In his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul penned a magnificent text of scripture on The Mind Of Christ (Phlp. 2:1-8). In the first four verses of the text he listed character traits that ought to exemplify a Christian’s life. In the last three verses he gave examples of the mindset displayed by Christ in His coming to this earth, living as a man and going to the cross to offer His life as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Perhaps most intriguing is verse five, right in the middle of the text, in which Paul admonished, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” We are to have the mind of Christ!
From this text we can pick up several aspects of the mind of Christ that we should strive to incorporate into our lives. First, it’s clear that Jesus gave us an example of humility. He left His position of equality with God in Heaven in order to come to earth in human form, die on the cross and thereby serve as man’s redeemer (vs. 6-8). The text even states that He took the form “of a bondservant” (vs. 7). He exhibited a humbleness of mind in submitting to God’s will that we should emulate in our lives today.
Second, Jesus gave us the most impressive example of obedience that has ever been presented to humanity. Jesus “humbled Himself and became obedient…” (vs. 8). The Hebrews writer stated that Jesus “learned obedience” and “became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:8-9). Stating that He “became obedient” and “learned obedience” is not to suggest that Jesus was ever disobedient, or that He ever did not understand the meaning of obedience. Living as a human being Jesus went through the process of learning and demonstrating obedience as a lesson for the rest of humanity. If God the Son needed to demonstrate obedience in His life on this earth there should be no question as to our need to have a mind of obedience.
Third, Jesus presented His life as a sacrifice before God. “He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phlp. 2:8). He literally gave His life on the cross as the ultimate, one time for all time sacrifice for our sins (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 7:27; 9:28). God allowed animal sacrifices to be offered under the law of Moses because He knew that Christ would come and serve as the perfect sacrifice. We’re instructed to present our lives as “a living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1). We should dedicate our lives to God and live for him on a daily basis.
Fourth, we should have the mind of a servant, because Jesus demonstrated the mind of “a bondservant” (Phlp. 2:7). Jesus said He “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mk. 10:45). He served God by coming as the Savior of mankind and giving His life to redeem man for his sins. No greater example of service could be given. God deserves nothing less than our dedicated service to Him (Heb. 9:14).
Fifth, Jesus gave us the perfect example of living “without sin” (Heb. 4:15). Many people claim to be righteous while living a lifestyle of sinfulness. Many try to present an image of dedication while they consistently live in disobedience to Him. Jesus said that if we truly love Him we will keep His commandments (Jn. 14:15, 21, 23). Jesus did not come to save us in our sin, He came to save us from our sin. To have the mind of Christ we must make up our mind to repent of- to turn away from- sin.
Gary L. Hutchens