Philippians 2:5 - Having the Mind of Jesus Requires Holy Spirit Power.

Phi.2:5; Having the Mind of Jesus Requires Holy Spirit Power.

Phil 2:5 (KJV)  Let this mind be in you, which was also in
Christ Jesus:

Phil 2:5 (EAV)  Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble]
mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in

Phil 2:5 (NCV)  In your lives you must think and act like Christ


In many ways this is the greatest and most moving passage Paul
ever wrote about Jesus... The essence of it is in the simple statement
Paul made to the Corinthians that, although Jesus was rich, yet for
our sakes he became poor (2Cor 8:9). Here that simple idea is stated
with a fulness which is without parallel. [Barclay Commentary]

Phil 2:5-11  This passage on the humility of Christ is the high
mark of the epistle. [Ryrie SB]

This is a Christological statement unparalleled in the New
Testament.... Nowhere else is the self-emptying of Christ described as it is
here. [College Press NIV Commentary]

Paul draws upon an early hymn of the church which eloquently
portrays the divine condescension of Christ in His incarnation and death
[Wycliffe Bible Commentary]

Many believe that the words in Philippians 2:5-11 are from an
early Christian liturgy, used as a confession of faith in the churches
which Paul founded. [Victor Teacher's Commentary]

Lohmeyer, who was the first scholar to demonstrate these words
were a hymn, argued that the early church sang it at the Lord's
Supper. Others have considered it a baptismal hymn.... Hawthorne believes
the foot washing episode in John 13 formed the conceptual
background. [College Press NIV Commentary]

It is generally agreed that these verses are a Christian hymn,
inserted into the text here as a powerful enforcement of the epistle's
call to humility (and thus to unity). [College Press NIV Commentary]

A powerful hymn or creed in celebration of the incarnation,
humiliation, and obedience of Jesus--a course which not only led Christ to the
cross but ultimately exalted Him to the "highest place" [Victor Bible
Reader's Companion]

The poetic form of these verses have led some to argue it is an
early church hymn. Whatever its origin, this account of Christ's
incarnation serves as a supreme illustration of humility, as God the Son
willingly surrendered the prerogatives of deity to die as a human being
for our sins. The hymn also makes another important point. The way
up for us too is down. We must follow Jesus along the way of
humility. [Victor Bible Reader's Companion]

2:5-11 These verses are probably from a hymn sung by the early
Christian church. The passage holds many parallels to the prophecy of the
suffering servant in Isaiah 53. As a hymn, it was not meant to be a
complete statement about the nature and work of Christ. Several key
characteristics of Jesus Christ, however, are praised in this passage:
(1) Christ has always existed with God;
(2) Christ is equal to God because he 'is' God (John 1:1 ff;
Colossians 1:15-19);
(3) though Christ is God, he became a man in order to fulfill
God's plan of salvation for all people;
(4) Christ did not just have the appearance of being a man--he
actually became human to identify with our sins;
(5) Christ voluntarily laid aside his divine rights and
privileges out of love for his Father;
(6) Christ died on the cross for our sins so we wouldn't have to
face eternal death;
(7) God glorified Christ because of his obedience;
(8) God raised Christ to his original position at the Father's
right hand, where he will reign forever as our Lord and Judge. How can
we do anything less than praise Christ as our Lord and dedicate
ourselves to his service! [Life Application SB]


Verse 5 is the Key Verse Of Chapter 2: Christ our example.
[Victor Bible Reader's Companion]

2:5 These words are not a part of the hymn, but introduce it and
form a link with verses 1-4. [College Press NIV Commentary]

This verse functions as an introductory formula for the hymn
(UBS Translator Handbook Series)

Christians are exhorted to have the mind of Christ. The verb
phroneo (Gk.) is a present imperative of command and could be translated
"have this mind" or "mind this." The characteristics of this mind are
given in 2:1-4. The tangible evidence that Christ possessed such a
mind is noted in 2:6-11. The essence of the mind of Christ is
humility and sacrificial love for others. [Believer's SB]

"Mind" denotes primarily, not an act of thinking, but a state of
mind, an inward disposition. It signifies sympathetic interests and
concern, reflecting the action of the "heart" as well as the "head." (UBS
Translator Handbook Series)


