Bible Topics
in the Christian Library

Philippians 2:5

John L. Kachelman, Jr.


I. Some general observations on the book of Philippians.

1. Many descriptive expressions have been used to describe this Epistle.

a. The Epistle of Joy

b. A Thank-you Letter

c. The Epistle of Excellent Things (1:10; 4:8)

d. The Epistle of Right Mindedness

e. The Epistle of Unity

2. The book is most positive in every verse; truly a joy to read and study!

II. If you take Philippians and use as your theme "The Epistle of Right Mindedness", the following outline appears.

1. Chapter One--A Mind of Thanks

2. Chapter Two--The Mind of Christ

3. Chapter Three--A Mind of Right Values

4. Chapter Four--A Mind of Many Virtues

III. We want to consider the second division--The Mind of Christ.

1. All of the feelings and acts of Christians should find their motivation by having the mind of Christ.

2. It is significant that Paul speaks of the "mind".

a. It implies that one's actions and feelings are the result of "reasoning" out the available avenues.

b. Throughout the Bible God depends upon man to reason out the proper avenue to walk.

1) There are a number of contrasts presented in the text so that the readers can reason out the proper one. 

2) God begs us to make use of the mental ability, to resolve questions, which He gave us. (Isa. 1:18)

3. In order for his readers to fully comprehend all aspects of the "mind of Christ", Paul devotes an entire chapter to discussing all aspects of this mind of Christ--Philip. 2.

IV. Consider now the second chapter of Philippians and see how the mind of Christ is discussed.


I. The motivations to develop this mind of Christ (2:1-2a).

A. Summing up his previous statements, Paul calls the Philippians to develop the mind of Christ because of five reasons.

B. These five reasons listed and discussed.

1. The consolation of being in Christ--We are consoled and reassured by the promises of the gospel. Rom. 8:1

2. The comfort of love--The security and affection of our fellow family members. 2 Cor. 1:3-5)

3. The fellowship of the Spirit--A participation in all aspects of salvation which comes through the Bible; with our fellow-man and with God.

4. Tender mercies and compassions--The sharing of many kinds of feelings and actions. There are those dear friends who help us in distress, who speak kind and encouraging words, who frankly but kindly correct us.

5. A personal appeal from Paul--Because of their love and affection for Paul, they should do this.

C. Thus, they were to develop this mind of Christ because of these five logical reasons.

1. Paul's reasons are simple, but forceful.

2. Let us carefully reason out these five points.

II. The attitudes which are associated with the mind of Christ (2:2b-4).

A. This fivefold appeal should lead to a person developing a fourfold change.

B. If one strives to have the mind of Christ within them, then such a one will possess these four attitudes as well.

1. Unity and harmony (2b)--Paul purposely repeats the theme of unity and harmony. There is no doubt left as to the Apostle's command. Paul did not think it impossible to expect unity, and it is not impossible today! Pt 3:8

2. Freedom from faction and vainglory (3a)--It is an all too sad commentary on many Christians that faction and vainglory motivate more than the tender mercies of Christ (Rom 13:13).

a. Faction--self-seeking, promoting our own party interests

b. Vainglory--useless desires to glorify self, pride.

3. Lowliness (3b)--It is of primary importance that we exercise humility. There must be respect for another's talents and abilities. Eph. 5:21

4. Concern for others (4)--This does not condone meddlesome behavior (I Peter 4:15). But is commands us to be acutely aware of the failings and needs of others and to show this concern! I Cor. 10:24

III. The example of Christ helps to define further what the mind of Christ involves (2:5-11).

A. This text is one of the greatest Christological passages in the Bible. But Paul intended the contents of this text to exhort us on to Christian unity.

B. As you read and study these verses we see the following ideas associated with the mind of Christ. Christ demonstrated this mind by--

1. Obedience to God's Will (8)--As we consider this example of Christ how could we be high-minded, factious, proud, or self-seeking?

2. A reward won by obedience--whenever one nurtures this mind of Christ, eternal reward is found.

IV. For those who claim to have this mind of Christ there are certain commands necessary to be observed (2:12-17).

A. As one develops, the mind of Christ is achieved because the following duties must be performed--

1. Steadfast work (2:12-13)

2. Contentment (2:14)

3. Purity (2:15a)

4. Evangelistic zeal (2:15b-16)

5. Rejoicing (2:17-18)

B. Only as one has the mind of Christ will these be seen. Do you have the mind of Christ? You do if these five commands are obeyed!

V. Paul's helpers demonstrated the possibility of developing the mind of Christ (2:19-30). Lest some object and say that such standards are too high for mortals to reach, Paul brings into consideration two of his companions.

A. Timothy (2:19-24) sought only the things of God.

B. Epaphroditus (2:25-30) hazarded his life for the works of Christ.


I. We have heard much about heart transplants. Christians must have mind transplants--the mind of Christ replace our old sinful mind (cf. Ephesians 4:17-23).

II. Paul could experience the joy, assurance, and beauty of Christianity because he had the mind of Christ within him. Philip. 4:9

1. The same is possible today for you and me!

2. Determine that you will develop this mind of Christ within your life.

3. Every so often turn to Philippians 2 and read the entire chapter to refresh your memory about the great blessing available when one has the mind of Christ.

4. Do YOU have this mind in you today?

5. Read Philippians 2:1-4, 12-16a, 5.

Copyright 1998 by John L. Kachelman, Jr. may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

Top of Page