This week we will study Chapter 2. Are we moving too quickly? Don’t stop if you were overcome by events last week! Just resume right here 🙂
Read Philippians 2:1-16. What are some of the instructions Paul gives the church? See verses 2,3,4,5, 13 and 14. For example, in verse 2, Paul urges them to be “of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit and intent on one purpose.” Which one of these instructions is God impressing upon your heart?
In verses 5-11, we read the glorious passage about Jesus becoming man. Notice (list) the process Jesus took of humbling himself. Then notice the path God took in exalting Jesus. What was the attitude of Christ? How would you have this same attitude/mindset? How would you define humility?
Verse 12 states for you to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” My paraphrase of that verse is that I should diligently apply all the things I read in His word. Sometimes I am not sure what the application looks like. I also realize that how God wants me to apply a certain truth will look differently than how you will apply. So I wonder how to apply verse 4. Verse 3 seems pretty clear to “regard one another more important than yourselves.” This was a pivotal verse early in my marriage when God changed my attitude so I could do this for my husband. But verse 4, I am unsure how to apply. “Do not merely look to you own personal interests but also to the interests of others.” Can I be following Jesus with all my heart and still seek my own personal interests? Should I spend time and money painting if its sole purpose is for my enjoyment? Can I buy myself something new just because I like it even if I don’t “need” it? I do both of these things and don’t even think about it until I read about Paul and then I wonder if I am self-indulgent and have been squeezed into the world’s way of thinking instead of having the mind of Christ. Any thoughts on how verse 4 is being lived out in your life?
7 thoughts on “Philippians Chapter 2”
Some instructions Paul gives the church are to be of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing of selfish 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. Do ALL things without grumbling or disputing.
Many times there is an internal struggle with pride and humility. Am I looking out for another person with (God’s) humility or in my own flesh? Is God pleased as I try to live out HIS humility or am I doing and doing (tasks) in my own flesh (sin and pride)? God’s humility is a character trait I am continually seeking after.
In response to Jesus Christ’s humility; He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men. For this reason, God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name…..Jesus……..Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus, being made in the appearance of man, humbled Himself, yet I find myself in my appearance as a human being struggling with sin & pride. (Romans 7:20 — But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me).
I often wonder about verse 4 myself. I don’t need anything more yet find myself picking things up here and there. I TRY not to go shopping unless it’s for food or necessities. (I love food, so this is fun — this can sometimes be a gifting for others). A thought came to mind as you mentioned painting, Lynn. Your painting could be a gift to someone, blessing them.
Looking forward to our next lesson !
This passage is full of instructions from Paul to the church, all surrounding the point of being spiritually united. He describes ways to get to that state of unity through regarding others in love, respect and humility–as Christ did–; laying aside selfishness, prejudice & jealousy, and foregoing complaining. As I am still a work in progress, my human tendency to complain comes up every so often. It’s mainly aimed toward family members rather than church folk, but still it should not be rearing its ugly head so much. I ask God to help me regard them through Christ’s eyes, and yet, like Paul in another of his well-known sayings (my paraphrase): I don’t do what I know I should, and what I do, I should not. Did I get that right?
Lynn, to respond to your Verse 4 dilemma, Paul was referring to the Philippians, as diverse a church as it was, encouraging them to make unity a matter of importance so that it would not fall to dissension. This is where “looking out for the interests of others” played a part in bonding believers with one another.
I feel that in application to our lives, “looking out for others’ interests” is not negated by doing or enjoying pasttimes that give you pleasure. As in Ecclesiastes, to everything there is a season. There are times and situations when we are to be concerned with others’ interests/trials/problems, and then there are other times we are freer to let our spirits soar (as in painting, gardening, sports). I really believe God has given us abundant life, and that includes awakening to the joy and contentment of hobbies or pasttimes that allow us to revere life.
Thank you for those insights. I forgot that important rule of context – who Paul was writing to – the church not individuals. And how you said there is balance in our lives. I was telling a friend how we have a lady with much wisdom in our group and she said “an Elisabeth Eliot” and I agreed – you are like that 🙂
I consider God’s Word as the source of all wisdom, and what I post is all in line with that reference. In fact, in many instances I am literally paraphrasing what the study reveals…it makes me understand it more myself..
Prayer request: I was just reminded of the Okimoto family as the funeral service for their husband and father will be held Saturday evening. Although he endured a long ordeal with pancreatic cancer, Lee did come to accept Jesus as his Lord and Saviour through Gary sharing the salvation message with his dad. As we pray for the family, we can rejoice in Lee’s homegoing to heaven.
As I thought about verse 4, I was led to Romans 15:1 where we who are strong are to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Also, Galatians 6:2, to bear one another’s burdens.
I thought about these questions before Drew got hurt, but never had time to reply. After the past two weeks, I feel confident in the response I had before in regards to verse four. I agree with what Debbie and Adela said, but I also think it’s important to pay attention to the word “only”. When I read “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” I understood it to mean that you should care for others needs as much as you care for your own. In addition, if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you look after someone else? The past two weeks, people have been helpful, but I still had to do a lot to care for Drew. During that time, I was basically taking care of Drew and sleeping and the lack of rest began to wear on me. Drew’s needs took precedence, but had I not taken the time to feed myself, shower, and decompress, I would have been useless in serving him. Retreating every once in a while is not a bad thing. Jesus went off to the wilderness to meditate and get away. Directly addressing the desire to paint, I think that is your chance to meditate and have time for yourself. You have three children and a husband living at home and put them first 99% of the time, if painting allows you relax and spend time with God, I don’t see why you shouldn’t do it.