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Philippians 2:1-11
Philippians 2:1-11
foundations for church unity and a pastor's joy
Published March 5th, 2020; Updated April 1st, 2020
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Main point summary
Main point summary
Unity within the body of Christ arises from the life of Christ living in believers in such a way that we follow his example of complete self-abasing, self-sacrificing, God-glorifying humility and obedience.
Philippians 2:1-11
So if there is any encouragement in Christ ,
Therefore if you hold that there is encouragement in Christ,
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any a fellowship of the Spirit, if any 1 b affection and compassion,
any comfort from f love,
or comfort from love,
any g participation in the Spirit,
or participation in the Spirit,
any h affection and sympathy,
or affection and sympathy,
i complete my joy
then fill my joy to the top of the brim
a make my joy complete 1 by b being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
by being j of the same mind,
by being unified in your mindset,
having the same love,
and by maintaining the same kind of love;
being in full accord and of one mind.
in other words being unified in your spirits and in your purposes.
Do nothing from k selfish ambition or l conceit,
So that i nstead of being motivated by a desire for power and self-promoting,
Do nothing 1 from 2 a selfishness or b empty conceit, but with humility of mind c regard one another as more important than yourselves;
but in m humility
in a spirit of self-abasing
count others more significant than yourselves.
promote others ahead of yourself.
Let each of you n look not only to his own interests,
Do not merely take care of what's in your own interests,
a do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
but also to the interests of others.
but incorporate others' best interests as well.
o Have this mind among yourselves,
Have this kind of mind among yourselves,
a Have this attitude 1 in yourselves which was also in b Christ Jesus,
which is yours in Christ Jesus , 1
which is yours and exemplified in Christ Jesus,
p who, though he was in q the form of God,
who , even though he was God in his eternal nature,
who, although He a existed in the b form of God, c did not regard equality with God a thing to be 1 grasped,
did not count equality with God r a thing to be grasped,
he did not look upon his status as something to be selfishly seized upon.
but s emptied himself,
Instead , he counted his rights as nothing to be grasped,
but 1 a emptied Himself, taking the form of a b bond-servant, and c being made in the likeness of men.
by taking the form of a t servant , 1
by making himself as a slave,
u being born in the likeness of men.
by means of becoming like men.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself
Furthermore, having bound himself to humanity and its weaknesses, he made himself so much less than he was
Being found in appearance as a man, a He humbled Himself by becoming b obedient to the point of death, even c death 1 on a cross.
by v becoming obedient to the point of death,
by submitting as far as to the death;
w even death on a cross.
that is death by crucifixion!
x Therefore y God has z highly exalted him
On account of this God has glorified him
a For this reason also, God b highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him c the name which is above every name,
and bestowed on him a the name that is above every name,
and conferred upon him a name that exceeds all others,
so that at the name of Jesus b every knee should bow,
in order that all created things be subjected to him.
so that at the name of Jesus a every knee will bow, of b those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
c in heaven
By all things I mean to say things in heaven,
and on earth
and things on earth
and under the earth,
and things under the earth.
and d every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is e Lord ,
More than that even with their tongues they will openly acknowledge acknowledge the supreme authority of Jesus Christ as Lord,
and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is a Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
to the glory of God the Father.
in order that the glory of God the Father be lifted above all else.
The words "same", "one" and "full accord" all point to an emphasis on unity for this passage. Unity with believers is one of the primary evidences and testimonies to the world around us that we belong to Christ. (also John 17) It is possible (as it seems to be so in the Philippian church) to be doing a lot of the right things and yet to be struggling for unity.
verses 3-8 are focusing on humility as the primary quality on which unity in the church hinges. Humility is the means by which we are able to set aside our "soap box stands" and see others' best interests as something for which we give ourselves. This goes against the very grain of our natural human nature, which instinctively grasps for self-preservation and significance - among many other things!
The great irony of the Christian faith as more than one great expositor has said is that "the way down is the way up". Genuine willing obedience and humility always involves suffering but always results in glory - first to God himself as well as to us - though our glory is being constantly transformed into better image-bearers of Christ. II Corinthians 3:18
Name here would have the connotation of authority since all knees will bow and all tongues acknowledge the Lordship of Christ.
All exaltation and glory will and does ultimately belong to God the Father - even the exaltation and glory the Father has given to the Son.
If our starting point is not being "in Christ" - which is Paul's way of beginning a passage which contains a number of commands ..... 1. we will have no source to tap into for vs 1b-1d. 2. we will not have the transformed kind of mind talked about in vs 5-8 necessary to walk the path of humility. We will be left utterly weighed down with commands to abort our natural human instinct for self-exaltation and looking out for our interests far and above anyone else's - which our feeble attempts will fail at.
Paul has just spent some time in previous paragraphs talking about the reality of these qualities. Therefore we could follow his logic by substituting "so if" with "since".
It is interesting that Paul it would complete his joy. Following the development of qualities such as love, compassion and genuine spiritual fellowship, unity in a church family is therefore a culminating "joy-giver" to church leaders.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.