In the early part of Philippians chapter 2, we hear of a certain kind of community we should be. Another example would be a missionary—someone who could have had a comfortable position as pastor of a church, but who instead answered a call to serve in an uncomfortable foreign land. The exact date of Philippians is uncertain, but it was probably written toward the close of Paul’s imprisonment in Rome. This Greek word isos is also found in John 5:18, where the Jews were seeking to kill Jesus because he was calling God his father—and thereby “making himself equal (ison) with God”—i.e., claiming for himself Godly status and authority. Yahweh said, “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! When we talk about a person’s reputation, we are talking about something that expresses the essence of that person. Where arrogance is a kingdom-of-this-world value, self-respect can be very much a kingdom-of-God value. Phroneo has to do with our understanding—our attitudes—our mindset. This would be especially difficult for the Philippian Christians. This will include those who failed to acknowledge him during their lifetimes (or prior to his Second coming) but who will see him sitting on his divine throne and pronouncing judgment. Christ went to his death willingly, but it was in obedience—the text doesn’t specify to whom. We must then look at what he became as a result of his emptying—he took on the form of a slave—took on the appearance of an ordinary man (v. 7b)—was born of an ordinary woman in an ordinary place in rather sub-ordinary circumstances. These four phrases are just four ways of saying the same thing. He understood their value, but was willing to sacrifice them in the service of a higher value—the salvation of humankind. The classic distinction between agape and philos is that agape has to do with a concern for the well-being of the other person while philos has to do with brotherly love—friendship love—companionate love—the kind of love where a person receives as well as gives. “both to will and to work“ (v. 13b). Now Paul calls us to obedience to God’s will in our relationships with our neighbors. 12 So then (Greek: hoste), my beloved (agapetoi), even as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out (katergazomai) your own salvation with fear and trembling. These are kenodoxian people. He is our help and our shield. Christ died in obedience to the Father’s call (v. 8) for the purpose of saving the world and its people (John 3:16-17). This is the “stumbling block (Greek: scandalon) of the cross” (Galatians 5:11; see also Romans 9:30-33; 11:9)—that God would come into the world in human form and take upon himself the consequences for the sins of the world—that Christ would redeem us “from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. The Greek word kenodoxian comes from two words: Kenos means empty or vain or devoid of truth. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. • Jesus talked about scribes and Pharisees as “whitened tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27). Early Christians lived in an environment where people were expected to say, “Caesar is Lord.” While this was intended to designate Caesar as ruler over the Roman realm, it also tended to take on spiritual connotations—that Caesar was Lord in some sort of spiritual sense. What gives you joy? • “If there is any consolation of love, (then) make my joy full.” The World English Bible is based on the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Bible, the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensa Old Testament, and the Greek Majority Text New Testament. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14; see also 1 John 4:6). Philippians 2:1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion (NASB: Lockman). By applying this Yahweh language to Jesus Christ, Paul is placing Jesus on a plain with Yahweh. As in this sentence, so in life, our will comes prior to our work. Fear is “the beginning of wisdom”—wisdom being the kind of understanding that enables a person to make good decisions and to avoid bad consequences (Proverbs 9:10). The agape person has little or nothing to gain by helping these marginal people. “for his good pleasure“ (eudokia) (v. 13c). Philippians 2:1-13. A CONTEXT FOR THE HYMN. Here are my notes on the… We are studying Philippians 2:1-11 for Sunday, January 27. Paul uses this word, homoiomati, in Romans 8:3, where he says that God sent “his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.” In that verse, Paul did not intend to say that Christ was a sinful man—but that he looked like an ordinary sinful man. Christ’s exaltation began with his resurrection, which attested to his power over death. 9. Even with his example always before us, we will never do these things perfectly well—but with God’s help we can get better and better at bringing our lives into congruence with Christ’s life—our attitudes into congruence with his. The little Greek word hoste (therefore, so then) connects what went before with that which follows: • WHAT WENT BEFORE was Paul’s appeal to the Philippian Christians to “let your way of life be worthy of the Good News of Christ, that, whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your state, that you stand firm in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the Good News” (1:27). 1 If (Greek: oun—if, therefore) there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassion, 2 make my joy full, by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; 3 doing nothing through rivalry (eritheia) or through conceit (kenodoxian), but in humility (Greek: tapeinophrosyne), each counting others better (hyperechontas) than himself; 4 each of you not just looking to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. He is in prison, but assures the Philippian Christians that his imprisonment has actually served to spread the Gospel, because it has given him opportunity to witness to the imperial guard (1:12-13). The idea conveyed by homoiomati is that Christ was born looking like an ordinary baby—resembling an ordinary person. Who would expect the Son of God to be born in a stable and cradled in a manger? He wants them to focus on loving and serving one another—just as Christ lived to serve others (see verse 5ff.). It is observing God’s commandments (Deuteronomy 28:58). This introduces the idea of the pre-existence of Christ. In verse 12, Paul said, “work out.” Now he says, that God is “works in.” The two are related by more than the word “work.” In verse 12, Paul called Philippian Christians to work out the problems that plagued them. The Greek word phroneo has a variety of meanings. We didn’t deserve it, but Christ put us and our condition above his own. They were Roman citizens, and were therefore exempt from crucifixion—a punishment that could be exacted only on non-citizens. • We sometimes speak of people being “puffed up” or “full of air.” These are kenodoxian people. The Apostle Paul, the author of the book of Philippians, certainly manifested self-respect. Here is real “quality of life!” And it is a public life, a public “politics.”. In verse 13, he assures them that God is at work in them—giving them the ability to do what is needed. 13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure (eudokia). To understand the beginning of chapter 2, we need to look first at chapter 1. The point is that adiakonos (servant) enjoyed a considerably higher status than a doulos (servant or slave). It became the stumbling block over which many people stumbled on the way to the cross. “who, existing in the form of God” (v. 6a). If we want to do God’s will and to work for his good pleasure, we will find it possible to do so. 2. 5 Have this in your mind (Greek: phroneite), which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God, didn’t consider equality (Greek: isos) with God a thing to be grasped (Greek: harpagmos), 7 but emptied (Greek: ekenosen from kenoo) himself, taking the form (Greek: morphe) of a servant (Greek:doulos), being made in the likeness of men (homoiomati anthropon). Wh… Without adopting Christ’s attitude, we could never accomplish what Christ wants us to do—to be united in mind, love, and accord (v. 2). The meaning is, that God "produces a certain effect in us;" he exerts such an influence over us as to lead to a certain result in our minds - to wit, "to will and to do." The phrase, “fear and trembling,” can mean fear of God. Both are powerful, and it can be dangerous to approach either one in the wrong way. This movement by Christ is the heartbeat of the exhortation that begins and ends today’s passage. Sometimes people fear God because they have done something wrong and fear retribution, but “fear God” often means something entirely different—reverence and faith that lead to obedience. Paul is just setting the stage with this verse. love and union, Philippians 2:3 lowliness of mind, Philippians 2:4-8 and that charitable condescension for the good of. The Jewish people, to avoid violating the commandment against using God’s name wrongfully (Exodus 20:7), used instead the word Adonai (Hebrew: adonay), which means “the Lord.” When the Jewish people translated their Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek language (the translation known as the Septuagint or LXX), they translated the Hebrew word, adonay, into the Greek word, kyrios—so Jewish people were accustomed to using this Greek word, kyrios, to speak of God even though kyrios can also be used for human authorities. 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