Christ’s Example of Humility
2 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Lights in the World
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.
Philippians 2 Commentary
by Hank Workman
There were no auditions. Our resume was not looked over for a decision to be made to take the role. There was nothing in our past accomplishments weighed in on the decision. When Jesus called us to follow, that calling stood on nothing but His love and grace. Our calling is to be a star and shine brightly of a transformed life of Jesus to the darkness that surrounds.
“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. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 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.”Philippians 2:12-15
Becoming God’s star requires many things as Paul speaks toward here. It all begins with obedience. (Verse 12) Obedience when people are looking and when they are not. Obeying what God has asked of us and following through. Obedience in working out our salvation as we pursue the very things of Him in our life and calling. Going deeper. There must be progress within our faith walk as well. (Verse 12) God is calling every single one of us beyond mediocrity and stagnation. For so many, they tend to get in the borders of the Kingdom and plant themselves.
In all of this, we must have that fear and trembling of our God (Verse 12) meaning there must be a reverence and awe of who God is and truly what He’s equipping us for. So many times we look toward what we have to offer, what we have to give in some situation. More likely He will place us in a situation where without Him we have nothing to give. That’s the beauty of our God and the beauty of being in awe of Him. For His good pleasure is using us in all our weaknesses and struggles, to bring insane glory to Himself.
Remember, God didn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.
Throughout this shining like stars for Him, He looks for us to have a positive spirit – that we do everything without grumbling and complaining. (Verse 14) He needs us as well to have a pure witness. (Verse 15)
In all this our job, our role, His glory is we hold out the Word of Life in every situation beginning with our own transformation.
Do you have the makings of being God’s star? Absolutely. Is it something your past experience or resume garners? Absolutely not. God calls but we must also be mindful of pursuing Him to be in sync with what He’s doing. This happens as we continue to surrender ourselves more and more to the Holy Spirit.
We all want to make a difference. We all want to have an impact. I am sure each of us desires a powerful legacy. Guess what? This is God’s desire for us as well. Pursue Jesus. Open yourself to the Holy Spirit. Be obedient. Through this God will do the remarkable – you will shine like His stars!
Philippians 2 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Paul’s opening in Philippians 2 follows a delicate and precise structure. He opens with “Therefore” and unfortunately the breakup of these chapters forces us to lose part of the context if we don’t go back to Chapter 1. Essentially, the appeal at the end of that chapter is to stand firm together under one Spirit. By doing this, Paul writes, our conduct will align with Christ.
He continues these thoughts with a series of “if” phrases followed by a “then” statement and summarized with fruitful action. The “if” statements are really rhetorical and better translated, “since there is…”
- if there is any encouragement in Christ
- if there is any consolation of love
- if there is any fellowship of the Spirit
- if any affection and compassion
then make my joy complete by…
- being of the same mind
- maintaining the same love
- united in spirit
- intent on one purpose
What does this mean for us today? First, as James also writes in his book (Ch. 2), we should treat all believers equally because Christ sacrificed Himself for all of them. We are called to be unified in spirit and purpose. This doesn’t mean we subscribe to universal doctrine. It means that we walk together toward the same goals – to know Christ and make Him known. We hold each other accountable, encourage one another, and love each other in the same way Christ did. Are you doing this right now?
Paul makes a very simple A to B comparison with these opening statements. If these qualities of Christ are real and they exist through God, then we should be doing them among ourselves! It is a simple test to make sure that our actions are following our beliefs. So, if you believe the first four on the list, are you participating in the second four?