THE SPIRIT OF JESUS
AND THE FELLOWSHIP IN THE GOSPEL
Verse 3 says, "Let nothing be done through rivalry or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves" (Gk.). To desire a high position among the saints is vainglory. We should not do anything in the way of rivalry or vainglory, in the way of seeking glory for ourselves. Rather, in lowliness of mind, we should esteem others as surpassing us. This is the way to experience Christ and to stay in the fellowship in the gospel. Although we may preach the gospel, we may not have the fellowship in the gospel because we esteem ourselves higher than others.
In verse 4 Paul says, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." The word "things" in this verse means virtues, attributes, or qualities. We are accustomed to looking on our own virtues, but not on the virtues of others. Thus, Paul said that we should look not just on our own qualities, but also on the qualities of others.
Verses 5 and 6 continue, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." Christ was equal to God; He did not rob God of His position. However, often we commit robbery. For example, we may want to be first, but not have the necessary qualifications. In this way we rob others of what is theirs. A brother may not be qualified to be an elder, yet he desires to be an elder. Thus, he robs those who are qualified for the eldership because he desires something he is not equal to. But if someone is equal to the eldership and wants to have it, that is not robbery. Christ was God. Therefore, for Him to be equal with God was not robbery. But for us to desire to be an apostle like Paul is robbery. In doing this, we rob Paul of his apostleship.
In verses 7 through 9 we are told that Christ emptied Himself, took upon Himself the form of a slave, and was made in the likeness of men. Found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. This is the Spirit of Jesus. In verse 9 Paul says that God has exalted Christ and has given Him a name above every other name. Thus, according to verse 10, "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow." All this is related to the Spirit of Jesus. For the preaching of the gospel we need this Spirit.
Our life should be a life of gospel preaching. In our preaching of the gospel, we need the Spirit of Jesus. In this Spirit there is no envy, strife, rivalry, robbery, or looking at our own qualities. Rather, in the Spirit of Jesus, we look on the qualities of others. This is the Spirit of Jesus for the experience of Christ. If we have this Spirit, we shall be in the fellowship of the gospel, and our preaching of the gospel will be prevailing and fruitful. Furthermore, our fellowship will be full of the enjoyment of Christ. This is the way to enjoy Christ and to experience Him all day long. This is possible by the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. When we have no envy, strife, or rivalry, but stay in the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, there is no need for us to try to experience Christ. We shall experience Him spontaneously.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)