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INTRODUCTION Chapter 2
In this chapter, we will discover what the pattern of our life should be. Paul has helped us understand what the center of our life should be – Christ. Now, as he moves forward in this gospel of joy in adverse circumstances, