Philippians 2:5
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus:
Sermons
Exhortation to Unity: (4) its Highest Motive and Most Powerful AgentV. Hutton Philippians 2:5
How to Keep Passion WeekCharles KingsleyPhilippians 2:5
The Descent of the WordAlexander MaclarenPhilippians 2:5
The Mind Which was in Christ Jesus. Rev. George WoodKnowles KingPhilippians 2:5
Exhortation to Unanimity and HumilityR. Finlayson Philippians 2:1-11
A Communion DiscourseJ. G. Butler, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian ConcordR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian Union -- StrengthJ. Hutchinson, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian Union How ObtainedE. Meade, M. A.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian UnityE. Meade, M. A.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian UnityJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
Consolation in ChristC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 2:1-13
Consolation in ChristS. Lavington.Philippians 2:1-13
How Unity is ObtainedDr. Hamilton.Philippians 2:1-13
Love Promotes UnityLife of Brainerd.Philippians 2:1-13
Mutual HarmonyW. M. Statham.Philippians 2:1-13
Paul's AppealJ. Parker, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
Shoulder to ShoulderT. T. Shore.Philippians 2:1-13
The Apostle's AppealH. Airay, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
The Christian Doctrine of SelfW. B. Pope, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
The Emotional in ChristianityJ. B. Thomas, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
The Excellence of Christian UnityE. Meade, M. A.Philippians 2:1-13
The Tender Sympathy of ChristTalmage.Philippians 2:1-13
Jesus Christ the Supreme Example of Humble-MindednessT. Croskery Philippians 2:5-8
The Self-Sacrifice of ChristR.M. Edgar Philippians 2:5-8
An Appeal for the Cultivation of a Right SpiritJ. Parker, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
Christ is Our PatternPhilippians 2:5-11
How to Obtain the Mind of ChristC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 2:5-11
Lessons Taught by the Humiliation and Exaltation of ChrisT. Lessey, M. A.Philippians 2:5-11
Paul's Method of ExhortationC. S. Robinson, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
The Christian TemperG. Burder.Philippians 2:5-11
The Great ExampleR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 2:5-11
The Humiliation and Glory of ChristA. Raleigh, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
The Imitableness of Christ's CharacterJoseph Fletcher, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
The Lesson of HumilityE. B. Pusey, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
The Mind in ChristE. P. Ingersoll.Philippians 2:5-11
The Mind in Christcf. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
The Mind of ChristJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
The Mind that was in Christ JesusC. Girdlestone, M. A., H. B. Rawnsley., J. W. Reeve, M. A.Philippians 2:5-11
The Mind that was in Christ JesusW.F. Adeney Philippians 2:5-11
The Moral History of the Christly SpiritD. Thomas Philippians 2:5-11
The Obedience of ChristC. Bradley, M. A.Philippians 2:5-11
The Problem of the AgePres. D. S. Gregory.Philippians 2:5-11
The Supreme Example of Self-RenunciationW. B. Pope, D. D.Philippians 2:5-11
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Jesus Christ. The exhortation to mutual concord is strengthened by a reference to the example of Christ's humiliation on earth.

I. CONSIDER HIS ESSENTIAL PRE-EXISTING GLORY. "Who, subsisting in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God."

1. This language evidently describes Christ before his incarnation, in his Divine glory; for the pregnant expression, "existing in the form of God," can be understood only of Divine existence with the manifestation of Divine glory. It is similar to the expression, "Who, being the Brightness of his glory, and the express Image of his person" (Hebrews 1:3). As to be in the form of a servant implies that he was a servant, so to be in the form of God implies that he was God. The emphatic thought is that he was in the form of God before he was in the form of a servant.

2. This language exhibits likewise his own consciousness of the relations which subsisted between him and his Father. "Who counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God." The expression, "being in the form of God," is the objective exposition of his Divine dignity; the second expression is the subjective delineation of the same thing. It asserts his conscious equality with God.

II. CONSIDER HIS HUMILIATION. "But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross." There is a double humiliation here involved, first objectively, then subjectively, described.

1. The first is involved in his becoming man.

(1) "He emptied himself." Of what? He did not cease to be what he was, but he emptied himself in becoming another; He became man while he was God; a servant while he was Lord of all.

(2) "He took upon him the form of a servant." This marks his spontaneous self-abasement. "O Israel, then hast made me to serve with thy sins." It is more than an assertion that he assumed human nature, for it is that nature in a low condition. What condescension! "He who is Master of all becomes the slave of all!"

(3) "Being made in the likeness of men." He was really the "Word become flesh" (John 1:14), made "in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 8:3), that he might be qualified for his sin-bearing and curse-bearing career. The language of the text explodes all Docetic notions of a mere phantom-body.

(4) "Being found in fashion as a man." As the apostle formerly contrasted what he was from the beginning with what he became at his incarnation, so here he contrasts what he is in himself with his external appearance before men. In discourse, in conduct, in action, in suffering, he was found in fashion as a man.