Now what was the mind of Christ? He was eminently humble, and
this is what we are peculiarly to learn of him. Learn of me, for I am
meek and lowly in heart, . If we were lowly-minded, we
should be like-minded; and, if we were like Christ, we should be
lowly-minded. We must walk in the same spirit and in the same steps with the
Lord Jesus, who humbled himself to sufferings and death for us; not
only to satisfy God's justice, and pay the price of our redemption,
but to set us an example, and that we might follow his steps.
(Matthew Henry's Commentary)

The object of this reference to the example of the Saviour 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 him the most humble form of humanity, and performed
the most lowly offices, that he might benefit us. (Barnes' Notes)

Jesus is the supreme example of humility. He is divine by nature
but did not selfishly demand His divine rights. Instead He gave up
the glory of heaven to become a human. Even then He did not seek
royal treatment but took the servant's role. Humble service was not
the end of His humility. He obeyed the Father's plan and died for
our sins. Through His humble service, Jesus pleased the Father, who
made Him Ruler of the universe. [Disciple SB]

He emptied himself, divested himself of the honours and glories
of the upper world, and of his former appearance, to clothe himself
with the rags of human nature. (Matthew Henry's Commentary)

"Humbled Himself" , first, in taking on Him our
nature; secondly, in humbling himself further in that nature . (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)

"Lowliness of mind"--this is the submissive mind that thinks not
of itself but of Christ and others. "Humility is not thinking
meanly of ourselves; it is just not thinking of ourselves at all." Paul
points to the attitude of Christ before His incarnation. Was He
selfishly trying to hold on to His privileges as God? No! He willingly
laid aside His glory and "put on" the form of a servant. He did not
cease to be God, but He did lay aside His glory and the independent
use of His attributes as God.... Jesus humbled Himself to become
flesh, and then to become sin as He willingly went to the cross.
[Wiersbe Expository Outlines]

By being fully human, Jesus made God known to us as never
before. The 'incarnation' was the act of the preexistent Son of God
voluntarily assuming a human body and human nature. Without ceasing to be
God, he became a human being, the man called Jesus. He did not give
up his deity to become human, but he set aside the right to his
glory and power. In submission to the Father's will, Christ limited
his power and knowledge. Jesus of Nazareth was subject to place,
time, and many other human limitations. What made his humanity unique
was his freedom from sin. In his full humanity, Jesus showed us
everything about God's character that can be conveyed in human terms. [Life
Application SB]

One would think that the Lord Jesus, if he would be a man,
should have been a prince, and appeared in splendour. But quite the
contrary: He took upon him the form of a servant. He was brought up
meanly, probably working with his supposed father at his trade. His
whole life was a life of humiliation, meanness, poverty, and disgrace;
he had nowhere to lay his head, lived upon alms, was a man of
sorrows and acquainted with grief, did not appear with external pomp, or
any marks of distinction from other men. This was the humiliation of
his life. But the lowest step of his humiliation was his dying the
death of the cross. He became obedient to death, even the death of the
cross. He not only suffered, but was actually and voluntarily obedient;
he obeyed the law which he brought himself under as Mediator, and
by which he was obliged to die.... There is an emphasis laid upon the
manner of his dying, which had in it all the circumstances possible
which are humbling: Even the death of the cross, a cursed, painful,
and shameful death,-- a death accursed by the law  (Cursed is he
that hangeth on a tree)-- full of pain, the body nailed through the
nervous parts (the hands and feet) and hanging with all its weight upon
the cross,-- and the death of a malefactor and a slave, not of a
free-man,-- exposed as a public spectacle. Such was the condescension of the
blessed Jesus. (Matthew Henry's Commentary)

Paul looked with awe at Jesus' willing surrender of the
prerogatives of Deity to become a human being, and to die for us on a cross.
[Victor Teacher's Commentary]

The glory of divinity Jesus gave up willingly in order to become
man. He emptied himself of his deity to take upon himself his
humanity.  It is useless to ask how; we can only stand in awe at the sight
of him, who is almighty God, hungry and weary and in tears.
[Barclay Commentary]

Christ left a state of inexpressible glory, took upon Himself
the most humble form of humanity, and performed the most lowly of
offices, that men might be saved. Christians are to frame their lives
according to this great example. [SDA Commentary]

Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus
Christ, who, though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights
as God, but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the
disguise of a slave and becoming like men. And he humbled himself even
further, going so far as actually to die a criminal's death on a cross.
[Life Recovery SB]

