In chapter 1, Paul's first priority is “exalting Christ in his body”, whether by living for Him or by dying for Him. He encourages the Philippians to follow his example and to not be surprised at the troubles they have all been facing. Rather, count it a privilege to suffer for Christ’s sake. In this chapter, Paul explains to them that to follow Christ is to be like HIM.
CHRIST OUR EXAMPLE – humility and servant-hood (Phil 2:1-11)
Paul exhorts them to conduct themselves in love and humility. having the same attitude that Christ showed.
Christ gave up the glories of heaven to dwell amongst us in the flesh.
Christ willingly emptied Himself, humble Himself, and even died on a cross to save us.
Christ gives us a picture of God, but also a picture of the life that pleases God.
Christ has been exalted through His obedience. There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved. Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only life.
CHRIST IN US -working out what God has worked into you (Phil 2:12, 13)
What God asks us to do, He also enables us to do, but we must be willing.
We work out what God first puts in us.
Fear and trembling imply both the importance of a strong commitment and also of being aware of our weaknesses. The world, the flesh and the devil will constantly threaten to compromise us. Beware of the Lusts of the flesh, the Lust of the eyes, and the Pride of life.
The Christian life is an impossible life – for Christ is our standard – without the Spirit of Christ (Holy Spirit) within. Knowing what is expected doesn’t empower us to get there, but the Holy Spirit does. (John 16:7-15) He strengthens both our will and our work as we co-operate with Him.
CHRIST THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD – reflecting Him to others. (Phil 2:14-18)
The world needs to see Christ in us, but our behavior can distract or distort what they see. Let not Christ be rejected because of our poor behavior.
You ought not to be grumbling and disputing with each other (see James 4: 1-4)
Paul calls on them to hold fast the word of life and so prove their faith is real.
He rejoices, even in prison, because of their faithfulness so far.
TIMOTHY and EPAPHRODITUS – examples (Phil 2:19-30)
Timothy loves the Philippians just like Paul does. He is coming to minister to them in Paul’s place. Paul hopes he will be able to see them soon.
Epaphroditus has risked his life in ministering to Paul as a representative of the Philippians. He ought to be held in high regard. Both he and Timothy are examples to be followed.
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus” Phil2:5
“God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name..”Phil2:9
“Work out your salvation…for it is God who is at work in you both to will and to work” Phil2:12,13
“Do all things without grumbling and disputing” Phil2:14
1. What is the relationship between Paul's exhortation to ‘’do all things without grumbling and disputing’ AND his call to ‘have the same attitude as Christ.’?
2. What is the relationship between our ‘working for His good pleasure’ AND ‘God who is at work in us”?
3. Share about someone you hold in high regard because of their service for Christ?