Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this same mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, was one with God and equal with God. But He made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 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.”
Reigning In Life
The Greek word used for “mind” (phroneo) in this passage carries the meaning “to entertain and savour in your thoughts, until it forms your disposition”.
There is a powerful tension in the Christian walk, between the truth of our free gift of righteousness and reigning in life (Rom 5:17) and the call of Jesus to consciously follow Him and lay down our lives as He laid down His life for us.
Let’s talk about three things which were at work within Jesus which teach us how to reign and serve at the same time. Jesus lived In the power of the Father’s glory, embraced the spirit of sacrifice and walked in a spirit of service.
Living in the Power of the Father’s Glory
When Jesus left His glorious throne, He came bearing the Father’s glory. He emptied Himself (of His rights and privileges), but He did not come empty! the Father filled him with His Glory, Grace and Truth.
John 1:14-18 says:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth…
Hebrews 1:2-3 speaks powerfully about this glory revealed in Jesus:
He (God) has spoken to us in the person of His Son. He (Jesus) is the sole expression of the glory of God, the “light-being”, the out-raying radiance of the divine! And He is the perfect imprint and exact image of God’s nature, upholding and maintaining and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. (Hebrews 1:2-3 Amp.)
The Greek word used here for “image” (charakter)” means an exact photo-typical imprint. The invisible Father was displayed through the Son. “He is the image (exact photo-typical imprint) of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). The Father manifested His likeness and Glory for us, through His Son!
SOMETHING POWERFUL HAPPENS when we “entertain and savour” that which was in the heart of Jesus. When we savour being of the “same mind”. A new thing begins to change in our disposition… We choose to be emptied of “self”… and the Father begins to fill us with His Glory!
As we “empty ourselves” in response to the “same mind” as Jesus, we also do not walk empty in this world. We walk full of the Fathers Glory, Love and Grace.
We can know this for sure when we understand the prayer of Jesus in John 17:20-26. everything that the Father gave to Jesus… Oneness with Himself, Glory, Love… All of this was prayed over us. Jesus did this so that we may live in the same “Love which He loved His Son before the foundation of the world” (John 17:23-26) (See also Eph 1:3-4).
He prayed the same glory which the Father gave to the Son to be in us, so that we may walk as one with God in Christ. (John 17:20-22)
This is “reigning in life”! Living in the Father’s Glory, full of Him.
Living in the Spirit of Sacrifice
In Jesus, we see that the fullness of the Father’s Glory was within Him, and that the spirit of SACRIFICE was His total disposition. There is a powerful lesson here.
We see that Jesus “being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped” (Phil 2:6, NIV). Truly this was the desire of Jesus to deal with the root of original sin: Satan appealing to the pride of humanity, as he offered Adam a chance to “be like God”! (Gen 3:5).
Adam was already made “in God’s image”, but this offer from the serpent would give him a status beyond his current boundaries. What a powerful temptation for Adam! The offer of a throne with him on it! Jesus came to break the curse of this selfish, lustful desire.
No one can be full of God, as Jesus was, without willingly being emptied of “self”. The spirit of sacrifice (the same spirit as the sacrificial offering of Jesus), is still the only way that we can be set free from the spirit of the flesh.
It’s time for us to Entertain and Savour in our heart desires, the preciousness of sacrifice! That glorious exchange, where self-advancement and selfish ambition are broken forever by the spirit and joy of sacrifice. David knew it… “I will not offer to the Lord that which cost me nothing” (2 Sam 24:24). Abel desired sacrifice. He demonstrated an indwelling desire to sacrifice his best unto the Lord. Abraham the covenant partner of God was obedient to unimaginable sacrifice… which opened up the way for eternal salvation in Christ.
Sacrifice and covenant are co-partners in every act that flows from God to the world. I have witnessed the power of the spirit of sacrifice at work in the lives of powerful, humble Christians. Even though we are fully born into the privilege and reign of the new covenant in Christ, he still calls us to embrace the sacrificial nature of the kingdom which changes the world. God works together with those who present themselves a living sacrifice. (Rom 12:1-2) When we make that glorious exchange, we find the entry into the “Christ-life”, the “same spirit” which brought heaven to earth. Every victorious chapter of Church history confirms that the Kingdom breaks out into life when His people lay theirs down.
Walking in the Spirit of Service
The depth of obedience at work within Jesus was beyond comprehension! At the centre of the throne of God lies the theme of God’s eternal purpose: A lamb slain before the foundation of the world. (Rev 5:6, Rev13:8).
The Word becoming flesh was not a spontaneous decision of the Father or the Son! It was always before Him; always at the centre of God’s heart for a fallen world. In the act of emptying Himself, Jesus embraced the utmost service. The form of a bond-servant. Called and set apart to surrender all of His rights and privileges, humbled to the point of death.
How glorious in the sight of God, when we, ourselves, entertain and savour THE PRIVILEGE OF SOLD-OUT SERVICE! When service becomes our heart’s treasure.
Sold-out service is still the central theme of Heaven’s purpose into Earth. Jesus said that in His Kingdom, “the greatest is the servant of all”: “If any man would find his life, he must first lose it”. “Take up your cross, and follow me”
Jesus needed to address this priority continually in the disciples (as he does in us): “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve”. He washed their feet. He broke the culture of status and entitlement, declaring instead that “He who serves is the greatest”. Without the “mind that was in Christ”, this is incomprehensible to us.
Then follows the great “THEREFORE”! “Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.” (Philippians 2:9-11).
From this we understand that our season here on earth will be followed in Heaven with everlasting reward. Just as Jesus, “for the joy set before Him, endured shame and the cross and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God”, we also consider it ALL JOY to be filled with the same spirit of service. Every act of service, from the greatest to the least, will be rewarded in Heaven, because we belong to Christ. (Mark 9:41). The Greek word used here for “belong” (EIMI) is an emphatic statement: “I exist in Christ!” “I am in Christ”. So, every act of service is inseparable from Him and always before Him. You will never lose your reward.
So, let this same mind be in you, as was in Jesus. Entertain and savour in the thoughts and intents of your heart, the privilege of “as He is, so am I in this world”.
Display your Father’s Glory, and reign in life. Treasure in your heart the privilege of sacrifice. Savour in your thoughts the privilege of service. And know for sure, His reward will follow.