2. The second humiliation is involved in his obedience to death. "He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." This marks his subjective disposition in the sphere in which he placed himself as a servant, with all the obligations of his position (Matthew 20:28). There was the form of a servant and the obedience of a servant.

(1) His abasement took the form of obedience.

(a) It was not an obedience necessitated by obligations natural to himself, but was undertaken solely for others in virtue of the covenant in which he acted as God's Servant (Isaiah 42:1).

(b) It was a voluntary obedience. The idea of inevitable suffering, in a world altogether out of joint, is out of the question, for no one could take his life from him, nor inflict suffering of any sort without his will (John 10:18). His vicarious obedience was perfectly free.

(2) His abasement involved death. "He became obedient unto death." It was an obedience from his birth to his death, for it was unto death. His obedience was in his death as well as in his life, and he was equally vicarious in both.

(3) His abasement involved a shameful death, "even the death of the cross." It was a death reserved for malefactors and slaves. There was pain and shame and curse. Yet "he endured the cross, despising the shame" (Hebrews 12:2). Mark, then, at once, the transcendent love and the transcendent humility of Jesus Christ! What an example to set before the Christians of Philippi! "Let the same mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." - T.C.







Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
t: — The apostle was exhorting the Philippians to imitate the humility and disinterestedness of the Saviour. But there could have been no force in the example if Jesus Christ had not been God.

I. A BRIEF ILLUSTRATION OF THIS IMPRESSIVE DESCRIPTION OF THE REDEEMER.

1. Jesus Christ is here presented as subsisting originally in the splendour of Deity. "Form of God" must not be explained to mean any temporary manifestation such as the Theophanies of the Old Testament. Fire, e.g., is the symbol of Deity, as was the Shechinah, but not the form. That has an integral meaning.

2. He humbled Himself. Had He not done so God would never have been seen by His creatures. Notice the gradation.

(1)Subordination. "He took the form of a servant."

(2)Human subordination.

(3)Obedient subordination.

(4)Self-sacrificing subordination.

3. Elevation.

(1)A name above every name.

(2)A dignity recognized by all.

II. THE ALL IMPORTANT LESSONS.

1. Disinterestedness. "Look not every one on His own things," etc. This is just what Christ did, and that, not because there was any worthiness in man, but out of love.

2. Self-sacrifice. There is no religion without an imitation of Christ's self abandonment.

3. Perseverance. If anything could have stopped Christ in his work He would have been stopped.Conclusion: Let, then, this mind be in you. I argue with you on the ground —

1. Of your Christianity. O Christian, from whence did you derive your name.

2. Of gratitude. What do you owe to Christ?

3. Of the intercession of Christ.

4. Of the great worth of the soul.

5. Of the glories of the kingdom of Christ.

(T. Lessey, M. A.)

I. LET US TRACE THE HUMILIATION AND GLORY OF CHRIST.

1. The point of departure, where is it? On earth or in heaven? In humanity or in Deity? Those who contend from the simply human view of the nature of Christ say that He began to condescend somewhere in His earthly lifetime, as if that could be a mighty argument for humility. No, we must begin where Paul begins. "In the form of God" can only mean possessing the attributes of God (2 Corinthians 4:4; Hebrews 1:3; John 1:1).

2. Being thus Divine, He did not deem His equality with God a thing to grasp at and eagerly retain. He emptied Himself of His heavenly glory, and having humbled Himself as a common man He humbled himself yet more, becoming obedient to the death which only the lowest malefactors could die.

3. Of course there could be no essential change in this humiliation. Jesus could never be less than Divine. The Divine glory dwelt within the human nature as within a veil. It shone out at times and then all was dark again. The glory of His boyhood was seen in the temple; of His manhood on the Mount of Transfiguration; He gave but a look in the garden out of His divinity and the soldiers fell back.

4. At the lowest point of the humiliation the ascent begins in the worship of the penitent thief, in the words of the soldier, in the reverence shown to His body, in His resurrection and triumphant ascension.

5. The name is the character, influence; and to that all creation shall do homage, because in some way affected by it.

II. THE PRACTICAL PURPOSE.

1. The inculcation of humility. You see what Christ has done. Do likewise; be lowly, go down. Ah, the contrast between Christ and many who bear His name! He in greatness and glory coming down so far! We in our blindness and littleness, all struggling to rise.

2. If His life is the model of my own; if His cross repeats itself in the cross I bear for Him; then there comes to me a truer elevation. "God hath highly exalted Him," and that is a pledge that those who have been with Christ in His humiliation shall together sit on His throne.

3. Wherefore work out your own salvation — by self-denial, humility, and this with fear and trembling, because it is the only thing you need fear about.

(A. Raleigh, D. D.)

These words are the grandest and most profound, and at the same time the most copious and unrestrained which St. Paul ever used on this subject, his final and finished formula of the Incarnation. It is wonderful to observe with what tranquillity, ease, and unconsciousness of effort this amazing subject is introduced. All comes as a matter of course. He does not say "Behold, I show you a mystery." It flows as naturally from His pen as a simple motive for Christian duty, as if it were the commonplace of theological truth as familiar to them as to Himself. So, doubtless, it was.

