MAJ-6 - The Mind of Christ
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MORE ABOUT JESUS
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 2:5.
As we study more about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and as we strive to
bring His life and teaching in our life, nothing can help us more than to really know what
the mind of Christ was and to instill those ideas in our everyday life.
Paul's words in Philippians chapter 2 should stir within each of us a desire to
really be more like Jesus. You know that's what Christ wants. In the teaching of the New
Testament, the Bible encourages us to pattern our life and thinking after Christ, to be
more like him every day. Peter would say we’re to “walk in the footsteps of Jesus,” 1
Peter 2:21-22. Paul himself strove to do just that, and he said in 1 Corinthians 11:1,
“Imitate me, as I also imitate the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
When thinking about Paul's writings to the church in Philippi, there's some
background information that becomes very pertinent. For example, as Paul writes this
message to the church in Philippi, to have the mind of Christ, there were some serious
things in that city and church that people had to deal with. For example, Philippi itself
was a city that was bent on making a profit, rather than seeing the welfare of others. We
know this, because in Acts chapter 16, there is a woman who has an evil spirit. Paul
cast that evil spirit out of her in Acts chapter 16 around verse 20, and instead of being
thankful that this woman is now rid of that evil spirit, the people in Philippi are mad at
Paul because he had cost them their profit. She had a spirit of divination, an evil spirit
no doubt, but it allowed her to have some way of telling things. They were making a
profit off this woman who was entangled with wicked things.
So it was, in some ways, a very wicked city. There were some, even in the
church, that were preaching the Gospel out of selfish motives. Philippians chapter 1:15-
16, “Some preach Christ out of envy and strife; others were doing it for the right reason.”
Some were doing it selfishly to bring persecution to the apostle Paul. It was a church
where selfishness brought about complaining and grumbling. Paul would have to later
say, “Do all things without complaining and grumbling.” There was a spirit of profiting in
the city, and a spirit of selfishness in the congregation. The letter to the church in
Philippi in Philippians 4:2-3, there even seem to be two women who are so selfish that
it’s brought great contention between them. Part of the reason Paul is saying this is out
of selfishness, on the part of other people.
Selfishness is always a huge problem. I'm not only to think about my own
interest, but also the interest of others. Romans 12 clearly teaches us that. We’re not to
be self-centered; we’re to be focused on God and serving other people. “Love the Lord
our God and love our neighbor as ourselves.” Matthew 7:12 teaches in what we know
as the Golden rule, we’re to strive to “Do unto others as we would have them do unto
Think a little bit more about the mind of Christ that is represented in Philippians
2:5. Notice in your Bible, Philippians 2:5, the writer says Paul says, “Let this mind be in
you which was also in Christ Jesus.” You’ve got people who need to be motivated out of
selfishness, to selflessly serve others and Christ. How can one do that? You must think
about the mind of Christ Jesus, that great physician, who gave up so much so that
others could be healed of the sickness and the disease of sin. In Mark 2:17, Jesus said,
“The righteous, they don't need to go, those who are well don't need to go to a
physician, but those were sick. I came to call sinners to repentance.”
Why did Jesus come to this world? If there is ever an example of selflessness,
it's in Jesus. Was Jesus, God? Absolutely. “He is Lord and God,” John 20:28. “He is the
eternal God,” Hebrews chapter 1:8-10. He had a right to all things. He had a right for
other people to serve Him. And yet, He's the one who came and served others
according to Mark 10:45.
While we may never, as Jesus did, take upon ourselves, the sin the world, we’re
not asked to do that. We are to help others know about the Gospel and the seriousness
of sin and to live a selfless life. We need to fully preach the Gospel to others.
Part of having a selfless mind, like Christ, is thinking about what good can we do
for other people. There's no greater good, no more sacrificial good that can be done
than what the Lord's already done. He made that ultimate sacrifice. He gave Himself for
all men. “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins,” Hebrews 9:22.
The blood of bulls and goats in the Old Testament, can never take away sin, but Jesus
tasted death for every man.
If I'm really going to live a selfless life, I've got to stop thinking about myself, and
my own interest, and my own desires. I’ve got to ask myself, if Jesus came and lived
this way, fully gave up everything for people to be saved, what does He expect of me?
That's what He wants me to do. He wants me and He wants you, to live a life of
selflessness, a life that strives to glorify God in all that we say and do; and teach the
Gospel to the lost, so that they can know about the grace and the hope of Almighty
Christ made the ultimate sacrifice. What are some things that I'm told to sacrifice
in this life? Think with me for just a moment about some of these things. First, I'm told to
sacrifice myself. Romans 12:1-2, I am to live as a, “living sacrifice.” That language is
such stark contrast to that of the Old Testament. The sacrifices in the Old Testament
were dead sacrifices. They gave up their life, and yet, I'm to be a living sacrifice. What
does that mean? Every day I live, life's not about me, my passions, and my desires. If
I'm going to have the selfless mind, the sacrificial mind of Jesus, I’ve got to live a life of
true sacrifice of self. “I've been crucified with Christ,” Paul would say. I’ve got to, “take
up my cross daily and live for Jesus,” Galatians 2:20 and Luke 9:23.
