Christ, Our Model

KEY VERSE: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 2:5

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Philippians 2:1-16

THE LITTLE GROUP of Christians in Philippi enjoyed the fellowship of kindred minds. Their hearts were united with but one desire, which was to know and to do the will of the Lord. Because of the sweet fellowship they enjoyed together, Paul’s letter to the Philippian church clearly showed how very close they were to his heart. Philippians 2:1,2 reads: “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, warned against the evils of internal dissension; exhorting them to retain the spirit of unity—the spirit of Christ—which they had cultivated. The Moffatt Translation of verses one through three makes Paul’s meaning clearer. It reads, “So by all the stimulus of Christ, by every incentive of love, by all your participation in the Spirit, by all your affectionate tenderness, I pray you to give me the utter joy of knowing you are living in harmony, with the same feelings of love, with one heart and soul.”

While this letter was addressed to the Philippians, it is written for the edification of the whole family of God. Paul wrote that they should let nothing be done for the purpose of self-seeking, or exalting self. The apostle says this may be accomplished by always thinking properly—thinking humbly. If we recognize how little and insignificant we are in the sight of the Lord, we will not find it difficult to remain humble and lowly in mind. We will be like the Master, who always humbled himself before his Heavenly Father. He said, “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.”—Matt. 11:29

As our great Master was lowly in heart, so the apostle exhorts us, “In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” In doing this we often will see in others better qualities than we find in ourselves. He continued, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Jesus was, in his pre-human existence, God’s representative. Working with God, Jesus created everything that has been created (John 1:3,10), and yet he was willing to leave his high position in the heavenly realm, to come down to the earth, to suffer and die for the redemption of mankind.

Jesus did not try to exalt himself over his fellow angels as Satan had done. Jesus was always desirous of doing only his Heavenly Father’s will. He was without pride. As a man, Jesus became the servant of those whom he himself had helped to bring into existence. ‘

In Luke 22:27 Jesus asked, “Whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat? But I am among you as he that serveth.” This is a great principle to which God requires submission by those who are to be raised to positions of rulership in his kingdom.

Jesus was the prime example of this principle in operation: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”—Phil. 3:9-11

If we seek to serve with Jesus in his kingdom glory, we must first learn to think as he thought—resulting in actions approved by God. In Philippians 4:3, Paul emphasized the importance of proper thinking. He said: “Whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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