The Christ Hymn
Key Verse: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
THAT THE CHURCH AT Philippi was noteworthy in many respects can be discerned by the Apostle Paul’s commendatory words in his epistle to the saints in this locale. Nevertheless, he exhorted the brethren to always manifest a spirit of unity and humility that would epitomize mature Christian character development. “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”—Phil. 2:2-4
In our Key Verse—‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus’—Paul sets forth, as an example for emulation, the Lord Jesus Christ who came to earth to do the Father’s will. This attitude should be uppermost in the minds of all believers who are seeking to walk in the Master’s footsteps.
Paul then briefly sums up the Lord’s humility and subsequent exaltation to the divine nature after he laid down his life in sacrifice to redeem Adam and the entire human race. Prior to his becoming flesh, Jesus was a spirit being and, along with Lucifer, was in a high and glorious condition; but, unlike Lucifer who had ambition and desired to be like God (Isa. 14:12-14), the Lord never allowed such wicked thoughts to enter his mind. Speaking of Jesus, we read “who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.”—Phil. 2:6-9, New American Standard Bible
This glorious exaltation of the Lord, following his resurrection from the tomb and receipt of immortality and the Divine nature, merited acclaim by all the angelic hosts in heaven who proclaimed how worthy the Lamb of God was to receive such honor.—Rev. 5:12
As a result of our Lord’s faithfulness, humility, and obedience to the Heavenly Father, Christ has become the head of the Seed of Abraham which is to bless all the families of the earth when the kingdom of righteousness is established. “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:6-8)
It will be during that future kingdom that there will be a radical change from the present conditions that prevail on the earth on account of sin. “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. 2:10,11
An important lesson Paul sets forth in this epistle is the need for humility on the part of all those who entertain the hope of being associated with the Master in bringing to fruition world-wide blessings to the human family, when the body of Christ is complete.