Along those same lines, I must sacrifice what talents, things, and abilities I have
to the Lord. (Matthew 25) We all have different talents, abilities, and things that that we
can use. In the parable of the talents, each person had different abilities and talents. In
the context it was the money that was given them, but with what we have, we've got to
use that to the glory of God. Whatever talent you have, whatever things that you excel
at, whatever things that you may be really good at; I don’t know what that is. Maybe it’s
building things, talking to people, encouraging others, helping the sick, or feeding the
poor. Whatever things I'm good at, I want to take those things and sharpen them. I want
to selflessly sacrifice them to the cause of Christ, to use it in a way that will build up
God's kingdom that will help save lost souls and will ultimately edify those around us.
It was again, the Lord and Savior who made this selfless sacrifice and who
motivates us. Jesus said that He came to seek and save those who are lost. He's able
to save the uttermost, those who come to God through Him, Hebrews 7:25. If I'm really
going to sacrifice, I’ve got to have the mindset of I want to do what I can to take the
Gospel to the lost. Sacrifice of self, to spread that wonderful message of salvation, to go
into the entire world and preach the Gospel.
Here's what makes this so practical to the selfishness that is going on in the book
of Philippians, people are so enamored with their self; they’re thinking, why do others
have this and I don’t? Why is this going on, and I'm being left out? They’ve got all these
different selfish ideas. If I'm concerned about Christ, preaching the gospel, using what I
have to glorify the God and the Kingdom, where is the time to sit around and sulk over
what I do or don't have or what others have that's better than me? If I stay busy working
in the Kingdom, those other ideas really pale in comparison when we think about this.
What does it mean to really have that selfless mind? In Philippians chapter 2:6-7,
the Bible says of Christ, “To add the selfless mind to being in the form of God did not
consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation taking the
Christ what I thought I had is now trash.”
Everything that we may put our trust in, or maybe want to fill ourselves up with,
really isn't that important concerning Christ. Our financial status, what goods all that
finance going to do on the final day? Can you say to God, “Well you know, I really
haven’t lived right, but I've got a bank account for the money.” God doesn't care about
that. What about being a highly educated person? There is nothing wrong with money
and education, but if my existence revolves around how smart I am, how much good is
that going to do? I must be willing to submit to the will of God. I have to empty myself
and realize those things are not what are important. Most important in this life is
submitting to Christ and following him and letting God use me. Whether it is social
status, the job I have, or the friends I’ve got, those things are not the things we really
want to emphasize in this life.
I want to empty self so that I can truly follow Jesus and submit to him in every
way. Selfishness is just something that God does not want his people to have. You
know sometimes selfishness gets in the way of really doing well. Let me illustrate,
selfishness is what causes us not to really help those who are in need. What is pure
religion? Pure and undefiled religion before God, the Father, is this to visit the widows
and orphans in their affliction and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. What is it
that keeps a person from going out and helping those who are in need? There may be a
legitimate reason that you can't help, but I’m talking about somebody who can.
Selfishness is a big factor. Maybe I'm too selfish to not only help people in the world, but
to help the brethren. Galatians 6:10 says, “Do good unto all men, especially those of
the household of faith.” I've got to have the mindset that I want to help not only the
world, but I want to do good to brethren, somebody sick in the congregation, or when
somebody loses a home, or somebody's hurting. What keeps us from helping them? A
lot of times it is selfishness. What keeps us from talking to our neighbor about the
Gospel? Selfishness, pride, and arrogance, are things that often get in the way that the
Christian must empty, if they’re really going to serve Almighty God.
Look again at Philippians chapter 2 and notice verse 7. The Scripture says of
Jesus, “But he made himself of no reputation taking the form of a bondservant and
coming in the likeness of man.” Having a servant attitude can help us overcome
selfishness. Jesus became a servant. He was God; He took upon himself the form of a
bondservant. A bondservant is a unique term. It's one who willingly sells himself into
servitude to serve the master, to live under his control, to be completely under Him.
I want to fully give myself as a servant to God. Philippians 1:21, Paul beautifully
illustrated this, “to me,” he said, “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” A bondservant fully
devotes himself to the master. That's the idea of there not being anything left about
what we desire, living for self, but living every day to follow Jesus and his teaching. He's
under the Master’s authority in every way. Whatever the master says, he's there for his
beck and call. That's our mindset. Jesus said, “All authority has been given unto to me,”
Matthew 28:18. We must submit to that authority and truly love the Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ in every way.
