Therefore – Means that Paul is drawing a conclusion based on what he said in the verses just before this. Well, what was he just talking about?? About it being granted to us to not only believe in Jesus but also to suffer for Him. Plus the Philippians had now suffered the same conflict that Paul had. Paul made a choice about his attitude and suffering: he refused to let the suffering control his attitude. Remember, for him to live was Christ!
As a result of all of this, Paul reminded them that they needed to push through the persecution to work just as hard at unity in their church.
IF – (really a SINCE)
– Since we have His Consolation (encouragement -NASB) in Christ – The Holy Spirit consoles us.
– Since we have His Comfort (consolation – NASB) of love – the Holy Spirit comforts us.
– Since we have Close Fellowship with the Holy Spirit, means that He lives inside us, He is communicating things to our minds and our spirits. Plus since we have fellowship with Him, we also therefore have fellowship with God the Father and God the Son.
– Since we have His Affection (a heart were mercy lives) and Mercy (compassion that develops in response to a situation – where we are motivated to meet the needs of others. NASB)
And Paul is saying since we hold these things in common, and for the weight that they carry in our relationship, let me make a strong appeal to you to…
V2 – The unity of the church.
Remember what Paul just said in chap1:27 (be one in spirit and one in mind). Also remember that he wrote this letter it was not chopped up into chapters and verses. So for him to refer back to an idea in a previous paragraph of his letter was completely natural.
– Fulfill (or make my joy complete – NASB)
– Be Like minded (of the same mind, HARMONIOUS – NASB) – There is a BIG difference between being like minded and Mind Control or being pressured into thinking a certain way or having a certain opinion. Paul was not trying to force anything on them. He urged them to cherish the same core values and to rally around their common cause and passion for the Lord.
– Having the same love –
– Being of one accord (united in spirit – NASB) –
– Of one mind (intent on one purpose, likeminded – NASB) –
NOTHING done in:
Selfish Ambition – Factional motives and pride should not be our motivation for anything we do, preaching the Gospel.
Conceit – empty pride (I’m better than you are). Instead everything should be done in the Power Of The Holy Spirit
Lowliness (a true sense of humility – NASB) of mind –
Esteem others better (Think of one another as more important – NASB) than you are. Remember last week – God 1st, Others 2nd, Ourselves 3rd. It’s not all about you and what you want. Ask yourself, what do the other people around me need? How can I help them?
His own interests –
Interests of others – Value other people and what they need above your own personal whims and wants, and work at it every day!
Let this same humble mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus (The mind of Christ). Right thinking produces right actions. It’s not just about WWJD; it’s also about WWJT –What Would Jesus Think? Think for a moment about some of the situations that He found Himself in: From healing people, to feeding the 5000, to teaching the multitudes about the Kingdom Of God, to casting demons out of people, to raising the dead, to teaching and correcting His disciples, to washing their feet, to dying on the cross. Jesus had a humble attitude. He also didn’t let situations pass Him by, but He engaged with people. He made the situations better by getting involved with people. Plus He did what He saw the Father doing!
In the form of God – He had the same attributes as the Father and the Spirit (omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, holy, sinless, changeless)
As used in this verse, the phrase ‘to be equal with God’ meant that Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit all are of the same essence. Jesus was fully God, but He limited Himself so that He could also be fully human. God became man. Jesus did not consider it robbery (a thing to be seized as though He did not have it or that He might lose it. He also did not cling to it out of jealousy or selfishness.)
He made Himself of no reputation (emptied Himself – NASB, stripped Himself -AMP) In doing this, He humbled Himself by taking on human flesh. He became like men but He remained completely God.
– He became completely human, but sinless.
– Took the form of a bondservant – Jesus added to His divine essence a human essence (He took on the attitude of a human being who sought to fulfill the will of another). Jesus continued in the very nature of God, but added to Himself the nature of a servant. On the social ladder, a bondservant was the lowest rung on the ladder (the exact opposite of the word Lord).
– He came in the likeness of men – Jesus not only appeared to be a man. In reality He was a man, possessing all the aspects of a human, although unlike the other humans around Him, because He was sinless.
– Found in appearance as a man – Jesus’ external characteristics – He had the bearing, actions and manners of a man.
– Humbled himself – Jesus willingly took on the role of servant.
– Obedient to the point of death – He chose to die so that the sins of the world would be ‘charged to His account’. As a result He could credit all who believe in Him with His righteousness.
– Death of the cross – The cruelest form of capital punishment. (The Romans reserved this form of death for foreigners and slaves).
- Paul made a compelling case for the importance of the unity of the church.
- It’s all about being humble and considering others more important than yourself.
- Jesus was the ultimate example of being humble. You and I need to be humble as well, in our daily dealings.
- The way that Jesus emptied Himself to be a man is utterly incredible! Let’s stand in awe of Him!