Unity Among Believers
Philippians 2:1-11
Have the attitude of Christ that there would be unity among believers.
Published May 16th, 2021; Updated May 20th, 2021
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Main point summary
Main point summary
Consider others before yourself, don't seek your own self advancement. Look to the humility of Christ as your example, embrace the attitude of Christ in lowering himself, that love and unity would exist among you, and all would be to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:1-11
So if there is any encouragement in Christ,
If there is any encouragement from being united with Christ,
any comfort from f love,
if there is any consolation of love,
any g participation in the Spirit,
if there is any cooperation and sharing in the Spirit,
any h affection and sympathy,
if there is any goodwill and compassion,
i complete my joy
then completely fulfill my joy
by being j of the same mind,
by having the same mind-set, being united in your thinking
having the same love,
by sharing the same love,
being in full accord
by living in harmony to the full
and of one mind.
and that you work with a common purpose.
Do nothing from k selfish ambition or l conceit,
Do not seek to advance yourself above others or have rivalries motivated from your own self love,
but in m humility count others more significant than yourselves.
but in meekness do live considering others of more consequence than yourselves.
Let each of you n look not only to his own interests,
Do not consume yourselves with the things that are only of concern to you,
but also to the interests of others.
but consider the concerns of others as well.
o Have this mind among yourselves,
Among each other have this mind-set,
which is yours in Christ Jesus, 1
because it is the same mind-set of Christ Jesus
p who, though he was in q the form of God,
who, although he was in very nature God,
did not count equality with God r a thing to be grasped,
he did not consider equality with God as a thing to be selfishly held to,
but s emptied himself,
but he gave up all his privilege,
by taking the form of a t servant, 1
by taking on the likeness of a slave,
u being born in the likeness of men.
being born in the flesh, with a human nature,
And being found in human form,
And being found in human nature,
he humbled himself
he lowered himself
by v becoming obedient to the point of death,
by being willingly submissive, submitting his own will to the Father's to the point of death,
w even death on a cross.
even the cruel execution of crucifixion.
x Therefore y God has z highly exalted him
Because of his obedience, God has honored Jesus above all
and bestowed on him a the name that is above every name,
and has given him a name that is supreme, that far exceeds all other names,
so that at the name of Jesus b every knee should bow,
so that at Jesus name everyone should show honor and bow down,
c in heaven
where, in all of creation, in heaven
and on earth
and in every nation on the face of the earth
and under the earth,
and even in under the earth,
and d every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is e Lord,
and every individual confess the supremacy of Jesus Christ, that he is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
all to the glory and honor of God the Father.
Paul had made reference to those who preach from a sense of envy and rivalry in chapter 1 , out of " selfish ambition" hoping to afflict Paul. While he is pleased the gospel is still being preached, their " mind-set" or attitude is self-serving. Beginning in chapter 2 Paul points to some benefits of being " in Christ" He does this by a series of " if " statements. IF : " encouragement in Christ", " comfort from love" , " participation in the Spirit" , " affection and sympathy" THEN: " complete his joy" by having the same attitude, being like- minded. He desires that the believers in Philippi be united, in harmony and having the same purpose. Phil. 1.9 Love does not seem to be lacking in this group of believers, In verse 2b - 2e he lists a series of objectives " same mind" " same love" " full accord" " one mind" ( one purpose) These seem to say the same thing but from different perspectives, to be unified, believers would have to have same mind-set, share the same love, share same priority in purpose, this would bring about harmony among the believers. Selfish - ambition and Conceit ( v 3a) To seek my own , my priorities, my desires, my ambitions regardless of others would create tension and disunity within the community. To seek my own advancement and recognition would do harm to unity. Mt. 20.20-24 The mother of the sons of Zebedee asks for a favor ( special position for her sons) And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. Matthew 20:24 ESV To be in one mind and one spirit eliminates selfish ambition and conceit Paul says to have unity, we must pursue humility. He says to " count others more significant " than ourselves. To " look to the interests of others " and not just our own. The life of the church should be characterized by unity and love. It is hard to conceive of this type of community apart from the virtue of humility. Humility is necessary. The Supreme Example is Christ. (verses 5-8) Christ, though in the form of God, did not selfishly cling to His privilege, but lowered Himself and took on the likeness of humanity. And became obedient " to the point of death, even death on a cross" The humility of Christ is beyond comprehension and yet this is what Paul points to as an example. We are told to have a mind-set like Christ in verse 5 and then Paul points to what it meant for Christ to lower himself. The result of Christ's humility is his exaltation. He is given a name at which " every knee shall bow" and everyone " confess that He is Lord" Everywhere in all of creation, Jesus Christ will be acknowledged as Lord " to the glory of God the Father" All that we do is to be done to the glory of God the Father, when I see others as more significant, when I look to their interests, when I put others ahead of myself, when it is genuine and not self promoting ( Mt.6:2-4) , the Father receives the glory. Questions 1. In verse 5, is the " mind of Christ " ours as a result of being " in Christ" or are we being told to have this " mind" because it was the mind-set of Christ? I consulted a few commentaries and all of them thought the answer was because Christ had this mind-set so should we. Thoughts: Am I envious when other are given position or opportunities in the church? Do I rejoice in the advancement of the gospel even when I am not the one in charge or the leader? Do I have rivalries with others in the church? Do I pursue only my self interests?
Brent Karding
Excellent notes; you have clearly thought carefully through the passage, and made many good observations.
Brent Karding
Your largest Ac-Mn and Comparison relationship are very good; they show the big picture of the logic of the passage. Well done.
Brent Karding
to the glory of God the Father.
Excellent work again on verses 9-11!
Brent Karding
And being found in human form,
Notice that "being" is a participle; it can't be coordinate with the verb "humbled" as you have it. Rather, Inference would work, or Temporal.
Brent Karding
And being found in human form,
I would say that 8-9 continue the progression that started in 6. Verse 8 follows Jesus' being made human (7b-c); it isn't an explanation of all of 5-7.
Brent Karding
Have this mind among yourselves,
Excellent work in verses 5-7.
Brent Karding
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit,
Three excellent Negative-Positives.
Brent Karding
by being of the same mind,
2b-e should be made the Manner of 2a.
Brent Karding
complete my joy
I'm a little confused about 2a: it has no label.
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