Jesus deliberately stripped Himself of everything - His divine
rights and privileges - and crossed the unthinkable chasm between God
and man.
Try to imagine the span of that chasm.... The unlimited God
became limited man.... Jesus Christ is God....
From the world's viewpoint, Jesus had descended as low as a man
- to say nothing of God - could go.
But there was one more downward step, in heaven's eyes the
deepest descent of all: from sinless to sin stained.... Truly, He could
go no lower....
He knowingly and actively embraced a life of giving, serving,
losing, and dying.
What was, and is, really hard for Jesus' followers to swallow is
that we are called to do the same. To make ourselves nothing.... We
must believe that as painful as it sometimes feels, descending is the
only way to greatness.... Jesus obeyed for the sake of love.
And we, His followers and the recipients of His love, are called
to do the same. When asked about the two greatest commands, Jesus
replied: to love God and to love others. That is what motivated Jesus,
and that is what is to motivate us. From Descending into Greatness
by Bill Hybels [Inspirational SB]

Believers are exhorted to have the same attitude--selfless
humility--Christ exhibited in His humiliation and condescension.
[Bible Knowledge

Christians are to have his attitude of self-sacrificing humility
and love for others. [NIV SB]

When we adopt His attitude, there will be a dramatic impact on
our relationships with others. [Victor Teacher's Commentary]

Being humble involves having a true perspective of ourselves.
It does not mean that we should put ourselves down. We should see
that we are sinners, saved only by God's grace, but we are saved and
therefore have great worth in God's kingdom. We are to lay aside
selfishness and treat others with respect and common courtesy. Considering
others' interests as more important than our own links us with Christ,
who was a true example of humility. [Small Group SB]

Jesus Christ was humble, willing to give up his rights in order
to obey God and serve people. Like Christ, we should have a
servant's attitude, serving out of love for God and for others,... Remember,
you can choose your attitude. You can approach life expecting to be
served, or you can look for opportunities to serve others. [Life
Application SB]

Often people excuse selfishness, pride, or evil by claiming
their rights. They think, "I can cheat on this test; after all, I
deserve to pass this class," or "I can spend all this money on myself--I
worked hard for it," or "I can get an abortion; I have a right to
control my own body." But as believers, we should have a different
attitude, one that enables us to lay aside our rights in order to serve
others. If we say we follow Christ, we must also say we want to live as
he lived. We should develop his attitude of humility as we serve,
even when we are not likely to get recognition for our efforts. Are
you selfishly clinging to your rights, or are you willing to serve?
[Life Application SB]

The hidden secret of a happy life is becoming so interested in
helping others that we become self-forgetful in the process.
Being unselfish in attitude strikes at the very core of our
being. It means we are willing to forego our own comfort, our own
preferences, our own schedules, our own desires for another's benefit. And
that brings us to Christ. Perhaps you never realized that it was His
attitude of unselfishness that launched Him from the splendor of heaven
to a humble manger in Bethlehem . . .and later to the Cross at
Calvary. How did He accept all that? Willingly.
Everything that was involved in Jesus' becoming human began with
an attitude of submission . . . a willingness to cooperate with
God's plan for salvation. Rather than lobbying for His right to remain
in heaven and continuing to enjoy all the benefits of that exalted
role as the second member of the Godhead and Lord of the created
world, He willingly said yes He agreed to cooperate with a plan that
would require His releasing ecstasy and accepting agony In a state of
absolute perfection and undiminished deity, He willingly came to earth.
Leaving the angelic hosts who flooded His presence with adoring praise,
He unselfishly accepted a role that would require His being
misunderstood, abused, cursed, and crucified (Phil. 2:5-8). He unhesitating
surrendered the fellowship and protection of the Father's glory for the
lonely path of obedience and torturous death. Charles R. Swindoll
[Passages Of Life Bible]

The humble person will renounce all the glory of the good he has
or does and give it all to God. If there is anything good in him or
any good done by him, he is not disposed to glorify himself or boast
about it before God.... The disposition of the humble person is to
wholly submit himself to God. He is content to be subject to the
commands and laws of God, for he sees it is right and good that the
creature be subject to His Creator. He wants to give God the honor that
belongs to Him, and that is to reign over him and subject him to certain
laws and commands that are designed for his own best interests. [Time
With God SB]

