For the most part, people are willing to accept God’s salvation for their personal benefit, but they are not willing to give full ground to Christ. In a sense, they receive salvation, but, experientially speaking, they may not receive Christ and allow Him to have a free way in them. The cause of this problem is religion, philosophy, and culture. These are the very things Paul counted as loss on account of Christ. Do you know why he counted them loss? It is because they were all substitutes for Christ, hooks used by Satan to keep people from Christ and from the experience of Christ. How subtle is the enemy in keeping us from the experience of Christ!
The Spirit of Jesus Christ is “the Spirit” mentioned in John 7:39. This is not merely the Spirit of God before the Lord’s incarnation but the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit with divinity, after the Lord’s resurrection, compounded with the Lord’s incarnation (humanity), human living under the cross, crucifixion, and resurrection. The holy anointing ointment in Exo. 30:23-25, a compound of olive oil and four kinds of spices, is a full type of this compound Spirit of God, who is now the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Here it is not the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7) or the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9) but the Spirit of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Jesus is related mainly to the Lord’s humanity and human living; the Spirit of Christ is related mainly to the Lord’s resurrection. To experience the Lord’s humanity, as illustrated in 2:5-8, we need the Spirit of Jesus. To experience the power of the Lord’s resurrection, as mentioned in 3:10, we need the Spirit of Christ. In his suffering the apostle experienced both the Lord’s suffering in His humanity and the Lord’s resurrection. Hence, the Spirit to him was the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the compound, all-inclusive, life-giving Spirit of the Triune God. Such a Spirit has, and even is, the bountiful supply for a person like the apostle, who was experiencing and enjoying Christ in His human living and resurrection. Eventually, this compound Spirit of Jesus Christ becomes the seven Spirits of God, who are the seven lamps of fire before God’s throne to carry out His administration on earth for the accomplishing of His economy concerning the church, and who are the seven eyes of the Lamb for the transfusing of all that He is into the church (Rev. 1:4; 4:5; 5:6).
Paul’s word about obedience in verse 12 answers to what he has previously said about Christ becoming obedient (v. 8). A very striking aspect of Christ as our pattern is His obedience unto death, even the death of the cross. As God, Christ first took the major step of emptying Himself, of laying aside the expression of His deity. Then, having emptied Himself and having taken the form of a man, He humbled Himself. This self-humbling is particularly related to obedience. The Bible underscores the importance of obedience. For example, in 1 Samuel 15:22 we are told that to obey is better than sacrifice. We who have received Christ as the pattern of our salvation must learn to always obey with fear and trembling. Within we should have fear as the motive, and without we should have trembling as our attitude, an indication that we have no confidence in ourselves.
What troubled Paul in his imprisonment was the dissension among the Philippians. The saints in Philippi were good, and the church in that city had been well established. However, there was dissension among them. Although they were one in spirit, they were not striving together with one soul. Although they all loved the Lord, they were not thinking the same thing. This caused Paul’s heart to be heavy. Out of heaviness of heart, he appealed to the Philippians to make his joy full by being joined in soul and by thinking the same thing.