Php 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Php 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
If there is any of the following:
- Consolation (encouragement) in Christ.
- Comfort of love.
- Fellowship of the Spirit.
- Bowels (affection) and mercies (compassion).
So if we have any of the following from above, then Paul is asking for something to be done:
- To be likeminded.
- To have the same love.
- To be of one accord.
- To be of one mind.
Paul is asking the church to be united.
- Likeminded, same, one, one.
- Phi 1:27 – one spirit, one mind.
Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Verse 2 says be like minded, and one accord and one mind.
So how do we make this practical? – one mind?
- Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory.
- Have a lowly mind to esteem others better than themselves.
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory”
- Strife means contention or a self-seeking pursuit.
- Vainglory means self-conceit or empty pride.
- We must make sure that whatever we do, it is not about self. That is what these two words are connected to.
“but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves”
- In contrast, a humble mind always regards others more important or better than yourself.
- Learning to put others first and above yourself. That is how a humble mind views self in comparison to others.
- But with strife and vainglory, pride of self is put first. It is seeking for the glorification of self.
Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
It sounds like we should be a busy body. Look not on just your own things but on others.
- Quite the contrary.
- The way that we should look on the things of others is found in the next verse.
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
We must have the mind of Jesus. And Jesus’ mind didn’t look on the things of others to simply be a busy body. But He looked on the things of others to see how He could help, how He could serve. How he esteemed others better than himself.
So to have a lowly mind, to esteem others better than self, to look on the things of others is to have the mind of Christ.
What was Christ’s mind like? Let’s read the following verses.
Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
So what was the mind of Christ like?
“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”
- Jesus was God. It was not an offence if He put Himself on the same level with God because that was His position as well.
- Even though He was God in the flesh and was on the same level, He didn’t.
“Made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”
- Made himself of no reputation – He made himself empty. Meaning he emptied himself of self.
- He took on the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men.
- He came place to them, not just sympathy but also empathy.
“he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death”
- Christ was wiling to serve man even until the point of death.
If we would have this type of mind, only then can there be unity. But where does it all begin? It begins in the mind.
What things have we looked in this chapter so far that are related to the mind?
- Verse 2 – to be likeminded we have to have the same love.
- Verse 3 – we must have a humble mind, not with pride. And we must esteem others better than ourselves – think positive of others and not negatively putting them down.
- Verse 4 – we must pray to have the mind of Christ.
Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him”
- Let the exaltation that comes come from God and not of our own doing.
- Because the mind of Jesus came so low, God also highly exalted Him.
He that wants to be master, should be a servant. We need to understand how to serve others.
Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
How do you work out your salvation?
- Have lowliness of mind. Have the mind of Christ and have the love of Jesus.
Our part in salvation is that we have to choose. But who will help you to be humble and lowly?
- God. But the choice that we want to be humble and lowly, we need to make that choice. God will do the rest after that. He is the one that will give us the strength to follow through with our own decision.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Why does Paul suddenly talk about not murmuring and disputing?
- It causes disunity. It is not of the mind of Christ.
- Murmurming means to grumble, secret displeasure.
- Disputing means hesitation, inwards reasoning.
- Also, it is possible to put our self in a low position but not be happy with it. And instead of being content where we are, we murmur about it. We are secretly unhappy and grumble about the situation.
- Consider Paul in prison. He didn’t murmur about his situation. Instead, he asked for more of the Spirit of Jesus Christ to endure it.
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
How can a person/church be blameless, harmless and be a light to the world?
- Do not murmur or dispute.
- Be humble.
- Have the mind of Christ.
Murmuring and disputing is the fruit. It is what is seen outwardly.
- How we treat each other, and especially how we talk about others even in church will show a lot of about the type of mind we have.
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Php 2:17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
“Holding forth the word of life”
- It almost seems to imply that we cannot let the word of life shine properly if we are secretly murmuring and disputing about our situation.
- The internal workings of our heart and even how we treat each other within church must be made right before we can let our light shine to others.
Paul is hoping that his work for them is not in vain. If they have the mind of Christ, if there is true unity and the light of the word is shining out to others, then he is happy to be “offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith.”
Php 2:18 For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.
Php 2:19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
Timothy was sent to Philippi to give them news and bring back news.
Php 2:20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
Timothy then also has a mind like Christ’s as well. And the mind of Timothy and Paul were the same.
Php 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.
It is interesting to note that Paul says in verse 20 that there is no man that is likeminded with him like Timothy is. And the reason is that they all seek their own and not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.
- If we are to be likeminded with each other, we must all learn to see the things which are Jesus Christ’s. That is the only way that we can have the mind of Jesus. And that is the only way that we can be likeminded which was the desire of Paul back in verse 2 – “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded.”
Php 2:22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
Php 2:23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.
Php 2:24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
Still referring to Timothy and Paul’s confidence in him.
Php 2:25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.
Php 2:26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
Epaphroditus is also a fellow labourer and soldier serving together with Paul and also helped Paul in his needs and wants.
Why was Epaphroditus full of heaviness?
- Because the church in Philippi knew that he was sick.
- He didn’t want the people in Philippi to worry about him.
Php 2:27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
Php 2:28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.
Php 2:29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
Php 2:30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.
We can see that Epaphroditus also had a mind similar to that of Paul and of Christ as well.
- “Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death” – he was willing to die for the gospel.
So Paul, Timothy and Epaphroditus all had the mind of Christ.
So Paul’s desire is for the church to be united with the same mind and same love. He gives the example of Jesus Christ and how He humbled Himself to the point of death. And even in His situation He never spoke a rash or complaining word.
So if we are to be likeminded with our fellow believers, let us learn to pray to have the mind of Jesus. And that He would help us to not grumble or complain about our circumstances, but rather that we would pray for more of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
And lastly Paul shows that he understands what it means to be united as fellow believers as he is one in mind with Timothy and Epaphroditus. May we all have this blessed experience of oneness with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.