It is the love of self that brings unrest. When we are born from
above, the same mind will be in us that was in Jesus, the mind that led
Him to humble Himself that we might be saved. Then we shall not be
seeking the highest place. We shall desire to sit at the feet of Jesus,
and learn of Him. We shall understand that the value of our work
does not consist in making a show and noise in the world, and in
being active and zealous in our own strength. The value of our work is
in proportion to the impartation of the Holy Spirit. DA330,1

Brain Transplants
How would you like to get an injection of brain cells that would
automatically make you smart? You could get a shot of math brain cells or a
shot of science brain cells. Whatever you needed to know would be
available at a special school--a school where you could get an information
injection instead of book learning. The idea of transplanting brain cells
has been studied for some time, but only in small animals, such as
One scientist took brain cells from a healthy rat and planted
them in the brain of a rat that had a brain disease. The diseased rat
immediately began to improve, and it eventually overcame most of the effects
of the disease. This is an example of what scientists believe is
possible by the transplanting of healthy brain tissue into unhealthy
One of the questions that scientists specializing in brain
transplants will be studying next is whether or not memory can be
transplanted in brain cells. Based on studies of trained worms, it appears
that transplanting memory cells may be possible, but no one knows for
sure yet. The process will be tested by first training a rat to run
through a maze. Then some brain tissue from this rat will be
transplanted into the brain of a rat that has not been taught to run the
maze. If the memory transplant works, the rat that has not learned to
run the maze will be able either to run the maze or to learn to run
the maze more quickly.
Some doctors hope that someday such maladies as Parkinson's
disease can be cured by transferring brain cells from a person who does
not have the disease into one who does. (There is a problem, though,
about whether such tampering with the brain is a good thing to do.)
In the meantime there is a promise that God has made to each of
us: He will transplant into our mind the very thoughts and abilities
that Jesus had, to overcome evil and live for God. What a promise!
[Glimpses Of God's Love by J & P Tucker]

Christ is our Saviour, plus. There are many words we might tack
on behind that "plus." He is our Saviour, plus our LORD. He is our
Saviour, plus our High Priest. But here, as in Ephesians 5:1 and other
passages, Paul reminds us that Jesus is our Saviour, plus our example. We
are to be like Jesus, not just in the way we act, but in our
innermost values and attitudes toward life.
This is why Paul stressed humility. It's not enough to act
interested in others. We must be interested in others. It's not enough to
act unselfishly. We must be free of "selfishness and vain conceit."
This would be an impossible task if it weren't for one wonderful
reality. God has already acted to make possible everything He asks of us!
No wonder Paul began by saying, "Since you are united with Christ...
since you have fellowship with the Spirit." Christ and His Spirit live
within us, and through their presence we can develop "the same"
attitude "as that of Christ Jesus." [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]

There are many whose hearts are aching under a load of care
because they seek to reach the world's standard. They have chosen its
service, accepted its perplexities, adopted its customs. Thus their
character is marred, and their life made a weariness. In order to gratify
ambition and worldly desires, they wound the conscience, and bring upon
themselves an additional burden of remorse. The continual worry is wearing
out the life forces. Our Lord desires them to lay aside this yoke of
bondage. He invites them to accept His yoke; He says, "My yoke is easy,
and My burden is light." He bids them seek first the kingdom of God
and His righteousness, and His promise is that all things needful to
them for this life shall be added. Worry is blind, and cannot discern
the future; but Jesus sees the end from the beginning. In every
difficulty He has His way prepared to bring relief. Our heavenly Father has
a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know nothing. Those
who accept the one principle of making the service and honor of God
supreme will find perplexities vanish, and a plain path before their
feet. DA330,1

He did not "grasp at" His equality with God. He "made Himself
nothing" to come to earth as a human being--a Servant. Here He even
humbled Himself to the extent that He willingly died a criminal's death.
And all for us. If you and I have this attitude toward our brothers
and sisters in Jesus, there will be Christian unity.... We, like
Jesus, will live to serve. And in serving we, like Jesus, will find the
way of exaltation.... For us as well as for Jesus, the way up is down.
For us, as for Jesus, God exalts us when we humble ourselves in
service of others. [Victor Teacher's Commentary]


This attitude is the key to unity. [Victor Bible Reader's

Achieving unity calls for an attitude of humility (2:1-4) that
mimic's that of Jesus (v. 5). [Victor Bible Reader's Companion]

