“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

“Let this mind be in you,”
Literally: “Let this thought be in you.”–This mind which was also in Christ Jesus, and the welfare and salvation of the human race. See then that you have the same disposition that was in Jesus: He was ever humble, loving, patient, and laborious; His meat and drink was to do the will of His Father, and to finish His work.

The object of this reference to the example of the Savior is particularly to enforce the duty of humility. This was the highest example which could be furnished, and it would illustrate and confirm all the apostle had said of this virtue. The principle in the case is that we are to make the Lord Jesus our model, and are in all respects to frame our lives, as far as possible, in accordance with this great example. The point here is, that He left a state of inexpressible glory, and took upon Himself the most humble form of humanity, and performed the most lowly offices, that He might benefit us.

        MIND: (Gr.-phroneō)—translated as “one mind,” “be likeminded” (v. 2), and “to think” in 1:7. This word stresses the thinking process, for one who thinks in a certain way is one who is spoken of as having a certain kind of mind.

“which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Literally:  “Which {mind was} also in Christ Jesus”–Paul is telling us that the believer is to think the same way as Christ, or at least to have the same kind of mind (i.e., attitude) that Christ had.

VERSES 6-7   “KENOSIS” (emptying) Passage

“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:”

“Who, being in the form of God,”
Literally:  “Who subsisting in [the] form of God.” 

        FORM;  (Gr.-morphēi)–This word appears three times in the N.T. (vv. 6-7; Mark 16:12), and is translated as “form” in each case. 

         This Greek word emphasizes the inner essence of a person. To fully understand this word you must first clear your mind of shape.  This word is used in a philosophic sense to denote the expression of being that carries in itself the distinctive nature and character of the being to whom it pertains,
         Thus, Paul was telling the Philippian believers that when Christ was with the Father before He came to earth, He had the inner essence of God.  Paul would never had taught anything that made Christ Jesus less than God.  Many in Paul’s day (and many today, and unfortunately many in church pulpits today) did not believe in the deity of Jesus, but He was not only God before he came to earth, but He was also God while He was here on the earth.  He repeatedly claimed that He was co-equal with God.  If He had claimed to be less than God, He would not have disturbed the Jewish leaders as much as He did, for they clearly understood His claims.  Never forget that it was Christ who did the actual work of the creation (John 1:1-3; Eph. 3:9).  It was Christ who created Adam, and He created him, “in His image.”

         John 5:18 says, “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His father, making Himself equal with God.”  Although some today refuse to believe that Jesus Christ is God and that he is equal with God the Father, the Jewish leaders clearly understood His claims, and this is why they hated Him so bitterly.

“thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”– That is the precise meaning of the words, but it does not mean an invasion of another's prerogative, but His own strict and unquestionable right

          THOUGHT IT NOT:  (Gr.-ouch hēgēsato)–The phrase means “did not consider;” it was not judged to be a matter of such importance that it could not be dispensed with.

If we take these words as they stand here, their meaning is, that, since Christ was from the beginning in the same infinite glory with the Father, to appear in time; during His humiliation, as God and equal with the Father, was no encroachment on the Divine prerogative; for, as He had an equality of nature, He had an equality of rights.

         ROBBERY:, (Gr.-hapragmos)–This word is found nowhere else in the N.T., though the verb from which it is derived frequently occurs, (Matt. 11:12; 13:19; John 6:15, 10:12,28-29; Acts 8:39; 23:10; II Cor. 12:2, 4; I Thess. 4:17, Jude 23;  Rev.  12:5).  The word here used does not properly mean an act of robbery, but the thing robbed, i.e., the plunder, and hence something to be eagerly seized and appropriated. 

         According to this, the meaning of the word here is, something to be seized and eagerly sought; and the sense is, that His being equal with God was not a thing to be anxiously retained. The notion of violence, or seizing, or carrying away, enters into the meaning of the word in all these places.
         The way it is translated in the KJV, this verse is difficult to understand.   The NASB actually gives a more meaningful translation:  “Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.”  Dr. David Stern, in his, Jewish New Testament, words it this to say, “Though He was in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force.”

          From this verse it is apparent that there was some element of Jesus’ equality with God that He was willing to give up.  One cannot give up the qualities of his innate nature, but he can relinquish the right, in some respects, to outwardly express that inner nature.  Even though Christ was God Himself, and had the right to display His attributes, He willingly gave up this right in order to come to earth to be the Savior of the world.  He never ceased being in the form of God as to His inner nature, but He gave up being equal with God as far as the outward expression of some of His attributes was concerned.