In Philippians 2:8, the Bible says of Jesus, “And being found in appearance as a
man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of
the cross.” When you think about humility, we’re talking about one willingly, although
they might not have to do that, although it's not something that will be part of their
quality, they're willing to selfishly humble themselves to place themselves under is the
idea. Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the
cross. Think about the mind of Christ and how selfless that is, remember the words of
Jesus. Jesus said, “Do you not think that I cannot call 10,000 legions of angels?” You
know, Jesus could've easily put a stop to the things on the cross but that wasn't what he
wanted to do. Jesus clearly said, “I came not to do my own will, but the will of the
father.” The question is asked in Hebrews 10, “Who shall we send?” Here am I, is the
idea. Send me. He willingly came. He humbled himself and became obedient to death,
even the death of the cross.
Obedience is always directly tied to having the mind, the selfless mind, of Jesus.
He was willing, “Father let this cup pass from me, not my will but yours be done,”
Matthew 26:39 and following. He even did that to the point of death. In agony, He's
going to the garden; begging God in essence, don't let these things happen. Yet it’s not
what I want, but what you want. He submitted to the will of God, humbled Himself a
servant and took upon himself that sacrifice that was so important for him to make in so
As we really think about what it means have the mind of Christ, a big part of that
is humility. Are we really humble enough to focus more on Christ and place ourselves
under what he wants us to do? Humility is a huge part of that. I'll assure you, if we'll
have the selfless mind of Christ just as Jesus was exalted, so one day we can as well.
Notice the words of Philippians 2:9-11. The Scripture records, “Therefore God also is
highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name, that in the
name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven, of those under the earth
and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the
What did Jesus receive, by having this selfless sacrificial mindset of giving up to
help others? God has highly exalted him and his name is the name that every knee
bows and every tongue confesses. What's the idea there? “Whoever humbles himself
will be exalted. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled,” Luke 14:11.
To really exemplify this selfless mind, I want to have that humility. It is that
humility that allows us one day to hear those words, “Well done, good and faithful
servant enter into the joys of your Lord.”
As we think about the mind of Christ, here are the things that we really want to
consider, is our life really being lived sacrificially? Are we more concerned about what
we're getting out of this life, how people think about us, and what joys we get to have?
Or are we more concerned about what Christ wants and how we can help others? How,
what are we doing in this life to really honor Christ? That’s what life is all about, is it not?
Matthew 5:16 Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your
good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.”
When we do good, when we to try to help, what are we doing? Pointing the light
to Jesus, letting others see him. You know, in this life we want to, “Do good unto all
men,” Galatians 6:10. Are we trying to help those who are in need? Are we trying to
help the poor? Are we trying to encourage those who are sick? Are we trying to lift up
those are downtrodden? Are we really serious about spreading the Gospel to the lost?
And are we doing all of that to point the light of Jesus, to magnify him, in each and every
way? That's the motive that God wants us to have in doing these things. In doing that,
do we really possess that servant mindset? I've not been called here nor have you been
called into the kingdom to be one who is going to Lord over it, as we might say. I've
been called to serve; in fact the greatest servant was the Lord. He humbled himself. Do
you remember Mark 10:45? “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to
give his life a ransom for many.” Look at what Jesus did. He had every right to be
served. He came to serve, that's the mindset that Christians desperately need.
If you've never submitted your will to the will of Christ, you can begin to possess
that mind today, by really being obedient to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Whatever
I am or have in this life, those things are really going to be not important and very
shallow, when we view them in view the judgment. One day all men will stand before
the throne of God. All of us will have to give an account for the way we've lived in this
life. The things that matter are what we do for God, and how we live for others and live
for Christ every day.
Are you a child of God? Have you obeyed the Gospel? Jesus clearly teaches us
that to follow him we must believe he is God's son. “Unless you believe that I'm he your
surely die in your sins,” Jesus said John 8:24. Would you be willing to change your life
and turn to God in repentance? Acts 2:38, would you make that confession just as the
Ethiopian eunuch did? “I believe Jesus is the Christ,” Acts 8:36-37. Would you to have
your sins washed away, be immersed in water? Acts 22:16. May each of us strive every
day to have the selfless mind of Jesus and bring honor and glory to Almighty God.
Study Questions for: “More About Jesus: Lesson 6”
1. According to 1 Corinthians 1:11, who does Paul strive to imitate?
2. In Act chapter 16, why are the people upset that the demon is gone from the
3. How are we supposed to love our neighbors, according to Romans 12?
4. According to Romans 12:1-2 what are we to live as?
5. In Philippians chapter 3 Paul compares his accomplishments to what, when
compare to what he has gained in Christ?
6. Who did Jesus become flesh for according to John 1:14?
7. According to Luke 14:11, if you humble yourself what will you become?
8. In Galatians 6:10, who does it state we are to do good to?
9. According to Mark 10:45, why did the Son of Man come to earth?
10.According to 2 Corinthians 8:9, why did Jesus make himself poor?