Would like-minded Christians have no disagreements? (2:2-5)
No, Christians can have differing opinions and disagree with
each other about some things. To be like-minded need not suggest a
lockstep, cloned behavior. This is instead a call to have attitudes like
Christ - loving and accepting one another, even when we're different.
In fact, God delights in our diversity; he made every single person
unique. But Christ sets a pattern, and the Bible furnishes a standard,
for what brings honor to God and promotes love among God's people.
We should all be like-minded in our obedience to Christ and in our
care for others. [Quest SB]

Selfishness, self-seeking and self-display destroy our likeness
to Christ and our fellowship with each other. [Barclay Commentary]

Pride is the most naked form of selfishness, which is the
essence of sin (Muller). (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)

When a flock of geese fly south for the winter, they fly in a
V-shaped formation. If they didn't they would never reach their
Researchers have found that the V-shaped formation helps geese
fly at least 71 percent farther than they could fly alone, because
each bird creates an updraft for the one behind it, making flying
If one goose falls out of formation, the wind resistance slows
down the bird. If it doesn't act quickly, it will not be able to keep
up with its flock. So, it quickly gets back into formation.
Like geese, Christians need to work together in the church.
[Youth Bible]


The way to be exalted is still, be humble. [The 365-Day
Devotional Commentary]

Christ's experience proves that exaltation always follows
humiliation. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that
He may exalt you in due time," promises 1 Peter 5:6. The person who
exalts himself will be humbled (Luke 14:11). Remember what happened to
Pharaoh, King Saul, Nebuchadnezzar, Haman, and Herod? We do not worship a
"babe in a manger" or a "sacrifice on a cross"; we worship an exalted
Lord seated on the throne of the universe. Christ's life, death, and
resurrection proved eternally that the way to be exalted is to be humbled
before God. There is no joy or peace in pride and self-seeking. When we
have the submissive mind that Christ had, then we will have the joy
and peace that He alone can give. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]


Though in his pre-incarnate state he possessed the essential
qualities of God, he did not consider his status of divine equality a
prize to be selfishly hoarded. [Wycliffe Bible Commentary]

He did not clutch at equality with God, as if to hug it
jealously to himself, but laid it willingly down for the sake of men.
[Barclay Commentary]

His whole life was a life of poverty and suffering. But the
lowest step was his dying the death of the cross, the death of a
malefactor and a slave; exposed to public hatred and scorn. [Matthew Henry

Php 2:11 is one of the most important verses in the New
Testament. In it we read that the aim of God, is a day when every tongue
will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  These four words were the
first creed that the Christian Church ever had. To be a Christian was
to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (compare Rom 10:9). This was a
simple creed, yet all-embracing.  Perhaps we would do well to go back
to it. Later men tried to define more closely what it meant and
argued and quarrelled about it, calling each other heretics and fools.
But it is still true that if man can say, "For me Jesus Christ is
Lord," he is a Christian. If he can say that, he means that for him
Jesus Christ is unique and that he is prepared to give him an
obedience he is prepared to give no one else. He may not be able to put
into words who and what he believes Jesus to be; but, so long as
there is in his heart this wondering love and in his life this
unquestioning obedience, he is a Christian, because Christianity consists less
in the mind's understanding than it does in the heart's love.
[Barclay Commentary]

Jesus won the hearts of men, not by blasting them with power,
but by showing them a love they could not resist. At the sight of
this person who laid his glory by for men and loved them to the
extent of dying for them on a cross, men's hearts are melted and their
resistance is broken down. When men worship Jesus Christ, they fall at his
feet in wondering love.  They do not say "I cannot resist a might
like that," but, "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my
soul, my all." Worship is founded, not on fear, but on love. [Barclay

Jesus draws men to himself that he may draw them to God. In the
Philippian Church there were men whose aim was to gratify a selfish
ambition; the aim of Jesus was to serve others, no matter what depths of
self-renunciation that service might involve. In the Philippian
Church there were
those whose aim was to focus men's eyes upon themselves; the aim of
Jesus was to focus men's eyes upon God. So the follower of Christ must
think always, not of himself but of others, not of his own glory but
of the glory of God. [Barclay Commentary]

Christ Jesus. The more usual order of the names is "Jesus
Christ," but Paul often uses the order as here, especially in this
epistle (chs. 3:3, 8, 12, 14; 4:7, 19, 21). In so doing he is possibly
emphasizing the divine element (Christ) before the human element (Jesus) in
the Saviour's divine-human nature. [SDA Commentary]

He became like us in all things except sin. [Matthew Henry