I. THERE IS ONE PERSON HERE AND ONE ONLY. The name Jesus Christ is given to that Person, who, before the Incarnation, was "in the form of God," and afterwards, "in the form of a servant." He may be called by any name, "Son of God" or "Son of man," but that name always signifies His Person as possessed of two natures. Accordingly, that Person may be the subject of two classes of predicates. The Divine nature never has a human attribute, nor the human a Divine, but the Divine-human Person may be spoken of as having both. So here St. Paul is referring to a thought of the Eternal Son which implied that He was not yet man. The example is that of Christ Jesus in the flesh, but its strength and obligation are based upon the fact that it was the divinity in Christ that began the mediatorial humiliation.

II. THE PRE-EXISTENT NATURE AND FORM OF BEING is here strikingly described. Paul uses an expression which indicates the relation of the Second Person of the Trinity to the First, that of eternal subordination without implying inferiority. As the Father cannot be without the Son, as being cannot be without its image, so the Godhead in the Second Person had its form — the essential attributes and glories of Deity which He might lay aside without losing the divinity of His Eternal generation.

III. THE ACT OF INCARNATION IS ATTRIBUTED TO THAT PRE-EXISTENT PERSON. He resolved to empty Himself of all the glories, prerogatives, and manifestations of the Godhead and animate a human nature. This was His own act. There was a concurrence of the Holy Trinity. The Father by an eternal necessity begetting His Son, begets Him again in indissoluble union with our nature. The Holy Ghost is the Divine instrument of the Father's will in that office. But it was the Son's own act to conjoin with Himself this new man. Now, though our human nature is not an ignoble thing, yet His coming in the likeness of a nature that evil had defiled, was a condescension which might be termed a humiliation. His Divine repute was for a season suspended, and He was reputed among the transgressors.

IV. THE REALITY OF HIS ASSUMPTION OF HUMAN NATURE is set forth by three expressions.

1. "Form of a servant." The entire history of our Saviour's human existence was that of the mediatorial servant of God (Isaiah 42). As such He proclaimed Himself, and was proclaimed (Acts 3:26). The term is parallel with "form" of God, and signifies that in His human nature His manifestation was that of the servitude of redemption. Our human nature was the towel with which He girded Himself (John 13). He took our humanity only that He might serve in it.

2. "Likeness of men" limits itself to the mere assumption of our nature, and indicates that He became man otherwise than others become men;, that His human nature was perfect, but it was representative human nature, "likeness of men." So that the apostle's careful definition leaves room for all that range of difference between Him and us that theology is constrained in reverence to establish.

3. "Found in fashion as a man" completes the picture of the Incarnation by realizing it and giving it location among men. He was all by which a man could be observed, judged, estimated. He was "found" numbered as one of the descendents of Adam.

V. THE DESIGN OF THE WONDERFUL DESCENT (ver. 8). The emptying ends with the Incarnation; but the example of self-renunciation is further exhibited.

1. The death of the cross was imposed on Him as a great duty. Much is here omitted because of the special purpose in view. Paul says nothing about our Lord's birth under the Mosaic, nor His obligations as under the moral law, nor the endless indignities that He accepted. He singles out the one tremendous imposition that He should die for sin. Death was the goal of a great obedience. All other duties tended to this, and found in this their consummation.

2. This great obedience was voluntarily assumed in humility. It was not merely death, but a humiliating and cursed death. But to this He submitted, passive before men because inwardly passive before God.

VI. THIS SPONTANEOUS, PERFECT SELF-SACRIFICE IS AN EXAMPLE, the ruling and regulative principle, indeed, of all Christian devotion and service. That man's salvation required this is taken for granted, but is not dwelt upon. As an example, however, it may be viewed under two aspects.

1. As the perfect exhibition of self-renunciation.(1) It is obvious that Paul lays great stress on the pre-incarnate condescension. He whose Deity was that of the Son's eternal exhibition of the form of His Father, did not reckon the display of His Divine glory, of the perfections "equal with God," a thing to hold fast; but let them go for man's salvation, and lived among the conditions of human nature. This was His self-sacrifice. We dare not attempt to define here: there is a danger in two directions. We may so dwell upon the unchangeableness of the Divine nature as to reduce all the condescension to his incarnate estate; or we may so exaggerate the Divine self-sacrifice as to attribute an impossible abnegation of His Divine attributes. Enough that the New Testament does not reveal to us a Trinity inaccessible to those sentiments which we regard as the highest attributes of human virtue. The pattern of our loftiest human excellence is in God Himself.(2) But we now descend to the exhibition of self-sacrifice in the mediatorial Man of sorrows. Concerning this the words teach us to mark its absolute perfection in every respect as an exhibition of self-sacrifice, and its absolute perfection also as a pattern to us. When he has brought the Redeemer down from His transcendent height, he exhibits Him with reverent joy and tenderness as the supreme pattern of sacrificing love. But he only refers to the mind that was in Christ, and that mind was the surrender of all and the endurance of all for the good of man. There is no detail of the Saviour's sufferings.

