; characteristic attitude: a girl with a pleasant disposition.
- state of mind regarding something; inclination: a disposition to gamble.
- physical inclination or tendency: the disposition of ice to melt when heated.
- arrangement or placing, as of troops or buildings.
- final settlement of a matter.
- bestowal, as by gift or sale.
- power to make decisions about or dispose of a thing; control: funds at one’s disposition.
- regulation; management; dispensation: the disposition of God.
Have this set of mind, or as the King James Version says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. He doesn’t say proudly imitate Christ. No, it isn’t imitating Christ, following His example, or trying to be like Him. The word of the apostle is “Let His mind be in you.” We will look at that more closely, but before we can lay hold of this we must see what the mind of Christ is.
Three steps that are evident in the preaching and actions of the Lord Jesus.
The first one is he gave up the right to his rights. He did not give up his rights-he couldn’t do that-but he gave up the right to enjoy those rights. And what rights they were! Paul says that he was existing in the form of God, and was equal with God. That doesn’t mean equal with God the Father, but that he was equal with all the members of the Trinity in the expression of the nature and essence of God, and was existing in the exact form of God.
He did not come to manifest what God was like. He came to show us what man ought to be. He did not give up his rights as God. He gave up his right to enjoy the rights of God.
It began in his mind with this thought, Paul says, that the enjoyment of these things is not the most important thing to me. In other words, he did not insist on his rights, but laid aside the right to have his rights, and emptied himself. This is where humility begins-the readiness to lay aside the right to enjoy our rights. The thought was followed by his action. The scripture uses this very expressive term, “he emptied himself.” He poured himself out, like taking a bucket and pouring out its contents so there is nothing left inside. He poured out every right he had to enjoy life as God.
Following the step of renunciation, there comes humiliation. He not only gave up the right to enjoy his rights, he also assumed all the indignity, the injury, and hurt, all the rejection of an unbelieving world himself, without complaint. That’s the key-without complaint. He was obedient unto death, we are told. He is the only man who ever lived who didn’t have to die.
The third step inevitably follows the first two: exaltation.
“Therefore, God”(you see, Jesus does the first two; God does the third) has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Our Lord Jesus was given that name which is above every other name that has ever been given in heaven and on earth. What is that name? Every Jew reading this would know immediately what Paul meant, because in the Jewish scriptures there was a name that was never pronounced. They called him the Ineffable Tetragrammaton. Ineffable means unspeakable, unpronounceable. Tetragrammaton means four letters, YHWH. It was the name above all others, and they substituted another name when they came to it in the scriptures. It is the name we call “Jehovah”. It is translated “Lord” in our English versions of the New Testament. That is exactly what Paul says of him: “and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
Now what does Lord means? Lord means he has the right to everything he surveys. In Scotland he is called, the Laird. The Laird of the castle has the right to ownership and authority, who holds the key to everything-the one who has mastered all the forces he controls and is perfectly at ease in every situation he encounters. Paul says Christ is the one who has won that position because he unhesitatingly and unreservedly committed himself to all that was involved in the mind of Christ, that attitude of his own heart that led him first to mortality, then to ignominy, and finally to unequalled glory.
The result is peace! You see how this picture is drawn for us? Here is the end of the story: every knee to bow, every tongue confessing, every voice unitedly ascribing praise to him above all the created universe.
But what I am trying to get at here is , do you subscribe to this in terms of your relationship with others? Does your understanding of this process translate into the experience of it!
Are we operating in the realm of where God intended us to be. My shirt says it best, in power, humility an deliverance, so that God will be exalted an you be exalted according to God’s good will an pleasure.