Philippians 2

Philippians 2 has Paul exhorting us on a number of different areas around how we should live.  He just completed telling them how to address external conflicts in the prior chapter, and now turns his attention to how they should deal with internal conflicts in the Body.  “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind”.  He focuses them on deep, abiding, internal unity, based on the reality of their walk with Christ and the fullness of the Spirit.

The problems we have in the Body are often about power and selfish focus.  Paul addresses it head on.  “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in  humility count others more significant than yourselves”.  Here’s the solution to being self absorbed – we put our focus on placing others first.  It’s how we love each other.  “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others”.  Life is not merely about us.  We need to realize that the world does not resolve around us.

So how should we think?  “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross”.  Jesus is our example.  He didn’t lay claim to His position, but freely gave up His seat at the right hand of God to take our sin on Himself as He went to the Cross.  That’s the way we need to live with and treat each other – realizing that we need to give up our rights to serve those around us.

So how did it work out for the Son who gave up position to be a servant?  “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.  Jesus didn’t hold on to what He had.  He gave freely to love us.  And God has lifted Him up and He will be the King of Kings and Lord of all.  Everyone will bow to Him someday.

So how does Paul exhort Christ Followers to live given the example Jesus set?  “Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain”. We are to live a life that doesn’t just fit in, but to shine brightly as a Christ Follower.  We should stand out.  We should be different.  We should live in the power of Christ.

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