Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Have this attitude
It literally says “think this” among yourselves.
Attitude is something so ingrained in our character that it has become part of our way of life.
Choices determine habits, which over time become character, which over time becomes our attitude or outlook or life-view.
People notice our attitude
So our friends may notice our attitude. It affects how people view us.
But when Paul uses the words “among yourselves” he’s saying All of you have this attitude.
Brothers and sisters in Christ should not spitefully use each other
Self-appointed “Fruit Inspectors” tend to have a rebellious, dishonoring attitude.
They forget “by what measure you use, you will be judged”.
We are supposed to build up, equip, and encourage in service to God
Which was also in Christ Jesus
Jesus is our ultimate example of Christian behavior.
Jesus is our ultimate model of humility in service to God.
Jesus existed in the form of God
Jesus was of one substance, one form with God. In very nature God, in essential nature and character, God.
Jesus shared glory with the Father and in the Presence of the Father before time began.
Jesus did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped
Jesus, already having this equality with God didn’t think that it was something that He had to clutch onto or something to be used for His own advantage.
But emptied Himself
Jesus emptied Himself, made Himself less in order to serve.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
Paul is going to address his main concerns for the Philippian church.
Selfish ambition and empty conceit are the two chief dangers facing the Philippian church from within.
Do nothing from selfish Ambition
Selfish ambition tends to quench the Holy Spirit.
People build factions trying to get people on their side
They emphasize areas where they know that people already disagree.
And pretty soon the truth gets lost. It becomes more about showing everyone that the other group is wrong than about finding the truth from God’s Word!
But these dividing kinds of sins: strife, disputes, dissensions, factions and envying cause damage to the Church!
Some translations call empty conceit vainglory.
A man who’s had a close encounter with God is a humble man.
The Biblical view of humility, and pressing into God in prayer will combat pride.
Humility of mind
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
As Christians, we’re supposed to live no longer to please ourselves, but to please God.
6 Questions to Consider:
Do I know when my pride sneaks it’s way into my conversation? When am I most vulnerable to talk too much about myself?
If I have “the gift of gab,” how much of my gabbing is all about me? Am I keeping others from talking simply because I am filling up the conversation?
Do I have a sensible assessment of who I am in Christ? What are my gifts, skills, abilities and contributions to the body of Christ? How can I re-think and transform my language to be less about me and more about Him and others?
If I tend to diminish or degrade myself, how can I see myself the way Christ has made me? Do I understand I have something to offer others?
What are several good questions I can learn to ask of others – rather than having to “make conversation” or fill the air in the room?
Can I reduce my use of I, me, my and mine in conversations with God and man?
Regard one another as more important than yourselves
Humility of mind comes first.
We ARE rewarded for what God does for us. We ARE NOT rewarded for what we do for ourselves. We ARE rewarded for what we do for others (God working through us).
Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
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, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
Each exhortation, each appeal by Paul in verse 1, is paired with a needed change in the Philippians behavior in verse 2.
Encouragement in Christ/One Mind
If there is any encouragement in Christ. The word parkle’sis in the Greek could also be translated comfort or consolation, or exhortation.
Paul is referring to their ultimate comfort and consolation in Christ. Paul pairs this with Unity of will, moving forward together for the gospel and putting aside the slight because when we put it beside His death on the cross, it’s nothing.
Consolation of love, Maintaining the same love
Ongoing consolation of Christ from within by the Holy Spirit from within should be extended in love toward on another.
Fellowship of the Spirit, United in Spirit
Koinonia, fellowship-relationship; a sharing, close, participatory relationship with the Holy Spirit is extended outward toward other Christians.
Affection and Compassion, Intent on one purpose
It’s God’s love that started our relationship with him “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” All that we do is to be motivated out of love. Without love, our works are useless from God’s perspective.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal.
Paul had joy in all circumstances, but his joy would only be filled to the brim when the well-being of the Philippians congregation, currently troubled by strife and self-interest is restored.