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The mind of Christ
by Don Costello
5/30/2008 / Bible Studies
Philippians 2:5, 6
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:
1. Amplified Bible: Who, although being essentially one with God and in the from of God possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God, did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained."
a. Verse 6 is referring to the Second Person of the Godhead, (Jesus, the LORD, the Word(, before the incarnation; when he was "in the from of God". Before he "took upon him the from of a servant."
2. robbery (725 * harpagmos) a thing held as a prize. Gifford: "Who though he was subsisting in the essential from of God, yet did not regard His being on an equality of glory and majesty with God as a prize and a treasure to be held fast,"
a. Dake's Annotated Bible,Finis Jennings Dake. "Who subsisting in the from of God (by which He from eternity had appeared to the inhabitants of heaven), yet not thinking that this equality with God should be clung to or retained,"
b. The actions of the Godhead were motivated by their unquenchable love for man and mans totally helpless condition.
3. Verses 5 and 6 are not saying that we as Christians should hold in our thinking that we are equal with God. The message of the passage through verse 8 is to humble ourselves to be obedient. If Jesus did it, and his was really a step down, we can do it who have never been anywhere but down. If any of us had ever been"in the from of God", before we were men and women, we could apply this part of the text. But we haven't so we can't.
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
1. "But made himself of no reputation,"
a. Amplified Bible: "But stripped Himself of all privileges and rightful dignity"
b. madeof no reputation (2758 * keno) to empty, make empty. (Romans 4:14, "make void"; 1 Corinthians 1:17, "make of none effect"; 1 Corinthians 9:15, "make void"; 2 Corinthians 9:3, "be in vain".)
c. When Jesus became a man He made Himself of none effect as far as the characteristics of Deity are concerned.
2. Of what did Jesus empty himself?
a. Jesus emptied himself of the glory of the Godhead that he had before his incarnation, before the world was created.
1). John 17:5 "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."
b. Jesus emptied himself of his Omnipotence while on earth. When he ministered on earth he ministered as a man anointed and led by the Holy Ghost. All of the manifestations of the miraculous can be explained as manifestations of the gifts and operations of the Holy Ghost. Jesus did not do one miracle until after he was filled with the Holy Ghost.
1). Acts 10:38 "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."
2). Luke 4:16-21 "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears."
3). Matthew 12:22-28 "Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the Son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth cast out devils, but by Beelsebum the prince of devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you."
c. Jesus emptied Himself of his Omniscience. As a man he increased in wisdom.
1). Luke 2:52 "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."
2). Hebrews 5:7 "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered."
3). Isaiah 7:14-16 "Therefore the LORD himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorest shall be forsaken of both her kings."
4. Jesus was so full of wisdom that even at the age of twelve he astonished the doctors of the law in his day: "And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, bot hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers." Luke 2:46, 47.
5. In light of the above Psalm 119:97-100 is surely Messianic: "O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts."
d. Jesus emptied himself of His Omnipresence. In his earthly life he could only be at one place at a time.
3. "and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:"
a. Some of the reasons for Jesus becoming a man are listed in Hebrews 2:14-18: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."
b. This is also echoed in Hebrews 4:15.
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
a. humbled (5013 * tapeinoo) signifies to make low. Bullinger: to depress, lower, to humble, to bring low.
1. Crucifixion was a very shameful death. The person condemned was considered cursed of God. "And if a man have committed a sin worthy death, and he be put to death, and thou shalt hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance."
2. This is exactly what Isaiah 53:4 says, "yet we did esteem him smitten of God and afflicted."
a. And in one sense he was. Isaiah 53:10 "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him."
b. Acts 2:25 "Him, [Jesus] being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:"
3. Jesus agonized in the garden, Luke 22:44 "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
a. Why did this happen? I am fully persuaded that Jesus was agonizing over the fact that he was going to die spiritually, be separated from his Father when he would be made sin.
4. Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
a. The joy that was set before him was the knowledge that through his obedience to be the sacrifice, the whole world would be redeemed.
b. When the LORD saves people he rejoices over them with joy: Zephaniah 3:17 "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." [The last part of that verse literally means, "he will leap for joy over thee and shout for joy."
c. Jesus will present us to himself with exceeding joy, Jude 24.
d. Cp. Luke 15:4-10.
e. Jesus endured the cross because of his great love for man and because the Father gave him a glimpse of the result of his obedience. Millions, perhaps billions of souls saved because of his obedience.
5. One reason the Holy Spirit included this along with these other thoughts was because it was part of the joy set before him. Jesus knew before the cross he was going to be exalted after his resurrection. During the week prior to the crucifixion, Jesus was ministering in the Temple. When some of the religious leaders tried to make him look bad in front of the people and failed, Jesus gave them a taste of their own medicine. He asked them to explain Psalm 100:1. This exchange reveals that Jesus knew he was to be exalted after his death.
a. Matthew 22:41-45 "While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?"
b. When Jesus was before the Sanhedrin before they took him to Pilate, Jesus not only declared he was the Messiah, but he also said Psalm 110:1 was a prophecy of his exaltation.
1). Matthew 26:63, 64 "But Jesus held his peace, and the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said:nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
1. "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,"
a. Wherefore is a conjunction and joins what was said in the last sentence with what is said here.
b. Because God/Jesus humbled himself, became man and went to the cross, God also highly exalted him. [There are two acts mentioned here. God humbled himself, God exalted him, hence, the use of also].
2. "and given him a name which is above every name:"
a. Because of his exaltation, the name of Jesus is above every name. "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in the world to come:"
b. Inheritance according to Webster's means "the action of inheriting, something inherited". When you get something by inheritance, you receive it from both or one of your parents. As the Scriptures clearly show, God was the one who named Jesus. Joseph and Mary merely followed instructions.
1). Luke 1:30-33. "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
2). Matthew 1:20, 21 "But while he [Joseph] thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."
c. The name of Jesus has been given to the Church to be used not only in prayer, but to use as a weapon praying with authority over the devil.
1). John 14:13, 14 "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."
2). Mark 16:15-18 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
3. One of the main points of this passage the Apostle Paul is attempting to get across to us is the link between humility and exaltation, so to see this more clearly I want to combine verses 8 and 9 and then look at some other related verses. "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:"
a. Humility is an attitude that Jesus ministered and lived out all through his life on earth. Matthew 23:12 "And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that humble himself shall be exalted."
b. Luke 14:7-11 "And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever sxalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
c. Cp. Matthew 20:20-28.
4. Examples in the Epistles.
a. James 4:6-10 "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."
1). resist (498 * antitassomai; anti-against; tasso-to arrange) To set oneself against.
2). Wow! God will set himself against us if we are prideful.
b. 1 Peter 5:5, 6 "Likewise, ye younger, submit tourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"
Philippians 2:10, 11
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.
a. Amplified Bible: "That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, And every tongue (frankly and openly) confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1. This Scripture is from Isaiah 45:23, "I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."
a. It is interesting to note this Scripture is spoken first person.
2. Isaiah 45:23 is also quoted in Romans 14:11.
a. The Scripture in Romans 14 is a reference to the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is saying that the legal basis for the whole world being accountable to Jesus Christ for their actions is his death and resurrection.
b. Romans 14:7-12 "For none of us liveth unto himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then everyone of us shall give account of himself to God."
3. The above Scripture is speaking of the judgment of Christians, but Jesus is also the Judge of the whole world.
a. John 5:22, 23, 26-29 "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him."
John 5:26-29 "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
b. Acts 17:31 "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."
c. Cp. Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:1, 8.
My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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