“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: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)
It’s true – we really must surrender our finite ego-self mind in order to put on the infinite Mind of Christ. The Mind of Christ is clearly described here. What is the attitude embraced by His mind?
He makes Himself of no reputation, He takes the form of a servant, He surrenders the power of His Divinity in order to live as a human being, He humbles Himself to the point of death – even crucifixion. He surrenders His will to that of the Father…
Until the task is completed, and He says, “It is finished!”
Yet, there was no “victimhood” at play here. He surrendered everything.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (verses 9-11)
The result, however, was a far cry from what He had relinquished. And it wasn’t just for Him and the reward that was given Him by our Heavenly Father. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
What wondrous Love is this? This was the Mind of Christ Love. But why?
Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215) states it this way: “The Word of God became man, that thou mayest learn from man how man may become God.” We’re restored to unity with the Father by the “means and the end” referred to as “theosis”. This union was the content of Jesus’ final prayer (John 17), right before He surrenders Himself to His arrest at Gethsemane.
It begins simply with Jesus’ prayer as He surrenders Himself. He’s taking us with Him down the Passion Road of surrender! That’s where putting on the Mind of Christ begins – not my will, but Your will be done.
Ego mind has its own agenda, one that keeps us from the Mind of Christ. The last thing it wants is unconditional surrender. That’s why it must first be surrendered – it’s many faces include but are not limited to: the court jester who would be king, the dragon who keeps the knight away from the cave full of treasure! You, dear reader, can likely come up with a few of your own symbolic examples of what the ego self mind looks like.
In short, the limited one (finite ego self mind) can never stand in the place of the Unlimited One (the Mind of Christ)! If it does, it keeps us from our goal. Putting on the Mind of Christ is not an option.
Other references on sonship / theosis / divinization which may interest you: John 1:12, Romans 8:14-19, Philippians 2:15, 1 John 3:1,2.
For an excellent discussion, scripture references, and statements of church fathers on theosis or divinization (the process of minifestly becoming the sons of God), please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divinization_(Christian)