2. The reality of the example to us. Elsewhere it is said that Christ in His meek endurance and self-sacrificing devotion left us an example. Paul shows that all who are Christ's undergo in their degree His lot and share His destiny. "If any man will serve Me," etc. Those who shall reign with Christ must first suffer with Him. The spirit of union with Christ imparts this first principle of the Saviour's consecration; it must become the ruling principle in us also.

(W. B. Pope, D. D.)

The apostle enforces the previous counsels to the cultivation of self-denying love by the argument strongest of all to the Christian heart, the example of the Lord Jesus.

I. GOD CONDESCENDED TO BECOME MAN.

1. Christ did not change His nature, an impossibility, but His "form," and in the surrender of this Divine dignity for us points to the duty of our surrender of ease, rank, repute, and even life, for the good of others.

2. The work of love seemed a greater thing than His retention of what was originally His own, and not an object of mere ambition.

3. So He emptied Himself of this "form," the glory in which He was revealed to the angels, and to Moses, and Isaiah.(1) By assuming the form of a servant, its opposite. The King became a subject.(2) How He took that form is explained — "being made in the likeness of men," not of a man; He was the representative of the race. Here, then, we have the mystery of mysteries. Our Redeemer is God, or our hope in Him were baseless, but His Deity was veiled in flesh.

II. AS A MAN HE WENT DOWN INTO THE DEPTHS OF HUMILIATION.

1. His obedience exhibits —(1) The reality of His manhood. Subjection is conceivable only in a created nature.(2) His exemplariness; as a servant of God, he is a member of the class to which all Christians belong.

2. His obedience led Him to the death of the cross, a death —

(1)The most cruel.

(2)The most disgraceful.

3. All this was voluntary.

III. IN REWARD FOR HIS OBEDIENCE HE WAS CROWNED WITH GLORY AND HONOUR.

1. This was done by the Father who in the economy of Redemption represents the majesty of the God head.

2. This was done for the purpose of securing for Christ universal supremacy and homage.

3. The end of all was the glory of God the Father in conformity with the Son's prayer — "Glorify Thy Son that Thy Son also may glorify Thee." Conclusion: The fitness of the wonderful paragraph as an argument to enforce the exhortation. All this was out of love for you. Imitate this love in its devotion, self-forgetfulness, humility.

(R. Johnstone, LL. B.)

This comprehensive passage can be used for theological purposes only by accommodation. It is a practical exhortation rather than a theological disquisition. Paul is not arguing a doctrinal point, or rebutting an heresy. There is no evidence that the Philippians were unsound. It is simply the groundwork for a powerful appeal for the cultivation of a right spirit. Paul's argument, based on the Messianic history, may be thrown into this shape. You Philippians have been a great joy to me, but my joy is not quite full. Your unanimity is not perfect. "Let this mind be in you," etc. That mind was condescending, unselfish, most loving. Some of you imagine yourselves too elevated to mingle with others. But Christ, who was infinitely elevated, stooped to servitude and death. Let His mind, then, be in you, and nothing shall be done through strife and vain-glory. The highest should prove his highness by serving the lowly.

I. EVERY FEATURE IN CHRISTIAN CHARACTER MAY BE CARRIED BACK TO AND EXAMINED IN THE LIGHT OF THE WHOLE HISTORY OF CHRIST. The Christian is always representing or misrepresenting Christ.

II. THESE DELINEATIONS OF CHRIST REVEAL THE TRUE METHOD OF RENDERING SERVICE TO MAN. Human deliverance and progress will remain a theory only until men come to work on the method here stated. Great philanthropic programmes must begin at Bethlehem, and comprehend the mysteries of Calvary if they would ascend from Bethany to the heavens. To serve man Christ became man. So in serving others we must identify ourselves with them. This identification with the race made Christ accessible to all classes. We too must go down.

III. CHRIST'S PIETY WAS NOT A MERE INDEX FINGER. Instead of saying, "That is the way," He said, "I am the way." Men fail when they say "that" instead of "I," when they give a pronoun instead of the living substantive of their own sanctified character. Instead of seeing how the world's misery looks after it has flown from a secretarial pen, and taken form upon the clean foolscap of a great society we should lay our own white hand on the gashed and quaking heart of humanity.

IV. CONDESCENSION IS NOT DEGRADATION.

1. Was Christ degraded? Go into the territories of wretchedness and guilt upon any other business than that of Christ and you will be degraded. Benevolence will come forth unpolluted as a sunbeam.

2. More: How do you teach a child to read? By beginning at the rudimentary line, and accompanying Him patiently through all introductory processes. So Christ does in the moral education of the race.