VERSE 7:   But made Himself of no reputation, and took [upon Him] the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”

        MADE HIMSELF OF NO REPUTATION:  (Gr.-heauton ekenōse)–Literally: “emptied himself.”  He emptied Himself; He did not appear in His glory, for He assumed the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of man. And his being made in the likeness of man, and assuming the form of a servant, was a proof that He had emptied Himself—laid aside the effulgence of His glory.

        EMPTIED:  (Gr.-ekenōse)–The word occurs only here in the N.T. The idea here is that of bringing to emptiness, vanity, or nothingness; and hence it is applied to a case where one lays aside his rank and dignity, and becomes, in respect to that, as nothing; that is, he assumes a more humble rank and station.          

         The KJV translation by no means conveys the sense of the original. According to this it would seem that he consented to be without distinction or honor among men; or that He was willing to be despised or disregarded. The Greek word (kenoo) means, literally, “to empty, to make empty, to make vain or void.”  It is rendered “made void” in Rom. 4:14; “made of none effect,” in I Cor. 1:17; “make void,” in I Cor. 9:15; “should be vain, in  II Cor. 9:3.
At His incarnation, Jesus willingly gave up the glory of His deity (He could never have given up His deity) in order to become human.  It is useless to ask how He did this; for we can only stand in awe to the fact of He, Who is Almighty God, willingly placing Himself in a position where He would experience hunger, weariness, tears, pain and agony. Here in human language stretched to its very limits, is the great saving truth that the One who was rich, for our sakes became poor.
         Christ never ceased being “equal with” God.  Such a thing is an utter impossibility.  He never “emptied Himself” of His deity. He could never do this. What He did do was to “empty Himself” of His independent use of His God-like attributes.  There is total equality in the God-head.  All Three Persons of the tri-unity are co-equal in essence.  However, there have been times when one of these three Persons will voluntarily assume a position of subordination.  While He was here on earth, Christ assumed a position of subordination to the Father and the Holy Spirit in that He could not independently use His attributes of deity, but rather was voluntarily under the control or direction of the Holy Spirit.  Now, however, the situation has become reversed.  Now the Holy Spirit is in a position of subordination to Christ, for we read in John 16:13-15 we read,

      “…the Spirit if truth…will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, {that} shall He speak; and He will show you things to come.
      “He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show {it} unto you.
      “All things that the Father hath are Mine (showing His co-equality with the Father) therefore, said He, that He (the Holy Spirit) shall take of Mine, and shall show {it} unto you” (John 16:13-15).

    “and took {upon Him} the form of a servant,”
    Literally:  “Taking {the} form of a slave.” The phrase “form of a servant,” should be allowed to explain the phrase ”form of God” in v. :6. The form of a servant is that which indicates the condition of a servant, in contradistinction from one of higher rank. It means, to appear as a servant (literally: a slave), to perform the offices of a servant, and to be regarded as such. He was made like a servant in the lowly condition which He assumed.

The whole connection and force of the argument here demands this interpretation. His object is to state the depth of humiliation to which Christ descended; and this was best done by saying that He descended to the lowest condition of humanity, and appeared in the most humble garb. Though the Lord Jesus was not literally a servant or slave, yet what is here affirmed was true of Him in the following respects:
1.         He occupied a most lowly condition in life; and

2.      He condescended to perform such acts as are appropriate only to those who are servants. “I am among you as He that serveth,” (Luke 22:27. comp John 13:4-15).        

Jesus Christ gave up the highest glory imaginable (a position of complete independence; a position where He was ministered to by a myriad of angelic beings) and took the lowest position thinkable:  that of a servant (literally: a slave), that is, one who has no will of his own, but is entirely subjected to serving the will of another.  Jesus came to earth to do the will of His Father, and, at the end of His earthly life, was able to say to the Father, “I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do” (John 17:4). 

“and was made in the likeness of men.”
Literally:  “Becoming in [the] likeness of men.”–As He appeared to men, He was like themselves, with a real likeness; but this likeness to men did not express His whole self.  The totality of His being could not appear to men, for that involved the form of God.  Hence, Paul here views Him solely as He could appear to men.  These words reveal His identification with mankind, for His appearance was similar.

        LIKENESS:  (Gr.-homoiomati) means likeness, resemblance.  The meaning is, He was made like unto men by assuming such a body as theirs (Rom. 8:3);

This expresses the fact that His mode of manifestation resembled what men are.  This leaves room for the assumption of another side of His nature:  the divine side, the likeness of which He did not appear.  What He was essentially and eternally could not enter into His human mode of existence.  Although it was the right of the Lord Jesus Christ to retain His position of equality with the Father, he willingly gave it up for mankind.  In being willing to give up His position of glory, He was “made in the likeness of men.” 

