May 21, 2022

An Ancient, Creed-like Hymn

Philippians 2:5-11

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

—  Philippians 2:5

In worship services it is common to sing songs of praise and hymns to God our Savior.

In many ways, the Apostles’ Creed is like a hymn, and many songs have been composed from the words of this creed.

The Bible includes many song texts as well, and our reading from Philippians 2 includes one of them. This text in verses 6-11 appears to be a hymn (or part of one) that was recited and sung by early Christians in the first century. And the apostle Paul uses it to summarize a number of important teachings as he urges readers to “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” In some ways like the Apostles’ Creed, this ancient hymn tells us who Jesus is, what he did for us, and what will happen when he comes again.

Imagine yourself in a worship service 2,000 years ago, surrounded by sisters and brothers in the Lord and singing these words together. Then reread (or sing) this ancient hymn that has echoed down through the centuries. Reflect and meditate on the deep, life-changing truths we can celebrate because of “Jesus, Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord.”

This hymn in Scripture, like the Apostle’s Creed, allows God’s Word to settle into our hearts. And it calls us to humble ourselves like Jesus in all our relationships as we seek to live for God by loving and serving each other.

Jesus, out of love, you poured out your life for us; now help us, out of love, to pour out our lives for each other. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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