V. ARE WE TO COME DOWN TO MEN OR ARE MEN TO BE BROUGHT UP TO US? Both. We have here also a revelation of the glory which is in reserve for those who adopt Christ's method. Christ had that glory of right: His followers bare it of grace. Christ promises exaltation to all who overcome. Conclusion:

1. God overrules the most improbable means to the accomplishment of the greatest ends.

2. The true worker is never finally overlooked. "Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great." Why? "Because He hath poured out His soul unto death." In apparent weakness may be the sublimest mystery of power. A man may be conquering when in a very passion of suffering.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

I. ITS FEATURES. Humble — obedient — loving — self-sacrificing.

II. ITS REWARD. Exaltation — honour — glory.

III. ITS OBLIGATION. We are redeemed by Him — must be conformed to Him.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

It is said that, thinking to amuse him, his wife read to Dr. Judson some newspaper notices, in which he was compared to one or other of the apostles. He was exceedingly distressed: and then he added, "Nor do I want to be like them; I do not want to be like Paul, nor Apollos, nor Cephas, nor any mere man. I want to be like Christ. We have only one perfectly safe Exemplar, — only One, who, tempted like as we are in every point, is still without sin. I want to follow Him only, copy His teachings, drink in His Spirit, place my feet in His footprints, and measure their shortcomings by these, and these only. Oh, to be more like Christ!"

As certain silk worms have their silk coloured by the leaves on which they feed, so, if we were to feed on Christ, and nothing else but Christ, we should become pule, holy, lowly, meek, gentle, humble; in a word, we should be perfect even as He is. What wonderful meat this must be! O my brethren, if you have ever tried the flesh and blood of Jesus as your soul's diet, you will know that I am not speaking vain words! There is no such sustenance for faith, love, patience, joy, as living daily upon Jesus, our Saviour. You who have never tasted of this heavenly bread, had better listen to the word, "O taste and see that the Lord is good!"

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The heathen had semblances or images of well-nigh every virtue. He had many excellences, here and there, which put Christians to shame. Wretchedly corrupt as life was upon the whole, still not individuals only, but even nations, had great single virtues. The heathen had self-devotion, contentment, contempt of the world, and of the flesh; he had fortitude, endurance, self-denial, abstemiousness, temperance, chastity, even a sort of reverence for God whom he knew not; but he had not humility. The first sin, the wish to be as God, pride, spoiled them all. Man, in his natural state, claims, as his own, what is God's; and so he displeases God, whom he robs of His honour. And so the first beginning of Christian virtues is to lay aside pride. It is to own that we have nothing, that so we may receive all and hold all of God; and when, as being in Christ and partaking of His riches, we begin to have, still to own that, of our own, we have nothing. But not only in general or towards God have we need to be humble. It enters in detail into every Christian grace, so that well-nigh the whole substance of the Christian discipline is humility. Every mountain of human pride must be brought low, to prepare the Lord's way; and so shall the lowly valley be exalted. Without humility, there can be no resignation, since humility alone knows its sufferings and sorrows to be less than it deserves; no contentment, for humility alone knows that it has more blessings than it deserves; no peace, for contention cometh of want of humility; no kindness, for pride envieth; and this St. Paul assigns as the very reason why "love envieth not," that it "is not puffed up," that is, is humble. How shall there, without it, be any Christian grace, since all are the fruits of God's Holy Spirit, and He "resisteth the proud and giveth grace unto the lowly?" He "dwelleth in the humble and contrite heart." If love be the summit of all virtue, humility is the foundation. He humbled Himself, because He loved us: we must he humble, in order to love Him; for to such only will He impart His love. "The publican would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven," and God was more pleased with the confession of sins in the sinner, than in the recounting of the virtues of the righteous. The Canaanitish woman was content with the portion of the dogs, and she had "the children's bread." The gate of life is low as well as narrow. Through the lowly portal of repentance, are we brought into the Church; and humble as little children must we again become, if we would enter the everlasting gates. Well indeed may the Christian be ashamed not to be humble, for whom God became humble. But this humility must be deep down in our nature, and so striking root downwards thou shalt bear fruit upwards; so laying a deep foundation, shall thy house remain. The tree falls with any gust of wind when the root is near the surface; the house which has a shallow foundation, is soon shaken. High and wide as the noblest trees spread, so deep and wide their roots are sunk below; the more majestic and nobler a pile of building, the deeper its foundation; their height is but an earnest of their lowliness; you see their height, their lowliness is hidden; the use of sinking thus deep is not plain to sight, yet were they not thus lowly, they could not be thus lofty. Dig deep then the foundation of humility, so only mayest thou hope to reach the height of charity; for by humility alone canst thou reach that Rock which shall not be shaken, that is Christ. Founded by humility on that Rock, the storms of the world shall not shake thee, the torrent of evil custom shall not bear thee away, the empty winds of vanity shall not cast thee down. Founded deep on that rock. thou mayest build day by day that tower whose top shall reach unto heaven, to the very presence of God, the sight of God, and shalt be able to finish it; for He shall raise thee thither, who for thy sake abased Himself to us.

(E. B. Pusey, D. D.)

