Notes & Transcripts

LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU!

 

Scriptural Text: Phil. 2:1-8

 

I.            INTRODUCTION

 

Philippians is the most personal epistle written by Paul.  In this letter he uses first person pronouns no less than one hundred times.  This letter is not a great defense of the Gospel or Paul’s apostleship.  It is rather a thank you letter to the Philippians for their generosity and loyalty to him.  The letter is very practical in its tone and teaching.     On Paul’s second missionary journey he visited Philippi.  Through his ministry there several people were converted and a church was started (Acts 16:14-34). 

 

The recurring theme throughout the book is Christian joy.  “Joy” is used four times in this letter, “rejoice” is used eight times, “glad” occurs three times.  Paul also wrote about the mind or attitude of the child of God.  Our mind or attitude determines our lifestyle, quality of life and most importantly our ability to live in a Christ-like manner.  Interestingly enough, Paul wrote this epistle while imprisoned in Rome, yet you would not know this except for his reference to the palace guard in Philippians 1:13, “so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else”, (NASB95).  Paul’s attitude was independent of his circumstances.

 

 C. M. Ward said, “There are things I can’t force.  I must adjust.  There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint.”  In other words, I must adjust my attitude.  One internet poll found that the key to happiness was 59% mental attitude; 23% love; 8% achievement; 5% creative activity and 5% money.  All of us have attitude.  There is no way around it.  According to a Harvard study, when a person gets a job 85% of the time it is because of their attitude and not how many facts and figures they know.

 

Many things influence our attitude.  It can be influenced by race and culture, our health, our material wealth, our relationships, how we view the world and how we think the world views us.  All of this mean nothing, if our attitude is not biblical!

 

I want to address in this message the mindset or attitude of the believer.  What should our attitude be like? Let this mind be in you as verse 5 says.  There is only one acceptable attitude or mindset of the child of God?  What is it?

 

II.        FOUR IF’S THAT PRODUCE A BIBLICAL ATTITUDE

 

v. 1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

 

a.            Consolation, Gr. Paraklesis, it means called to one’s side to help.  It is translated comforter or helper and is used to describe the Holy Spirit in John 14:16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;”(NASB95)

 

It is also used in 1 John 2:1  “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;”(NASB95)

 

b.         Comfort of love.  This comfort is from Christ’s love. The Greek means any address, whether made for the purpose of persuading, or of arousing and stimulating, or of calming and consoling. Only time this word is used in the NT.

 

c.         Fellowship of the Spirit.  Fellowship is koinonia in the Greek and it means participation.  It is the participation we all have together in the Spirit.

 

2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. (NASB95)

 

Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;(NASB95)

 

Galatians 2:9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. (NASB95)

 

d.         Bowels and mercies.  The NIV says, tenderness and compassion; ESV, any affection and sympathy.  It is the kind of caring that causes us to become involved.

 

III.       FOUR IF’S THAT LEAD TO UNITY

 

v. 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

 

a.            Same Mind

 

b.            Same Love

 

c.            United in Spirit

 

d.            United in Purpose

 

 

 

Since we have these qualities in Christ we should strive for unity and love.

 

Paul is saying to the church, “Your disagreements reveal that there is a spiritual problem in your fellowship. It isn’t going to be solved by rules or threats; it’s going to be solved when your hearts are right with Christ and with each other.” Paul wanted them to see that the basic cause was selfishness, and the cause of selfishness is pride. There can be no joy in the life of the Christian who puts himself above others.”[1]

 

IV.       WHAT IS THIS ATTITUDE?

 

            IT IS HUMILITY!

 

The humble person is not one who thinks mainly of himself; he simply does not think of himself at all! (I think Andrew Murray said that.) Humility is that grace that, when you know you have it, you have lost it. The truly humble person knows himself and accepts himself (Rom. 12:3). He yields himself to Christ to be a servant, to use what he is and has for the glory of God and the good of others. [2]

 

Andrew Murray said, “When we see that humility is something infinitely deeper than contrition and accept it as our participation in the life of Jesus, we will begin to learn that is  our true nobility.  We will begin to understand that being servants of all is the highest fulfillment of our destiny, as men created in the image of God.”

 

Murray further states that, “Humility, the place of entire dependence on God, is from the very nature of things, the first duty and highest virtue of man.  It is the root of every virtue.  And so pride, or the loss of humility, is the root of every sin and evil.”

 

How do I know this humility when I see it?

 

v. 3-4 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.(NASB95)

 

a.            Do nothing from strife or selfishness

 

James 3:14-16 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (KJV)

 

Romans 2:7-87 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,(KJV)

 

This word is found before NT times only in Aristotle where it denotes a self-seeking pursuit of political office by unfair means. (A&G) [3]

 

b.            Empty conceit or empty glory

 

c.         Regard or esteem others as being more important than you.  A key word here is “regard”. It is the word, hēgeomai, It means to “be of an opinion” or “count”.  The verb is in the present tense here meaning that the writer is indicating an ongoing action with no end in sight.  Our opinion of others should be that they are more important than we are!

 

d.         Look out for the interest of others.  The word “look” here means to “notice carefully”.

 

It is used in Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.(KJV)

 

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.(KJV)

 

Illustration:  Someone asked a physician,  “How would you advise someone who felt a nervous breakdown coming on?”  His answer was not typical.  He said, “Lock up your house, go across the railway tracks, find someone in need, and do something to help that person.”

 

We are told in scripture to:

 

a.           Put on humility.

 

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;(KJV)

 

 

b.          Be clothed with humility.

 

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.(KJV)

 

c.           Walk with humility.

 

Ephesians 4:1-2 1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;(KJV)

 

Results of humility:

 

a.     Regarded by God. Ps 138:6; Isa 66:2.

b.     Heard by God. Ps 9:12; Isa 10:17.

c.     Enjoy the presence of God. Isa 57:15.

d.     Delivered by God. Job 22:29.

e.     Lifted up by God. Jas 4:10.

f.     Exalted by God. Lu 14:11; 18:14.

g.     Are greatest in Christ’s kingdom. Mt 18:4; 20:26-28.

h.     Receive more grace. Pr 3:34; Jas 4:6.

i.     Upheld by honour. Pr 18:12; 29:23

 

V.        LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU – THE MIND OF CHRIST

 

v. 5-8 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.(KJV)

 

In Christ’s earthly ministry we hear Him say:

 

Luke 22:27 But I am among you as the one who serves.(NASB95)

 

John 5:19“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.(NASB95)

 

John 5:3030 “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.(NASB95)

 

Matthew 11:2929 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.(KJV)

 

Matthew 20:27-2827 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”(NASB95)

 

John 13:1414 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. (KJV)

 

CONCLUDING STATEMEMT

 

Christ Jesus is the ultimate example of humility!  Verses 5-8 convey to us the most compelling act of humility known to humanity.  In it we see how Jesus can be God and forgive our sins and how He can be human and die in our place. 

 

In it we see Him leave the highest place to take the lowest place.  We see Him doing nothing by strife or empty conceit.  We see Him looking not on His own interest but on the interest of others.  We see Him regarding others more important than Himself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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[1]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New Testament comprising the entire 'BE' series"--Jkt. (Php 2:5). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

[2]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New Testament comprising the entire 'BE' series"--Jkt. (Php 2:5). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

[3]Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G2052). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

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