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Philippians 2:5-11 Meaning (Verse-by-Verse Study & Commentary)

Philippians 2:5-11 Scripture

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 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. 

9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

Philippians 2:5 Meaning

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 2:5)

This verse reveals that it is possible to have the same mind as Christ. This isn’t the only verse that says this. In 1 Corinthians 2:16 Paul tells us that we have the mind of Christ through the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

This truth reveals that we can walk this earth with the same perspective, humility, love, and faith as Christ did when he walked this earth. Otherwise, the scriptures would never make these statements or commands.

The next thing we have to understand is this “mind of Christ” is not automatic. We have to “let this mind” be in us. We have to see what the scripture says about Jesus, and who we are in Him, and we need to renew our minds to these truths.

It’s possible to have the mind of Christ, but it takes the renewal of the mind with the word of God and prayer to get there (Romans 12:1-2 & James 1:21).

The last thing I want to mention concerning this verse is verse 5 is the main point of Paul writing verses 6-11.

The whole reason he wrote 6-11 is to explain what it means to have the mind of Christ and to explain the results of having this mind.

In verses 6-8, Paul explains the humility of Christ. And in verses 9-11, he explains the exaltation of Christ.

Philippians 2:6 Meaning

“…who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:6)

The wording “did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” simply means that Jesus didn’t think equality with God was wrong to claim for Himself. It was absolutely true. He was God and was therefore totally equal to God. But He laid all of His divinity and glory aside and took upon Himself the form of a man.

Jesus Christ is literally God in the flesh and yet He made himself of no reputation. 

Think about this, if there is anyone in the world worthy of reputation it was Jesus. He was literally in the form of God and yet as He walked on this earth He chose not to use His divinity.

He laid it all aside for us. This literally means that He stripped Himself of all deity when He came to earth.

Now of course, He knew He was God in the flesh but He didn’t act as such.

Never did He demand respect and never did He force people to worship Him, but instead He constantly served others as though He was a nobody.

Philippians 2:7 Meaning

“…but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:7)

Jesus humbled himself to the point of no reputation in three ways; (1) as a bondservant, (2) in the likeness of men, (3) and to the worst death imaginable (v.8). 

Jesus did all of this just so He could redeem us and give us an example to follow. We serve an amazing King!    

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Philippians 2:8 Meaning

“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.” (Philippians 2:8)

Jesus came to this earth as a man. He was completely 100% man in His physical self, but in His Spirit, He was 100% God.

Jesus was God for all eternity (John 17:5) and yet, He humbled himself and became a Man.

The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and planted the seed of the Son of God into her womb.

Jesus had to develop in His mother’s womb as we all did. He had to go through her birth canal to be born. He had to get His diapers changed. He had to learn how to speak His native language. He got hungry and had to sleep.

Jesus wasn’t born speaking Hebrew or quoting the Torah. No, He had to learn! He had to study the scriptures. He had to spend time in prayer. Everything that we have had to do or should do to be able to grow, Jesus did.

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52).

Notice, Jesus had to grow in wisdom and in physical stature. Not only this but He also had to grow in favor with God. In other words, Jesus had to develop His relationship with the Father.

How humbling! The Son of God who was One with His Father for all eternity became a man and had to learn to grow in His relationship with God just like we have all had to do (minus sin, of course).

And He didn’t stop there, He even went further and died a criminal’s death. He died the same death that the scum of the earth would die and yet all the while He was the God and Lord of all.

We serve an amazing and humble King and He is an example for all of us to follow!

Philippians 2:9 Meaning

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9)

There is only one Christ who will be exalted to the right hand of the Father, and there is only one Christ who everyone will bow to and confess as Lord.

However, the Bible makes consistent mentions of the result of us being humble before the Lord.

Namely…

God exalts the humble (Luke 14:11 & James 4:10).

God guides the humble and teaches them His way (Psalm 25:9).

God looks upon or blesses those who are humble and tremble at God’s word (Isaiah 66:2).

God gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

God resists the proud which means He draws near to the humble (James 4:6).

Philippians 2:10 & 11 Meaning

“…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

There will be a Day when the Lord Jesus returns and He will force everyone to bow at the name of Jesus and He will force every tongue to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. This is all for the glory of God the Father.

We are in a time period where everyone is invited to salvation. Jesus has paid the penalty and now He calls everyone to repent of their sin and accept the free gift of salvation that He offers.

However, as we see from this scripture there will be a day when there will no longer be a grace period for those who reject Him. There will be a day when He force their confession and their submission. If we don’t repent, confess, and submit now then we will be forced to later before we are thrown into the furnace.

Let us not treat this truth lightly but preach the Gospel to everyone, telling them to repent and warning them of the future judgment.

What is the main message of Philippians 2:5-11?

The main message of Philippians 2:5-11 is that followers of Jesus should have the same mind as Christ. After this exhortation, the apostle Paul states what having this mind looks like through the example of Christ.

Paul reveals that having a mind like Christ is…

Being humble to the point of no reputation, never seeking the affirmation of people.

Being a bondservant to God the Father, and being a servant to all people.

Living a life of death. Just like Christ died on the Cross for all mankind so should we die to ourselves and to our old life so that we can live like Christ on the earth.

This humble mind that is just like Jesus’ will result in God exalting us, just like Christ was exalted.

Now, of course, there is only one Jesus Christ who is the King and Lord of all. But the Bible consistently reveals that God exalts the humble and humbles the exalted (Luke 14:11). And the Bible promises that if we humble ourselves as Christ did then we will also reign with Him by His grace (2 Timothy 2:11-13).

I hope you enjoyed this article and that it blessed you!

If you want to read more commentary on Philippians you can check out my complete verse-by-verse commentary on Philippians chapter 1.

Or you can read the following articles on Philippians chapter 2:

Philippians 2:1-4 Meaning (Verse-by-Verse Study & Commentary)

Philippians 2:12-18 Meaning (Verse-by-Verse Study & Commentary)

Philippians 2:19-24 Meaning (Verse-by-Verse Study & Commentary)

Philippians 2:25-30 Meaning (Verse-by-Verse Study & Commentary)

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