Topic:The Mindset of Christ
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.
Now we come to what I think is the most breath-taking passage in all of Scripture. This passage on the glorification of our Lord Jesus is the Mt. Everest among the mountain peaks of revelation concerning the Person of Christ, the amazing story of how the eternal Son of God stepped out of eternity into time, and became a man as God intended man to be. These few short verses capture some of the most amazing truths that have ever confronted the minds of men.
There is a temptation as we study this passage to remove it from its context and treat it as a passage on Theology. We must never forget that this passage is set against the background of two quarreling ladies in the church at Philippi. That quarrel was threatening to destroy the unity of the whole church. The apostle has made it clear that the secret of maintaining unity is humility. Wherever there is contentiousness, it is a revelation of the presence of pride. Pride, whether in a single individual life, in a family, a church, in government, or a whole nation, always destroys, divides, sets one person against another, perpetuates conflict, breaks up marriages and partnerships and unions of every sort.
When people are quarreling, the path to peace is to seek humility, rather than to assess arguments and weigh one against another, because when we do that we run into relative values which are so subjective it’s impossible to come to a conclusion. When tempers are hot, passions are aroused, and patience is strained, how can you get people to calm down and start thinking about a humble attitude? How do you stop the urge to defend yourself, and the stubborn insistence of what we call our rights? The answer is in this marvelous passage concerning Christ.
Christians can achieve peace — not merely a truce, or cold war, or an agreed settlement, but peace, which is a mutual sense of wrongdoing. Each person acknowledging they have contributed to it, and burying the past in forgiveness. The result is a deeper sense of acceptance than ever before. When we come to this point the quarrel actually helps unity rather than destroying it. It will result in deeper understanding and love than before. That is what the apostle is wanting for these two ladies in Philippi and those in the church who were taking sides with them.
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Father, may the Spirit apply these words to the practical situations of my life. May I simply give way and let my stubborn will accept the conditions and bring me to peace.
The account of the humility of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is totally counter-intuitive to this world’s system, exposing the total folly of our own pride. Have we grasped the transcendent beauty of authentic humility?