“You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped” (Philippians 2:5–6, NET).
As an exhortation to Christians to live ethically, the apostle Paul uses Christ Jesus as a model. Christians should consider others better than themselves. Christians should “look not only to their own interests but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). In short, Christians’ attitude should be like Jesus. In his description of our Savior, Paul declares that Jesus was in the form of God. Jesus was God. He possessed all the attributes of deity. He was fully God.
Because Jesus was God, He acted like God. Specifically, Jesus demonstrated His deity by His humility. When He added humanity to His deity, Jesus humbled Himself for the sake of His rebellious creatures. He considered others to be better than Himself. He looked out for the interests of others. That’s the way God is. That’s what God does.
God created the heavens and the earth, and when His creatures rebelled against Him in the garden, He remained faithful to them. Rather than destroying or rejecting them, God provided clothes to cover their nakedness and the promise of a Redeemer to take away their shame. At the appropriate time, God the Son came to earth to reveal God and to provide salvation. And when the work of redemption is complete, the triune God will descend to the earth and make a recreated earth their home forever (Revelation 21:3).
Because He is God, Christ Jesus humbled Himself and became human. Because He is God, Jesus acts toward us in love and mercy (cf. Ephesians 2:4). In the Incarnation Jesus reveals God to us. We know what God is like because of Jesus (cf. John 1:18; 14:9). Because He is God, Jesus is the perfect image of God (Colossians 1:15). When people saw Jesus, they saw God. He is God.
In the same way, Christians ought to act like Christ. In acting like Christ, Christians reveal God. We should have the same attitude toward one another as Christ had, and has, toward us. Jesus himself taught us, “Love one another just as I have loved you” (John 15:12).