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Let This Mind be in You
pp. 90 - 94
In the context of `lowliness of mind' or humility of mind (Phil. 2: 3, 5), Paul writes to
the Philippian Christians exhorting them "Let this mind be in you, which was also in
Many are the exhortations in Christian circles today to be humble, an emphasis which
we hasten to add is perfectly Scriptural. Yet before the exhortation can be effective, we
need to know what is meant by humility. Is humility an attitude to life which prevents us
from either having convictions, or having them, from expressing them? "Hast thou
convictions? Have them to thyself" seems to be the principle behind much that passes for
humility at the present time. To be humble in the popular sense, we must be spineless
and opinionless, always charming, and not daring to disagree with anybody. Or there is
the self-conscious humility which results in a person well able to perform a particular
task, and aware of the ability, responding "I could not possibly do that--I am sure some
one else could do it much better".
There are two particular references in Scripture which lay down the fundamental of
humility: I Pet. 5: 6 reads "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you in due season". Similarly, James writes (4: 10) "Humble
yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up". True humility is `under the
mighty hand of the Lord', is `in the sight of the Lord'--and such humility may, on
occasions, appear `in the sight of men' to be nothing short of sheer arrogance and conceit.
A member of a committee spoke out of strongly, sincerely held Scriptural convictions
against a proposed course of action, and was met with the response `What we need is a
little humility'. In such a situation the believer's response can only be `whether it be
right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye' (Acts 4: 19).
But for the most perfect exposition of true humility, we must look to the passage
following Paul's exhortation to "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus"
(Phil. 2: 5-11).
Here is One (verse 6) "Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be
equal with God". The Companion Bible tells us that en morphe (the Greek translated `in
the form') signifies `in the essential form of God' Thayer says `the form by which a
person or thing strikes the vision, the external appearance'. Perhaps we might paraphrase
it by saying "Who was obviously God". The thought takes us back to John 1: 1--"In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". In
essence God and Christ Jesus are indistinguishable. The significance of this fact is that
here is a Being Who alone, either in or out of creation, has every right to insist upon His
rights, to assert His abilities and claim His position. Yet, being in the essential form of
God, He `thought it not robbery to be equal with God'.