Philippians 2

The believer should be lowly minded and like-minded, in conformity to the example of the Lord Jesus, the great pattern of humility and love in service to man. He humbled Himself in suffering and death for us, not only to satisfy God’s justice, but to set us an example that we might follow His steps — bearing a resemblance to His life, since we have profited by His death.

1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.

18 For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.

20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.

21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.

23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.

24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.

25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.

26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.

27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.

29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:

30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

Philippians 2:1-11 – ​Following His Example of Self-Surrender

   In all Scripture—indeed, in all literature—there is no passage which combines such extraordinary extremes as this. The Apostle opens the golden compasses of his faith, placing one jeweled point on the throne of divine glory and the other at the edge of the pit, where the Cross stood; and then he asks us to measure the vast descent of the Son of God as He came down to help us. Mark the seven steps: He was in the form of God, that is, as much God as He was afterward a servant; being in the form of God… took upon him the form of a servant. He was certainly the latter and equally so the former. He did not grasp at equality with God, for it was already His. He emptied Himself, that is, refused to avail Himself of the use of His divine attributes, that He might teach the meaning of absolute dependence on the Father. He obeyed as a servant the laws which had their source in Himself. He became man—a humble man, a dying man, a crucified man. He lay in the grave. But the meaning of His descent was that of His ascent, and to all His illustrious names is now added that of Jesus—Savior. This must be our model. This mind must be in us. In proportion as we become humbled and crucified, we, in our small measure, shall attain the power of blessing and saving men. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Philippians 2:12-18 – ​Lights in the World

   The sublime visions of the Apostle of the glory of the divine Redeemer are always linked with practical exhortation. Do nothing through pride and vainglory. Look on the things of others. Count others better than yourself. Work out what God is working in. Your heart is God’s workshop! His Spirit is there, striving against selfishness, pride, impurity, and vanity, but you must consolidate each holy impulse in speech and act. Be careful of every such movement in your soul; it will become clearer and more definite as you yield to it, and it will be corroborated by outward circumstances, which God will open before you. But exercise fear and trembling, just as the young pupil of a great master will be nervously careful not to lose one thought or suggestion which he may impart.
   In this manner you will become as a lighthouse on a rockbound coast, shining with blameless and beneficent beauty among your companions. Light is silent, but it reveals. Light is gentle, but it is mighty in its effects. Light departs when the sun is down, but it may be maintained by various luminaries until dawn again breaks. As we shine, we shall be consumed, but the sacrifice will not be in vain. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Philippians 2:19-30 – ​Honoring Christian Messengers

   The Apostle nobly honored the younger men who wrought with him. He speaks of Timothy as his son, and expatiates on the genuineness of his loving interest in each of his converts. He describes Epaphroditus as his brother, fellow-worker, and fellow-soldier. How tenderly he refers to his sickness and recovery, as though God had conferred on himself special favor in giving back this beloved comrade in the great fight!
   It is well worth while to ponder the remark that God does not add sorrow to sorrow, Philippians 2:27. He tempers His wind to the shorn lamb. He cautions the accuser that he must not take Job’s life. With the trial He makes the way of escape. He keeps His finger on the wrist while the operation is in progress, and stays it as soon as the pulse flutters. Not sorrow upon sorrow! Note also that “hazarding” of life, Philippians 2:30. It was a common experience in those great days of Christ’s suffering Church, Acts 15:26. How strange it is today to watch the sacrifices that men and women will make in times of war, when a new spirit is stirring in the world and men adventure everything for liberty, righteousness, and fatherland, and then compare this extravagant expenditure of blood and treasure with what we have done for Jesus. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Philippians 2:26—He was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.

​   Some have identified Epaphroditus here with Epaphras in the Epistle to the Colossians, Here he is represented as sorrowful, even to agony, because his friends had heard of his illness, and he would have wished that no one should be burdened on his account. But in the other epistle he is represented as always striving for the saints in prayer.
   It is very beautiful to discover his unwillingness to have his sickness published. When we are in trouble it is best not to speak much of it, save to God. “Only inexperienced sufferers are voluble; those familiar with the secrets of anguish are silent.” Let us anoint the head, and wash the face, that we may not appear unto men to fast, but to the Father who is in secret; and our Father who seeth in secret will Himself reward openly. The Comforter will draw near, will whisper his own consolations, and amid much sorrow we shall be calm and strong.
   But with Epaphras there was probably another thought. He knew that the Philippians were bearing a very heavy load of sorrow. It was a hard and difficult fight for them, as for him. And with much generosity he was most unwilling that the news of his illness should add a feather-weight to their grief.
   This eagerness to conceal pain, lest it should add sorrow to those who already have almost as much as they can bear, is very characteristic of noble souls. And we may quote here Robert Hall’s words, on recovering from a keen paroxysm of anguish: “I have not complained, have I, sir? No, and I will not complain.” How much of God’s strength and comfort we miss in our incessant endeavor to secure the support which notoriety for pain and privation may bring from our fellows! —Our Daily Homily