The Appeal—to the Mind of Christ (2:5)

The transitional function of this sentence is a lot clearer in the Greek text than are some of its parts. Literally it reads: "This mindset have `in you' which also `in Christ Jesus.'" "This" points backward to verses 2-4; "which also" picks up "this" and points it forward to verses 6-8. What Paul says in effect is that "the attitude of mind I have been urging on you is exactly that of God himself, as it has been spelled out in the incarnation."

The phrase "in you" (obscured by the NIV's your) is nicely double-entendre here and elsewhere (e.g., 2:13). It primarily means "among you," that is, "in your community relationships." But the only way for that to happen, as noted in the commentary on verse 4, is for each one to assume the responsibility for such a disposition. Thus each is to have this mindset "in you" so that it will be fully manifested "among you." Since the second clause intentionally parallels the first (cf. "which also"), the phrase "in Christ Jesus" therefore parallels "in/among you" and looks to an attitude that can be found in Christ himself. The intended verb in the second clause is some form of "to be," either "was," pointing to the historical dimension of the story about to be narrated, or "is," pointing to the mindset that is always to be found in Christ and was historically demonstrated in the incarnation. Put together, the whole sentence means something like "In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had/has."

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