Christ Our Pattern (continued)
The Mind In Christ Jesus
Philippians 2:6: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.
Philippians 2:6: Who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped.
"Who" refers to "Christ Jesus" of verse 5. "Christ" - "Unto us a Son is given" - the eternal Son who through all the eternity of the past was in the bosom of the eternal Father; one with the Father in the possession of the essence and the nature of Deity according to His own Word (John 10:30; 17:21)
He was inherently and eternally God. "Our Lord as to His nature is the possessor of the divine essence of Deity, and being that, it also necessarily follows that He is absolute Deity Himself, a co-participant with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit in that divine essence which constitutes God, GOD."
"Jesus." "Unto us a child is born" - Christ. The anointed, the One sent from heaven came to earth to be born of a virgin. His name was called Jesus; the name of the Babe in Bethlehem; the name of the Boy in the temple in Jerusalem, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking questions; the name of the Man in the wilderness, meeting and defeating the devil; the name of the Man in the synagogue in Nazareth, preaching from the prophecy in Isaiah that foretold the ministry which He was that very moment fulfilling; the name of the Man who passed through the agonies of Gethsemane on His way to shed His blood upon Calvary's Cross as the world's Saviour.
"Who being in the form of God." "Being" is a Greek word that speaks of an antecedent condition protracted into the present, so that our Lord's possession of the divine essence did not cease to be a fact when He came to earth to assume human for. What He was, He is and must ever be, because He is inherently and eternally God.
"In the form of God." God has no form in the usual sense of the term, which is shape or physical form. The word connotes the outward expression of the inward possession. In His inmost being He possessed the nature and the essence of Deity; the expression of the Deity He possessed would be in all the majesty and glory that pertains to and inheres in it. But more than that, dominion, rulership, sovereignty characterize Deity. Throne rights belong to Deity. "The Lord reigneth." Heaven and earth with all that is therein should bow before Him in acknowledgment of His sovereign Lordship. His will should be done in heaven and upon earth. This truth is clearly stated in the words:
"Thought it not robbery to be equal with God." Within the Godhead there was absolute equality in the possession of the essence and nature of Deity. The Son was as truly God as the Father; the Spirit was as truly God as the Son. But that is not the equality referred to here. Equality with God here means that the Son had equal rights with the Father in the expression of that Deity which was glorious, regal, and Sovereign. For Christ Jesus to so think would be wholly within His rights and His prerogatives.
Robbery means "things unlawfully seized," laying hold of something for one's self upon which one had no claim. "Not robbery"; but for Christ Jesus there was no semblance of self arrogation, self-seeking, self-esteem, self-exaltation in such a thought. For Him to claim such equality with God would not be an act of rapine or unlawful seizure. He did not think Himself guilty of any usurpation of what did not belong to Him, or of taking something which was exclusively the right of another. To live only and always as God was His inherent, inalienable prerogative as truly as it was that of the Father. But what if there should be the necessity for Him to set aside His right to such expression of Deity, would He consider it "a thing to be grasped," a treasure to be selfishly clenched?
Let us pause to ask, was there such a necessity and what was the response of Christ Jesus to it? Yes, there was a divine necessity that the eternal Son should be willing to cease living only as God and to become the incarnate Son; living as Man on the human plane, in the human body, assuming a human nature. It was a divine necessity that "the Word be made flesh" in order that God's eternal purpose might be fulfilled; that sinners in Adam might be redeemed; that satan and all his hosts be brought to final defeat, and that the absolute and sole sovereignty of the throne of God be restored.
(continued with # 65)