“And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

“And being found in fashion as a man,”This clause should really be joined to the preceding, and thus translated: Being made in the likeness of man, and was found in fashion as a man.”  A common man, without any excellence or comeliness.

        FASHION:  (Gr.-schema)–This word emphasizes the outer appearance.  As to His inner essence, Christ was the God-Man, that is,  ALL GOD and ALL MAN (not part God and part man). This union is termed as the hypostatic union.   Outwardly He appeared “as a man.”  He appeared so much as a man that many of His contemporaries did not know He was also God.

        Schema means “figure, mien, deportment”  Here it is the same as state, or condition. The sense is, that when He was reduced to this condition He humbled Himself, and obeyed even unto death. He took upon Himself all the attributes of a man. He assumed all the innocent infirmities of our nature. He appeared as other men do, was subjected to the necessity of food and raiment, like others, and was made liable to suffering, as other men are. It was still He who had been in the “form of God” who thus appeared; and, though His Divine glory had been for a time laid aside, yet it was not extinguished or lost. It is important to remember, in all our meditations on the Savior, that it was the same Being who had been invested with so much glory in heaven that appeared on earth in the form of a man.         

        ”He humbled Himself,”–Not the same as “emptied Himself.”  It defines that word, showing how the self-emptying manifests itself. Laid Himself as low as possible.  It was a voluntary humiliation on the part of Christ and for this reason Paul is pressing the example of Christ upon the Philippians, this supreme example of renunciation.
1.      In emptying Himself—laying aside the effulgence of His glory.
2.      In being incarnate—taking upon Him the human form.
3.      In becoming a servant—assuming the lowest innocent character, that of being the servant of all.
4.      In condescending to die, to which He was not naturally liable, as having never sinned, and therefore had a right in His human nature to immortality, without passing under the empire of death.
5.     In condescending, not only to death, but to the lowest and most ignominious kind of death, the death of the cross; the punishment of the meanest of slaves and worst of felons.

This gives us some indication of what sin must be in the sight of God, when it required such abasement in Jesus Christ to make an atonement for it, and undo its influence and malignity! 

Even then, when he appeared as a man.
1.      He had not only laid aside the symbols of His glory, (v. 7), but, when He was a man.

2.      He humbled Himself. Humiliation was a constant characteristic of Him as a man.
         a.      He did not aspire to high honors;
         b.      He did not affect pomp and parade;
         c.      He did not demand the service of a train of menials; but,
3.      He condescended to the lowest conditions of life, Luke 22:27.

The words here are very carefully chosen. In the former case, (v. 7), when He became a man, He “emptied Himself,” or laid aside the symbols of His glory; now, when a man, He humbled Himself. That is, though He was God appearing in the form of man-a Divine Person on earth-yet He did not assume and assert the dignity and prerogatives appropriate to a Divine Being, but put Himself in a condition of obedience. For such a Being to obey law implied voluntary humiliation; and the greatness of his humiliation was shown by His becoming entirely obedient, even until He died on the cross.

“and became obedient unto death,”
Literally:  “Becoming obedient until death.” He subjected Himself to the law of God, and wholly obeyed it, (Heb. 10:7, 9).

It was a characteristic of the Redeemer that He yielded perfect obedience to the will of God the Father. Should it be said that, if He was God Himself, He must have been Himself the Lawgiver, we may reply, that this rendered His obedience the more wonderful and the more meritorious. If a monarch should, for an important purpose, place Himself in a position to obey His own laws, nothing could show in a more striking manner their importance in His view. The highest honor that has been shown to the law of God on earth was, that it was perfectly observed by Him who made the law—the great Mediator.

        OBEDIENT:  (Gr.-hypekoos)–Literally:  “giving ear to.”  He subjected himself to the law of God, and wholly obeyed it, Heb. 10:7,9. It was a characteristic of the Redeemer that He yielded perfect obedience to the will of God

         He obeyed (gave heed to) the will of the Father even when His obedience terminated in a horrible death. The point of this expression is this:  One may readily and cheerfully obey another where there is no particular peril. But the case is different where obedience is attended with danger. The child shows a spirit of true obedience when he yields to the commands of a father, though it should expose him to hazard; the servant who obeys his master, when obedience is attended with risk of life. 
         The soldier may even be certain that to obey will be followed by death. Thus many a military unit has been ordered into the “deadly breach,” or directed to storm a redoubt, or to scale a wall, or to face a cannon, or some such action, when it would most likely result in their  death. No profounder spirit of obedience can be seen than this. It should be said, however, that the obedience of the soldier is in many cases scarcely voluntary, since, if he did not obey, death would be the penalty. But in the case of the Redeemer it was wholly voluntary, He placed Himself in the condition of a servant to do the will of God, and then never shrank from what that condition involved.