The word mind generally denotes that power in man which conceives thought, weighs it, and forms conclusions. We speak of a "strong mind," a "disordered mind." Again, the word is used for the will power, as when we say, "I have a mind to do it." At other times it is used for the heart or affections, e.g., "A mind at rest," "A joy of mind," "A grief of mind." In the 7th of Romans it is used for the principle of grace in the heart. "But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind." Lastly, it is employed in a more comprehensive way, as in the text, where consecration of intellect, the aim of life, and temper of spirit are included. Christ Jesus is held up by the apostle as the model after which we should shape our Lives. As good parents train their children by example, so God our Father trains His children. Christ the Lord is at first the pattern of heavenly life to us, but becomes more the power of heavenly life within us. Christ answers all the requirements of an example to us. We need for such —

I. A BEING OF BOUNDLESS CAPACITY. The Bible represents Christ as God and Creator. Look to created things and see the power of His being. The drop of water has all the power and freshness which He gave it on the morning of creation. The effect cannot be greater than the cause. The sun shines with the same fulness of warmth and light and life as when it waked the first germ into life, yet it is but "the work of His fingers." But what are these as witnesses compared with the experiences of pure hearts who, in all generations, have been able to sing, "The Lord is my light and my salvation?"

II. ONE WHOSE NATURE IS LIKE OURS, AND IS AT THE SAME TIME ABOVE SIN. Look to the glory and yet the humanity of His nature. Earth did not, it could not, lift itself toward heaven. He became "Immanuel — God with us." "He took upon Him the form of a servant," etc. The prostrate vine cannot lift itself again to clasp the tree and climb among its branches; but if the tree bow itself and unloose the tendrils from the roots and briers, the vine may find its place of rest and fruitfulness. This the tree cannot do; but God in Christ has thus bowed Himself to fallen man.

III. ONE WHO PRESENTS TO US FRESHNESS AND VARIETY OF MIND AND SOUL. We read, "Thou hast the dew of thy youth." "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever." Selecting as emblems those objects that are most expressive of life and beauty and blessing, the Saviour takes their name upon Himself. He is the "Sun of Righteousness," "The Star out of Jacob," "The Morning Star," "The Light of the World." And then coming to things of earth — He is the sheep that is dumb before her shearers, and is presently "the Good Shepherd." He is the "Lamb of God," etc. He is the "Fountain Opened," The "Tree of Life," "The Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley." In short, He is light for the eye, sound for the ear, bread for food, water for thirst, peace for the troubled, and rest for the weary. Over against every door of the mind and every window of the soul He stands laden with riches and waiting for admission.

IV. WE NEED IN THE CULTURE OF THE MIND AND SOUL ONE WHO HAS SURPASSING WISDOM. In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Conclusion: What are we to be like Him in?

1. In our aim in life.

2. In our spirit and temper.

(E. P. Ingersoll.)

I.IN HIM.

II.IN YOU.

III.IN YOU BY HIS SPIRIT.

IV.IN YOU AS A MEANS OF HAPPINESS AND SALVATION.

(cf. Lyth, D. D.)

Was —

I. SELF-ABNEGATING. If Christ, being God, for our sakes became man, may we not learn to forego, for the sake of each other, our own private advantages?

1. The rich may give to the poor, just as Christ for our sakes became poor.

2. The poor, themselves, should be helpful, just as Christ being poor was able to make many rich.

II. CONDESCENDING. He stooped from highest glory to our low estate, thereby teaching those who have the advantage of ability and attainments to condescend to the ignorance and incapacity of their less favoured brethren.

III. NON-COMPLAINING. Hence, the poor and ignorant should learn to cease from murmuring against those who have become better off by diligence, frugality, and sobriety, and to wear with cheerfulness the garb of poverty He wore, and receive with thankfulness the hardships He bore before them.

IV. NON-CONTENTIOUS. All, whatever their condition, should learn to contend less for their ownselves in the pursuit of this world's advantages, and leave more room for their neighbours' advancement and more cordially promote it. Industry is commendable, but grasping and jealousy are alien to the mind of Christ. We should let live as well as live.

V. ABHORRENT OF SIN. So much so that He humbled Himself to the death of the cross to destroy it. The Christian, therefore, should mortify the affections of the flesh.

VI. FEARLESS OF DEATH. He encountered it with joy that He might deliver us from bondage unto the fear of death.

(C. Girdlestone, M. A.)Christ's was —

I. A FEARLESS mind. He braved —

1. Public opinion.

2. Persecution.

3. Death.

II. A SELF-DENYING mind: and such in us will enable us, like Him, to forego —

1. Present advantage for the good of others.

2. Popularity for the sake of principle.

3. Personal claims, profit and pleasure for usefulness.

III. A LABORIOUS mind. Christ was ever thinking, planning, devising for others.

IV. A BROADLY SYMPATHETIC mind. Helpfulness should be united with tenderness.

V. A PATIENT mind. How He waited those thirty years; how He bore with the ignorance of His disciples, and the malignity of His murderers.

VI. A HOPEFUL mind. He saw beyond the cross. "He saw of the travail of His soul and was satisfied."

(H. B. Rawnsley.)

