Main point summary
Paul finds his joy in the interest of others. Namely the Philippian believers' unity. This unity is characterized by humilty which delights itself in the interests of others. And we have this mindset in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ,
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from f love, any g participation in the Spirit, any h affection and sympathy,
Εἴ τις οὖν παράκλησις ἐν Χριστῷ,
Therefore, since there is any encouragement in Christ
any comfort provided by love,
εἴ τι παραμύθιον ἀγάπης,
any comfort from love
any fellowship in the Spirit, 1
εἴ τις κοινωνία πνεύματος,
any fellowship in the Spirit
εἴ τις σπλάγχνα
any affections or feelings from the gut or bowels
or mercy, 2
that is or of mercy
complete my joy
i complete my joy by being j of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
πληρώσατέ μου τὴν χαρὰν
complete my joy
and be of the same mind, 3
ἵνα τὸ αὐτὸ φρονῆτε,
(that is, my joy), is that you will have the same mind
by having the same love,
τὴν αὐτὴν ἀγάπην ἔχοντες,
by having the same love
being united in spirit, 4
being united in spirit
and having one purpose.
τὸ ἓν φρονοῦντες,
and having one purpose
Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition 5 or vanity,
Do nothing from k selfish ambition or l conceit, but in m humility count others more significant than yourselves.
μηδὲν κατʼ ἐριθείαν μηδὲ κατὰ κενοδοξίαν
do nothing from selfishness or rivalry, not even from pride
each of you should, in humility,
ἀλλὰ τῇ ταπεινοφροσύνῃ
but instead, with humility
be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself.
ἀλλήλους ἡγούμενοι ὑπερέχοντας ἑαυτῶν,
be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself
Each of you should be concerned 6 not only 7 about your own interests,
Let each of you n look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
μὴ τὰ ἑαυτῶν ἕκαστος σκοποῦντες
each of you should be concerned not (only) about your own interests
but about the interests of others as well. 8
ἀλλὰ [καὶ] τὰ ἑτέρων ἕκαστοι.
but and(also) the interest of others
You should have the same attitude toward one another
o Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 1
Τοῦτο φρονεῖτε ἐν ὑμῖν ὃ
you should have this mind among yourselves
that Christ Jesus had, 9
καὶ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ,
that is in Christ Jesus
Most people think that the virtue of service is lost if our motivation is that we have something to gain as we serve others. But what about the joy of service? If joy is my motivation does it diminish the virtue of my service? Or does it define what true act of sacrificial service is all about. I believe the latter. But let's look at how Paul demonstrated this kind of service and see how it applies in Christian unity. How does the logic of the "therefore" in chapter 2 works? In 1:12-18 Paul showed us that he rejoices that the gospel is being preached whether in rivalry or goodwill. In 1:19-26 he stated that to die and be with Christ is far better on his account, but he would rather stay for the progress of their joy because it is a fruitful labor for him. And in Philippians 1:27-30 he told us what this progress of joy is, namely to live a manner of life that shows the worth of the gospel by being united and with fearlessness in standing firm, contending for the faith of the gospel. So in staying, Paul's joy is somewhat incomplete since there is rivalry instead of unity. Therefore to see God working in the lives of the Philippian believers and see them being united will complete his joy. Why did Paul start with an if clause in verse 1? Paul uses four conditions in this verse, all are assumed to be true. He is not doubting that encouragement, participation in the Spirit, affection, and sympathy are realities in Christ and are present in the congregation at Philippi. He uses a conditional sentence (if) to provoke the Philippians so that they will reflect on whether these qualities are evident in their lives. This is to give basis or grounds for the commands. This shows that not just what we know about the truth that gives reason for the imperatives in Scripture but what we also feel about them. Encouragement in Christ, Comfort from love, Fellowship in the Spirit, Affection and sympathy, all of these has to do more with our hearts than with our minds. Christian unity must flow from compassion. Complete my Joy, that is be of the same mind. (verse 2) The joy that Paul aims to be completed by them is their unity and this unity is done by: 1. Having the same love 2. Being united in spirit 3. Having one purpose Unity is characterized by selflessness verse 3-4 Negatively: 1. Do nothing from selfishness or rivalry 2. not even from pride or vain glory Positively: 1. With humility be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself Humility is the opposite of “You owe me.” Paul said, “I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish” (Romans 1:14). In other words, they didn’t owe him. He owed them. 2. Be concerned not (only) about your own interests but and(also) of the interests of others. "The word interests is a filler. In the original, it’s open-ended. All that is specified is “your own (something)” or “the other’s (something).” So it could be, “Let each of you look not only to your own financial affairs, or your own property, or your own family, or your own health, or your own reputation, or your own education, or your own success, or your own happiness―don’t just think about that, don’t just have desires about that, don’t just strategize about that, don’t just work toward that; but look to the financial affairs and property and family and health, and reputation, and education, and success, and happiness of others.”-John Piper Does "not only" implies 50% my interest and 50% the interest of others? 1. No, because as we saw from Paul's example, he was convinced to stay because it is necessary for their account. By denying himself of private pleasures or self interest, he gain more joy in the joy of others. 2. No, because this mindset, namely a kind of unity that demonstrates itself in humilty and love is in Christ (verse 5) Unity is not possible when there is hate, pride and selfishness. Therefore to attain true humilty, love and unity our joy must be the interest of others, and we can only do this because we have this mind in Christ. So the virtue of service is not really defined by what you will sacrifice in the process, but what you will gain in exchange for all the sacrifices. For no one really sacrifices. If what motivates you in serving others is sacrifice by itself or obedience by itself then you're not being honest. What really motivates you is the joy of doing what you think is right. No matter how you look at it you will have something in return. So the only question is do you find joy in your own private interest, perhaps like that of sense of fulfillment which unbelievers do, or do you find your joy in the joy of others as you serve them?