“even the death of the cross.”
Literally:  “even {the} death of a cross.”– Forming a climax of humiliation. He submitted to not just death, but to the death of a malefactor.  Even the Mosaic Law had a curse against such a type of death.  Hence there was shame associated with the cross (Heb. 12:2).

         Crucifixion was not such a death as a servant might incur by crossing a stream, or by falling among robbers, or by being worn out by toil; it was not such as the soldier meets when he is suddenly cut down covered with glory as he fails; it was the long, lingering, painful, humiliating death of the cross. This was the offence or stumbling-block of the cross.
         A person might be willing to obey if the death that was suffered was regarded as glorious; but when it is ignominious, and of the most degrading character, and the most torturing that human ingenuity can invent, then the whole character of the obedience is changed. Yet this was the obedience the Lord Jesus evinced; and it was in this way that His remarkable readiness to suffer was shown.
        He submitted not only to death, but to the death of a malefactor.  The Mosaic Law had uttered a curse against it (Deut. 23:23), and the Gentiles reserved it for malefactors and slaves.  Hence, the shame associated with the cross (Heb. 12:2).  This was the offence, or stumbling-block of the cross, which was so often urged by the Jews against the Christians (see Gal. 3:13).  To a Greek, accustomed to clothe his divinities with every outward attribute of grace and beauty, the summons to worship a crucified malefactor appealed as foolishness (I Cor. 1:23). 
          It is difficult enough to imagine the Lord Jesus Christ giving up the glory with the Father and taking a position that would involve death, but it is especially difficult to imagine that He would agree to experience “the death of the cross.”  Even the unsaved in Philippi, with the Greek culture, probably shuddered at the thought of the ugly death on the cross, and Paul told the believers there that this is precisely what Jesus Christ chose in contrast to His former position.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.”

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him,”
Literally:  “Because of this, God also has exalted Him.”  as Mediator, head over all things to His church. Mt 28:18.As a reward of this humiliation and these sufferings.

The idea is, that there was an appropriate reward for it, and that that was bestowed upon him by his exaltation as Mediator to the right hand of God (Heb. 2:9)–“But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor:  that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”  God exalted Him as Mediator, Head over all things to His church–“…All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18)

    WHEREFORE:  (Gr.-dio)–Literally:  “because of.”  Because of his voluntary humiliation and obedience.   Because He humbled Himself.  As a reward of this humiliation and these sufferings. The idea is, that there was an appropriate reward for it, and that that was bestowed upon Him by His exaltation as (the only) Mediator to the right hand of God.

    HIGHLY EXALTED:  (Gr.-hyperupsōse)–Here only in N.T. Because of Christ's voluntary humiliation God lifted Him above or beyond (hyper) the state of glory which he enjoyed before the Incarnation. What glory did Christ have after the Ascension that He did not have before in heaven? What did he take back to heaven that he did not bring? Clearly His humanity. He returned to heaven the Son of Man as well as the Son of God.  God has exalted Him as Mediator.

      “For {there is}is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (I Tim. 2:5)This totally excludes the so-called saints or even the woman Mary.
      “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (I John 2:1).                      

 Though Christ was humbled, and appeared in the form of a servant then, He is now raised up to the throne of glory, and to universal dominion. This exaltation is spoken of the Redeemer as He was, sustaining a Divine and a human nature. There was all the augmented glory resulting from the work which He had performed in redeeming man. –

“and given Him a name which is above every name.”
Literally:  “And gave to Him a name above every name.” No other name can be compared with His. It stands alone.

1.       He only is Redeemer, Savior, Mediator (I Tim. 2:5), and there is none other.  This includes the saints or Mary.  
2.       He only is the Christ, the Anointed of God (Heb. 1:4).
3.       He only is the Son of God. His rank, His titles, His dignity, are above all others. See this illustrated in Eph. 1:20-:21.

        NAME:   (Gr.-onoma)–This denotes the character, fame and authority of the person involved.  It also relates to one’s dignity or rank. A name represents all that a person is, so all of Christ’s attributes are included by this reference.  And this is why they sought to kill Him. None is higher in rank than the Lord Jesus Christ, not even the Father Him-self.

 Today, when it is common for groups to emphasize that Jesus Christ is less than the Father, it is well to remember that the Jews clearly understood the claims of Jesus that he was “equal with God” (John 5:18).

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