Philippians Chapter 2  PATTERN for Christian living.  Notes and audio links below.  When Paul arrived in Philippi, he discovered that the man of Macedonia was actually a woman by the name of Lydia, holding a prayer meeting by the riverside (Acts 16:13-15). Paul got rough treatment in the city because he cast the demon out of a girl who, by the spirit of divination, was making money for her owners. Paul and Silas were imprisoned. When they sang praises to God at midnight, the prison was shaken, and this led to the conversion of the jailer (read Acts 16). He and his family were some of the converts in this church who were especially drawn to the apostle Paul in the bonds of
Christian love


“The Earthly Walk of a Heavenly People”

WRITER:  Paul (Philippians 1:1)

DATE:  A.D. 62; Written at the same time as Ephesians, it is one of the prison epistles.

CITY OF PHILIPPI: Philippi was a Roman colony. Although it was a miniature of Rome and imitated and aped Rome in every way, it was nonetheless a city which had a higher cultural level than other cities visited by Paul.


II. PATTERN for Christian living, Chapter 2

(Key verses: 5-11)

A. Others, vv. 1-4

v. 1 — “If” is not conditional, but argumentative. It could be translated, “Since there is consolation in Christ….”  Again, “bowels” is tender mercies.

v. 3 — “Strife” and “vainglory” are the causes of most church divisions.

“Lowliness of mind” and consideration of others will produce harmonious relationships.

v. 4 — “Others” is the key to the entire passage as the motivation of Christian conduct.

B. Mind of Christ — humble, vv. 5-8

v. 5 — This is not the imitation of Christ, but it is the impartation of the mind of Christ which only the Holy Spirit can accomplish.  This gives the humiliation of Christ. There are 7 steps down:

v. 6 — (1) He was not in danger of losing His place in the Godhead because of any lack on His part or because of the ability and ambition of a contender. He was God without effort.

v. 7 — (2) This is the kenosis. He emptied Himself. He did not empty Himself of His deity — He was very God of very God and very man of very man. He did empty Himself of His glory (John 17:5).

(3) He was a root out of Jesse. Jesse, David’s father, was a peasant in Bethlehem. Although Jesus was of the royal seed of David, the line had long since become merely a vassal of Rome.

(4) To become a man was a humiliation for Him, as God.  To comprehend something of this, we might imagine the humiliation it would be for you or me to become an ant.

v. 8 — (5) He was not humbled by others, but He willingly and gladly humbled Himself. Real humility is not a Mr. Milquetoast, nor is it a false front like Uriah Heep in David Copperfield. Pride is the opposite of humility (1 Peter 5:6).

(6) Death is the result of sin. It is a judgment upon man.

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). He bore the penalty of our sin.

(7) The cross was the method of execution used by Rome for criminals. It was a badge of ignominy and shame.

C. Mind of God — exaltation of Christ, vv. 9-11

There are 7 steps upward:

v. 9 — (1) God has highly exalted Him and

(2) given Him a name above every name.

v. 10 — (3) The name of Jesus.

(4) Every knee in heaven shall bow.

(5) Every knee in earth shall bow.

(6) Every knee under the earth shall bow.

v. 11 — (7) Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

D. Mind of Paul — things of Christ, vv. 12-18

v. 12 — To “work out your own salvation” is to work out what God has worked in.

v. 13 — God works out what He works in.

v. 15 — The believer shines like a light in the darkness as God looks upon the world.

v. 16 — “Holding forth the word of life” is an appropriate motto for a Bible-teaching church.

“Day of Christ” is the Rapture of the church.

v. 17 — Paul thought of himself as a drink offering offered upon the sacrifice of Christ. The drink offering (Genesis 35:14; Exodus 29:40; Leviticus 23:13; etc.) was poured upon the other offerings, and it ascended in steam. (See Colossians 1:24.) “Joy, and rejoice” — note the repeated resurgence of joy.

v. 18 — Paul calls upon the Philippians to “joy, and rejoice” with him.

E. Mind of Timothy — like-minded with Paul, vv. 19-24

v. 19 — Paul plans to send Timothy to Philippi.

v. 20 — Timothy is of the same mind as Paul. “Naturally” is truly.

vv. 21-23 — Timothy is contrasted to others. He seeks the things of Christ. Others seek their own interests.

v. 24 — Paul was planning to return to Philippi if released.

F. Mind of Epaphroditus — the work of Christ, vv. 25-30

v. 25 — Epaphroditus was the pastor of the church in Philippi.

Notice that Paul has a way of saying something complimentary of the local pastor. He identifies himself with Epaphroditus — “brother… companion…fellow soldier.”

vv. 26, 27 — Epaphroditus had been sick, very sick.

v. 28 — Paul is sending him back to Philippi.

v. 30 — Epaphroditus has the mind of Christ — “for the work of Christ, he was near unto death.”

Philippians Commentary Notes


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