Four and a half weeks in, we are almost to the end of the second chapter in Philippians.
Here’s some context to why Paul is writing to the church at Philippi.
He is writing a thank-you note to the believers at Philippi for their help in his hour of need, and he uses the occasion to send along some instructions on Christian unity. Paul’s central thought is simple: Only in Christ are real unity and joy possible. With Christ as your model of humility and service, you can enjoy a oneness of purpose, attitude, goal and labor. Paul exhorts the church to "stand firm...be of the same mind...rejoice in the Lord always...let your requests be made known...and the peace of God...will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ " (4:1,2,4,6,7).
PAUL'S PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES
For years, the Philippians have participated in the apostle's ministry, and he prays for their continued growth in the real knowledge of Christ. Paul shares the circumstances of his imprisonment and rejoices in the spread of the gospel in spite of his situation. As he considers the outcome of his approaching trial, he expresses his willingness to "depart, and to be with Christ" (1:23) or to continue in ministry. Paul encourages the Philippians to remain steadfast in the face of opposition and coming persecution (1:27-30).
PAUL'S APPEAL TO HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST
In chapter 2, Paul encourages the Philippians to have a spirit of unity and mutual concern by embracing the attitude of humility (2:1-4), the greatest example of which is the incarnation and crucifixion of Christ (2:5-11). The "emptying," of Christ, does not mean that He deprived Himself of His divinity, but that He withheld His pre-incarnate glory and voluntarily restricted His use of certain attributes. Paul asks the Philippians to apply this attitude to their lives (2:12-18).
Michelle Kleckler loves how Paul talks about unity a lot. She says, “we receive that unity in light of the gospel,” and “are able to count others more significant than ourselves because of Jesus.”
What God has been convicting Zach Lang is especially prevalent in Philippians 2:8. Paul is talking about how Jesus was obedient to the point of death. Zach explained that this hit him hard and he continued to meditate on what that really means. He explained, “Jesus was a blameless person who was dying next to criminals, he greatly humbled himself for us.”
C.S. Lewis explains that,“Humility is not thinking LESS of yourself, it’s just thinking of yourself LESS.”
Please pray that these truths would be sweet to hear and that we continue to dig deeper and learn more from Paul in Philippians!