Wednesday in the Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

Philippians 2:5-11

Have This Mind in You which Is Yours in Christ Jesus

Today we come to one of the loftiest passages of Scripture concerning our Lord Jesus Christ.  Because of its literary features, scholars generally agree that this is an ancient church hymn which the Apostle inserted into his letter, much as we might do writing a letter to comfort a grieving brother or sister in Christ by reminding them of some lines from a cherished hymn.  Only this hymn goes beyond any hymn I can think of.  It speaks not at all of man or even of the blessings we receive through Christ Jesus; this hymn is completely bound up in adoration of Christ, who he is and what he has done.

Verse five introduces the hymn and says something that I think is quite wonderful: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”  It’s that last phrase that captures me.  Paul seems to be saying that believers have this mind or way of thinking granted to them by virtue of being united with Christ through faith and have only to put it to use.  We have so many blessings given us by Christ through the Holy Spirit which we neglect, and this is one of them—to think along with Jesus.

The hymn then explains to us who Christ is: The one who is in the “form of God.”  “Form” in this sense does not simply mean “appearance” or “shape” but what we find in Hebrews 1:3: “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature.”  This is who he is according to his divine nature.  But what more does Christ (the Son) do?  He seeks not as Adam to grasp at divinity to which Adam had no claim, but in starkest contrast being divine chose instead to take upon himself human form.  This is all to speak of his Incarnation when the Son assumed the humanity, flesh, and blood of the Virgin prepared by the Holy Spirit.  But the hymn does not stop there but goes on to speak of his further humiliation by death on a cross—and all out of obedience to the One who sent him.  And thus far in this brief rendition of this ancient hymn, we are taught of his divine nature which he ever had with the Father, his humbling himself to take human form and thus add our humanity to his divinity in his Incarnation, and then his death on our behalf. The hymn ends with his exaltation, and rightly so.  He has been lifted by the Father to His right hand (Acts 2:33) where he shall be rightly glorified by all, that “every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,” that is, without exception.  And all of this is done “to the glory of God the Father.”  This hymn is all about the glory of God—and those are the best ones.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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