I. WHAT IS MEANT BY THE MIND OF CHRIST? His view of things, and to have that mind is to think and feel about things as He did. He came down from heaven to study matters on the spot, and we can never have right views unless we take His point of view. But He came down not only to have right views but to rectify what was wrong. Hence, His standpoint was benevolent. He came not to judge but to save the world.

II. WHAT WAS CHRIST'S MIND WHEN HE BECAME INCARNATE?

1. His view of man. This is seen sufficiently in the fact that He took man's nature. Creation gives us a high estimate of manhood. The Incarnation one far higher. God made it: God wore it.

2. His view of the soul. He thought it was worth shedding His blood for. How much are we willing to give to save a soul? We do so little because our estimate is so low.

3. His view of sin. He deemed it an evil so terrible that He must give His life to atone for it Ought not this to produce in us a due sense of its enormity.

4. His view of the world and its glory. He treated the offer of Satan with contempt, and told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world. How contrary our own view.

5. His view of the use of time. "I must work the works of Him that sent me," etc. What a lesson to the indolent and procrastinating.

6. His view of the obligations of religion. In childhood, while obedient to His parents, He recognized a higher authority than theirs. "Wist ye not," etc. Later on, "If any man love father and mother more than Me."

7. His view of wealth and poverty — "The foxes have holes," etc.

8. His view of God's Word — "Man shall not live by bread alone."

9. His view in regard to His enemies — "Father, forgive them," is the practical commentary on "Love your enemies."

III. HOW ARE WE TO ATTAIN THIS MIND?

1. Only by union with Him through faith.

2. This mind is to be cultivated by a diligent study of His precepts and example with the help of His Spirit.

(J. W. Reeve, M. A.)

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.)

By having the mind of Christ is not meant doing exactly as He did, but having the disposition so that had we been in His circumstances we should have done what He did, and so acting in our circumstances as He would act were He in them. Here His obedience is set forth for our imitation. Notice that it was —

I. VOLUNTARY, not forced or reluctant. "He made Himself," "He took," "He humbled Himself."

1. There was no compelling power in heaven, earth, or hell.

2. The inspiration of this obedience was love to God and man.

3. Human obedience to be of any value must be the free and joyful outcome of love.

II. HUMILIATING.

1. Obedience is easy when the path is agreeable and the end profit or renown. In Christ's case the, pathway was the manger and the wilderness, etc., and the goal the cross.

2. There was no species of humiliation, sin only excepted, which Christ did not endure.

3. This is the first step in true human obedience, for before that can be rendered, pride, self-seeking, self-importance, must be subdued.

4. This can only be effected by the religion of Jesus.

II. PERSEVERING — "unto death."

1. The last term of our Lord's obedience was the hardest and worst. His other trials, heavy enough, were only preparatory. Our obedience will be worthless unless we endure to the end. "Forasmuch as Christ hath suffered for us, arm yourselves with the same mind."

(C. Bradley, M. A.)

I. HUMILITY.

1. This is important because it is the particular grace here inculcated, and is the root of all other graces.

2. Pride is natural to man and must be repressed in the believer by three considerations.(1) What he was — a sinner, enemy of God, heir of hell, etc.(2) What he is — a pardoned sinner, a child of God, but still imperfect, and with such weakness that he may well be humble (1 Timothy 1:15).(3) What he shall be — "like Christ;" what cause for humble gratitude.

II. PIETY.

1. This was eminently seen in Christ.

2. The natural man is ungodly.

3. The spirit of piety will render those acts of religion natural and pleasant which are intolerably burdensome to the unconverted.

III. SPIRITUALITY (John 3:6).

1. We derive our fleshly nature from our first parents. Natural men mind earthly things, while the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness unto them.

2. The believer, born from above, is spiritual, and minds heavenly things.

3. This constitutes the difference between the two, and determines the destiny of each (Romans 8:6).

IV. CONTENTMENT (Philippians 4:11-13). This is —

1. Generated by Divine grace.

2. Sustained by the Divine promises.

V. MEEKNESS (Matthew 5:5; 2 Corinthians 10:1). This meekness is not the effect of constitution or the calculation of self-interest; it is the gift of God working on the lines of Christ's example.

VI. MERCY (Hebrews 5:2; Matthew 5:7; Romans 9:23; Colossians 3:12).

1. To the souls of men.

2. To their bodies.

VII. SINCERITY. This is the soul of all religion (2 Corinthians 1:12; John 1:48). Conclusion:

1. See how excellent is the religion of Jesus.

2. Learn the necessity of something more than morality.

3. How vain the profession of the gospel without its temper.

4. How far we come short of this example.

(G. Burder.)

(Proverbs 23:17 in connection with text): — Now, while Solomon lays down the broad general principles concerning the prime importance of one's theory of things, Paul, in this passage, gives a clear and terse expression to the Christian theory of human life, and urges its acceptance with the most intense earnestness — "Have this mind," etc. Christ Himself stands out as the embodiment of the Christian theory. I propose to show that this theory is unique and contrary to the popular view of this age in —

I. ITS METHOD OF ESTIMATING THE VALUE OF MAN IN THIS WOULD.

1. It estimates him not by what is on him or around him or in his possession, but by what is in him. Be such in soul as Christ was.

