Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:…
1. That character as depicted by the evangelists is the perfection of beauty, and the more we contemplate it the stronger must be our convictions of the divinity of His religion.
(1) The evangelists were incapable of inventing it. Their history, character, training, prevented that; and, moreover, they present it artlessly, not as advocates, but as witnesses.
(2) Believing, then, as we must, Christ as thus described by friends and foes alike, perfect and without sin, the religion He taught must be Divine. No bad man would originate a good cause, and no good man a bad one.
2. Christ's character is exhibited not for advocacy or admiration, but for imitation, and the best evidence of our interest in Him is our likeness to Him. Without this our religion is vain. The mind that was in Him, and is to be in us, was one of —
I. EMINENT HUMILITY. Man fell by pride, and must be raised by humility.
1. Upon this Christ insisted. His first beatitude was on the poor in spirit. The condition of discipleship is to learn of Him who was "meek and lowly in heart."
2. Christ combined the highest displays of dignity with unaffected lowliness.
3. This humility was uniformly displayed in self-denial, forbearance, forgiveness, gentleness, patience, submission.
II. SUBLIME BENEVOLENCE. This was exhibited —
1. In the intense solicitude with which He regarded the interests of others; and if we would be conformed to the mind of Christ we must extirpate selfishness and live for the welfare of men.
2. In the work He undertook and the sacrifice He made. Some people manifest only feeling, but real charity like Christ's is always practical.
3. In the spirit and temper which marked all His procedure. It did not confine itself to occasional great efforts.
III. SUPREME DEVOTION. If we want to know what the law of God requires we see it is Christ whose meat was to do God's will and to finish His work. This principle —
1. Had all the constancy of influence on His mind in every transaction. It did not appear in peculiar forms or on special occasions.
2. It was manifested in the spirit of prayer.
3. It was marked by uniformity, and not by fits and starts.Conclusion: Various considerations to enforce the imitation of this bright example.
1. It was the great design of the Saviour to secure this conformity to the virtues of His life, even by His mediation.
2. It was His command to do as He had done.
3. There is not a doctrine or principle of our religion that does not lead to this and present a motive.
4. All the tendencies and affections of every renewed mind are in harmony with this important claim.
5. Heaven will be the perfection of this conformity.
(Joseph Fletcher, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: