Philippians 2:1-30

Philippians 2:1-30                June 1, 2019

Paul focuses on the relationships among believers. It is a matter of unity and during a time of war and we are at war.  Satan.  It is a letter to us.

Christ’s Example of Humility

Philippians 2:1-2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit {or fellowship of the Spirit}, if any tenderness and compassion,  (2)  then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

Paul in chapter 1 (27-30) said to stand strong for the Jesus against outside conflicts. Now he tells them how to act against inside conflicts in the body of Christ, inside attitudes that destroy unity.

  • Need to be like-minded, in full agreement, perfect to fulfill my joy. 
  • It takes time and patience with each other to be like-minded. 
  • Different life experience, we need to grow together to be one-minded in same love, one spirit and one mind.    

Paul says there are four pillars for Christian unity from vs 1 &2

1)     “encouragement”;

2)     “comfort from His love”;

3)     “sharing in the Spirit”;

4)     “tenderness and compassion of God


Jesus prayed

**John 17:21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

  • Yet, there is a unity that the world can see and on the basis of which people can come to believe in Jesus.
  • Unity must be expressed by deeds, gestures, and speech: how we treat others.  This is encouragement to others.


We need to love our fellow Christians and overlook their faults because of the Holy Spirit living in us and them. 

**John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  (35)  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Christian Fellowship

Not based on a common interest: but with the Holy Spirit living in us, then we members of Christ’s body.

**1 John 1:3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

Mercy of Compassion

Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

If I have been forgiven by God, how can I fail to show compassion to those who also confess Jesus’s name, even if I disagreed with their interpretation of Scripture? Thus,

We know, Christians will never see eye to eye on all points.

  • We are all influenced by habits, by environment, by education, by how much the Holy Spirit shows us with spiritual understanding.

Paul tells us to do:

Philippians 2:3, 4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit {or ego}. Rather, let esteem others better than himself, (4) not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

**Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

**Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

As Paul tells us to “consider others better than yourselves” and to look “to the interests of others,” Look at my faults instead of others.  Put our ego down.   Look at Jesus’s Example.

As a side, Leaders in the church regard verses 5-11 as a hymn of the church that Paul included in his letter.

Philippians 2:5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

This mindset of Jesus is His set of beliefs or the way of thinking that determine our behavior and actions.

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

  • It wasn’t that Jesus was trying to achieve equality with the Father, because Jesus already had it, and chose not to it.

Paul refers to the state of our Savior before he took human form.  Jesus was divine and in the form of God and as God’s equal.

**John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (2)  He was with God in the beginning.  (3)  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  (4)  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

**John 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Paul is just saying, “Let Jesus be your example as to what our mind and attitude should be, concerning the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

  • Jesus takes not only the form of man, but the destruction of the flesh and dies the most shameful and painful of all deaths, even the death of the cross.
  • Yes He became lower than both in love for humans and in obedience to His heavenly Father.  He washed the disciples feet, as a servant

**Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

**Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Note the two verbs: Jesus was always God’s Son; thus, as a son He was given. In His birth in the flesh, He became a man; thus, a child is born, not given. And again,

**Galatians 4:4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

The cross is the most important event in the history of the universe. 

This was something that Jesus could only experience by coming down from the throne of heaven and becoming a man.

The sufferings of Jesus, takes the form of man and flesh, laying aside His glory, and the dies, the most shameful death on the cross, under the Gentiles (or Roman rule).

**1 Peter 2:24 “He {Jesus} himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Philippians 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

This is the general heading for the material in the next three verses. These words describe how God has exalted Jesus

Jesus name is above every name, some are:  Lord, the Messiah, the Anointed One, Promised deliverer, the Son of Man, “I AM”, the bread of life, the light of the world, etc.

Philippians 2:10-11 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  (11)  and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

**1 John 4:15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.

Beings in heaven, beings on earth, and beings under the earth,” and refers to angels, humans, and demons.  This says all creation recognizing the superiority of Jesus Christ.  Complete submission to Jesus, both in word and in action

**Isaiah 45:23 By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.

Lights in the World

Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed; not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence; continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,  (13)  for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose {or pleasure}.   {working out our salvation}

Notice: It does not say “work for your salvation,” or “work toward your salvation,” or “work at your salvation;” it says “work out your salvation. It is a continual life time process within each of us.  Keep working it out until the end.  We do have to work, obey His commandments, of serving others.  There is a different to want or will to do it and actually doing it.

Paul now lists three specific goals or practical’s ways to obey Paul’s encouragement:

Philippians 2:14-15 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, (15) so that you may become blameless and pure {or harmless}, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky

Look at all the wasted time arguing about things that does not really matter.

We are to be in complete submission to God:

a) doing all things without complaining or arguing; {where will church meet}

b) our life is to be blameless before other people;

c) our life is to be blameless before God also.

We are to live blameless before God. 

**Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love

This process will continue throughout our life.  Sounds impossible?  Not with God, the God of the Impossible!   We, ourselves, are incapable of living out the kind of life that God requires of us.  But God is capable of living out that life in anyone who yields to His Spirit.  He does for us, and in us, what we cannot do for ourselves. The Bible tells us how this will happen:

**Galatians 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

you and I, are lights in the world; the only question is, “How brightly do we shine?

Paul now includes three practical examples of what he is talking about.

Example #1:  Paul Himself, his example

Philippians 2:16-18 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.  (17)  But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.  (18)  So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Paul is a prisoner in Rome and expecting to die.   He is encouraging Philippians to be a living sacrifice and do not grieve at His death, but be glad and rejoice with me.

Example #2:  Timothy

Philippians 2:19-22 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.  (20)  I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare.  (21)  For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.  

(22)  But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.

These verses is the reason for splits in churches and problems with new people, own interests, not Jesus interests.

When Paul sent Timothy he sent his best, a man who showed a pastor’s heart and had greater concern for his sheep than for himself.

We learn four things about Timothy:

1)     Paul had “no one else like him.”  In many ways, he was like Paul.

2)     Timothy was concerned for others; sincerely.

3)     Timothy put Jesus Christ first in his life.

4)     Timothy learned to work with others; he had developed a skill of cooperation.

This also says a lot about Paul, as a father and teacher.  Served “with” me…jointly.  He was like a son.

Philippians 2:23-24 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me.  (24)  And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.

Example #3:  Epaphroditus

Of all the men Paul honors in this epistle, he gets the most attention. 

Philippians 2:25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.

He was committed co-worker, not just “involved.”  Took care of Paul needs.

Paul valued as a partner:  brother – relationship to be enjoyed, co-worker – job to be done, fellow soldier – battle to be fought.

Philippians 2:26-27 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill.  (27)  Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.

Philippi was about 800 miles from Rome, a traveling distance of at least six  weeks.  The message that he was sick would have made a round trip in no less than three months.

Philippians 2:28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may be less sorrowful.

Philippians 2:29-30  So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him,  (30)  because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.

The high point of Paul’s praise for his friend was his sacrifices of his own interests for others. Paul was in prison and most of his friends had deserted him.  Local church was not helping Paul.

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