“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men,” Philippians 2:5-7. Jesus was in the form of God. He was the Word, the Son, and He was God incarnate. He was omnipotent and omniscient, and the Scriptures bore witness and testified of Him. All created things and all heavenly things were at His disposal. Yet, because he found Himself in the likeness of men (the body of flesh), He emptied Himself of all privileges and all powers and humbled Himself by becoming obedient to God and to the authorities of men, even to the point of death on a cross.
As verse 5 says, we are to have the same attitude in us that Jesus had in Himself. That is, although we are in the form of God by virtue of His Spirit within us, we are still in the body of flesh. Therefore, in accordance with the attitude of Jesus, we are not to regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but are to instead humble ourselves, by becoming obedient to God and to the authorities of men.
In order to maintain the attitude of Jesus, we must guard ourselves from those who tell us to take authority over this and that. These people claim that Jesus gave us the same authority He was given when He had completed His ministry on earth. But we have not completed our sojourn on earth, so we must do as Jesus did during His ministry, learn obedience through the things which we suffer. We must also guard ourselves from those who purport to bind the devil and revile angelic majesties, whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. Consider that Michael the archangel, did not dare pronounce a railing accusation against the devil, but said, “The Lord rebuke you,” Jude 1:9. And we must guard against those who lift themselves up to the point where they declare and decree things, for this is folly to the Lord, Job 42:7, 8, as well as insubordination.
Jesus teaches us to do the opposite of these and all other things raised up against the knowledge of God. He left us an example by His relying on the Father and working as the Father worked. Jesus did nothing on His own initiative, but spoke the Father’s words, as is confirmed in John 14:10, “…The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.”
Since the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit does the same for us. He guides us into all the truth; for He does not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He speaks; and He discloses to us what is to come. He glorifies Jesus, taking what is His, and disclosing it to us.
To hear, and to be led by the Spirit, we must remain humble, as did Jesus, and continue in obedience, not only to God, but also to the authorities of men, as did Jesus, for we are still in the body of flesh.
Weigh everything I say on the scales of the Word of God.
Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant
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