2. I seriously question whether Christ, where He to appear as of old among men, would find many who would be willing to acknowledge themselves to be of His class in society. Would He have the shadow of a title to respectability in what the world is pleased to call the "best society."

3. It is hard to gain any adequate conception of how belittling and degrading such modern views are. But whether we are aware of it or not, society is suffering the disastrous consequences of this lowering of the estimate of character. We are coveting the same things that made wreck of the old nations, and forgetting the thing that has distinguished the Christian from them. The only possible remedy is to be found in making Christ's view our own, and shaping social life and intercourse according to that. "Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus."

II. The Christian theory of life is unique, and contrary to the popular theory of this age IN THE SUPREME END THAT IT PROPOSES FOR HUMAN CONDUCT. That end is absolute righteousness in conformity to the will of God. There is no escaping the fact that Christ exalted righteousness as the governing principle of the universe. Now there are two radically variant views concerning the supreme end of human conduct — that which finds it in God, and that which finds it in man. The latter is the outcome of our depraved nature. It may be traced along the line of heathen and materialistic thought from Epicurus to Herbert Spencer and Paul Janet. In its grosser form it makes the quest for happiness the supreme thing for man. Its positive rule is, "Enjoy yourself;" its negative, "Don't get hurt." You cannot make men of breadth and stature on that basis. The view dwarfs and deadens humanity. The antagonistic view of Christianity finds the supreme end of human conduct and activity in connection with God. Virtue is righteousness, conformity to the law of the moral Governor. And yet, is it not true that, as we throw away Christ's standard of manhood — character — we also cast aside His theory of the supreme rule of human conduct? Nay, does not the fact that we have repudiated that rule account for our present view of character? Does net the average man oftener ask the question, Will this make me comfortable? Will this secure my happiness? or, Will this increase my fortune? or, Will this enlarge my knowledge or culture? than the question, Is this right? It is this selfish, so called morality that has brought the degradation of character, the general corruption.

III. The Christian theory is unique and contrary to the popular theory IN THE LAW WHICH IT PROPOSES FOR THE ATTAINMENT OF THE HIGHEST SUCCESS IN HUMAN LIFE — the law of self-sacrifice. Man is born into the world the most helpless of animals, and, what is more, the most selfish of all animals. The problem of human life, for the parent, human and divine, is how to develop the generous manhood and womanhood out of this intensest of all animalism. Just here it is that man is most fearfully made. He can only gain by renouncing. He seeks for himself and his own selfish aims only, at the peril of ,missing all. The law of the gospel is, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness," etc. Seek other things first, and you lose them all. "He that loseth his life shall find it," etc. If the wretched and unsuccessful man will look into his heart he will find that he is breaking this great law of life, and is suffering for his breach of it. He is making too much of self, possessions, success, and is thereby forfeiting the very things he desires most. The human disappointment and unrest will continue with the resultant envy and strife until Christ's law of self-sacrifice is accepted. With the mind that was in Christ Jesus, we shall find the true solution of the dark problem that has led so many into pessimism.

IV. The Christian theory is unique in THE KIND OF LIFE THAT IT PROPOSES TO MAN FOR THE SATISFACTION OF HIS ACTIVE NATURE: a life devoted to the glory of God in redemption. This was the supreme thing in the life of Christ. For this He obeyed, suffered, and died. On the ground of this God has highly exalted Him. And so in the gospel view, the work for which man is in the world. We have had our popular theories of moral reform without Christ; but if anything has been demonstrated by human history, the only universal and effective method of such reform is that which starts out from Christ and His gospel. When, and only when, you make the drunkard a real Christian, you make sure that he will be a temperate man. We have had our popular theories of education without Christ, but nothing now seems more certain than that they practically end in corruption and crime. We devote our powers with tremendous energy to the production and acquisition of wealth and the advancement of material civilization, with the inevitable result of overproduction and periodical depression, in which much of the fancied gain disappears. If one half the energy were expended in the higher line of gospel effort we might have steady increase of solid wealth with permanent prosperity, and all this in a world of constantly increasing purity and peace. Living on such principles our souls might grow as rapidly as our fortunes, instead of being blighted and dwarfed by covetousness.

(Pres. D. S. Gregory.)

Just as some orator, skilfully addressing a company of soldiers on the eve of battle, begins with admonition and ends with a picture; just as he would appeal to their manhood, their consistency, their honour, and their courage, as he would play upon their fear of disgrace and their contempt of poltroonery; just as he would follow up each motive with another and a more elevated one, until, at the last, he would invoke their patriotism and their love for their leader, alike and together, by unfurling the national ensign and showing them how he had caused to be painted across the folds the likeness of the face they knew; so here the apostle seeks to arouse Christian enthusiasm by quickly exhibiting the very image of the Captain of our salvation, and bidding us follow Him alone.

(C. S. Robinson, D. D.)

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