Philippians 2

Philippians 2

Philippians 2 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Paul’s opening in Philippians 2 follows a delicate and precise structure. He opens with “Therefore” and unfortunately the breakup of these chapters forces us to lose part of the context if we don’t go back to Chapter 1. Essentially, the appeal at the end of that chapter is to stand firm together under one Spirit. By doing this, Paul writes, our conduct will align with Christ.

He continues these thoughts with a series of “if” phrases followed by a “then” statement and summarized with fruitful action. The “if” statements are really rhetorical and better translated, “since there is…”

  1. if there is any encouragement in Christ
  2. if there is any consolation of love
  3. if there is any fellowship of the Spirit
  4. if any affection and compassion

then make my joy complete by…

  1. being of the same mind
  2. maintaining the same love
  3. united in spirit
  4. intent on one purpose

What does this mean for us today? First, as James also writes in his book (Ch. 2), we should treat all believers equally because Christ sacrificed Himself for all of them.  We are called to be unified in spirit and purpose. This doesn’t mean we subscribe to universal doctrine. It means that we walk together toward the same goals – to know Christ and make Him known. We hold each other accountable, encourage one another, and love each other in the same way Christ did. Are you doing this right now?

Paul makes a very simple A to B comparison with these opening statements. If these qualities of Christ are real and they exist through God, then we should be doing them among ourselves! It is a simple test to make sure that our actions are following our beliefs. So, if you believe the first four on the list, are you participating in the second four?

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