The secret of any successful sports team is that there must be an intellectual bond between the captain and the coach. The captain must think the same way as the coach and believe that the coach knows the best way.
Much effort goes into practice to develop and maintain this bond.
Our verse today falls between two majestic passages, making it difficult to decide whether “the same attitude” refers to the previous passage, which deals with our humble service to one another, or to the following passage, which describes Christ’s incarnation. More likely, it refers to both.
The goal of the new life in Christ is this: “Be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom 12:2).
We are to program our frame of mind (thoughts, beliefs, and values) so it will drive our motivation and behavior to demonstrate by our experience that the will (mind) of God is “good, and acceptable, and perfect.”
Taking the sense or nuance of the verb, the emphatic position in the sentence, and the tense of the verb, one comes to this translation: “For this [what has already been described] should be habitually or continually your way of thinking, which also was that of Christ Jesus” (as Paul will continue to describe). In this context, Jesus always considered other people and their needs to be a greater priority than His own human needs (Phil 2:3-4).
He was never personally or selfishly ambitious or conceited, but he “made Himself of no reputation” to become our Savior.
This is not an external conformity, but an internal mind-set of self-sacrifice, self-giving, and selfless love for the benefit of others that should reign supreme in the personal and community life of believers.
In hundreds of ways, believers should be seen serving one another without looking for personal benefits or bragging rights.
In a dramatic conclusion to His life, while the disciples were arguing over who should be the greatest in the Messiah’s kingdom (Luke 22:24), Jesus, the King of kings, arose, poured water into a basin, and began to wash the dirty, sandaled feet of His disciples (Jn 13:4–5). What is your mind-set today?
“Dear Jesus, You were willing to sacrifice it all to accomplish Your Father’s will. Please give me a willing heart to serve others so that I might be used to accomplish Your purposes for me on this earth.”
For a year's daily devotional of these Bible studies, order a copy of the book Walking His Way at Branches Publications or order the Kindle version at Amazon.com. You can also download the App for Android Smartphones.