Philippians 2:1- 11
In AD 40, Paul kicked started his second missionary journey from Antioch of Syria with Silas as his co-partner and assistant. They traveled the region of Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, covering the cities of Cilicia, Derbe, Lystra, and Troas. In Lystra, Paul recruited Timothy into his team. Paul saw a vision of a Macedonia man in Troas who begged him to come to Macedonia, Acts 16: 6-10. Paul left Asia Minor and traveled west to Europe, reaching Neapolis and Philippi. Paul recruited Dr. Luke into his team sometime after the vision of the Macedonian man. Paul saved Lydia and her family, the Philippian jailer and his family, formed the Philippians church which grew and thrived.
VV 1-4, 1Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Greek for consolation is “paraklesis”, which means encouragement. Greek for fellowship is “koinonia”, which means sharing. Paul implored the Philippians Christians to be encouraged in Christ, united in Christian sharing through the Holy Spirit and to show affection and mercy to one another. He begged them to be like-minded in thought, love, purpose, be others-centered, and humble in action. The Greek word for affection is “splanchnizomai”, which means intestine. Strangely enough, the seat of emotion for the Jews in first-century Israel is the intestine and not the heart. Disunity, tension, competition, and self-glorification were to be avoided at all costs.
VV 5-8, 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 2: 6-8 is a first-century Christian creed and hymn. “Being in the form of God” and “equal with God” speaks of Christ’s pre-existence and co-existence with God before creation. John 1:1, “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. God gave up the glory of heaven and became a baby in Bethlehem through His incarnation. He became the obedient suffering servant and went to the cross to be the substitutionary atonement for the sin of mankind. Greek for “made himself of no reputation” is “kenosi”, which means to empty oneself of all powers. Christ emptied Himself of all powers through His incarnation.
VV 9-11, 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2: 9-11 is God’s answer to Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17:5. “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was”. God exalted Jesus and gave Him a name that is above all name. Revelation 11:15 b, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” On this day, everyone must confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and bow before Him.