how to be the church with the mind of Jesus | Philippians ii.1

how to be the church with the mind of Jesus | Philippians ii.1 December 5, 2022

how to be the church with the mind of Jesus | Philippians ii.1

Since it’s almost Christmas, let’s look at a passage about the coming of Christ, found in Philippians ii.

This Scripture is poetry and in fact a song

This is actually a hymn or song of the Early Church. If you have an NLT, you will see it printed in verse form. This is not just any hymn, a Church historian, Dennis Duling states:

“The first pre-Pauline ‘Christological hymn’ is Philippians 2:6-11.”*

This hymn is the oldest of its kind, pre-dating Paul’s letters, possibly from the Apostles

This is a famous Theological Scripture

Some of the great scholars and Theologians throughout history have talked about it. It’s probably not just a hymn, but a confession, creed, or doctrine of the Early Church. It’s a priceless treasure, sharing with us the nature of Christ, both God and man.

I can think of no better modern day equivalent binding Christians in unison other than the Doxology.

Ben Rector | The Doxology

On the side: for those who follow the Substitutionary Atonement doctrine of Anselm {or Satisfaction} from the 11th Century, this could be a Passage showing the worth of a more ancient model. This is the ancient theory of atonement, Christus Victor.

As you read it, keep your eyes open for the 3 major thoughts: 1) Jesus is God before He comes to Earth, 2) Jesus is incarnated or takes on an earthly existence, and 3) Jesus returns to a glorified state.

Philippians 2.5-11 {KJV, NLT paralleled} CLICK

Let this mind be in you

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Phil ii.5)

In this passage, Paul is dealing with the Philippians about a basic Christian virtue – humility.

Radiant Church JXN | Facebook Business Page | 01.21.21 | public

He is training them to put each other first. This is a new concept for them. As an illustration, Paul uses this hymn of the Church, one they all might know.

Before Paul quotes the hymn, he sets it up with verse 5.

Paul is not making a suggestion here. The language is forceful. This is a command, an imperative. The Philippians, and us today, are commanded to take on the mind of Christ.

To explain the mind of Christ, Paul shares this hymn which tells the story. For more of the story, keep your eyes peeled for future posts.


* Dennis C. Duling, Jesus Christ Through History (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979), 46.

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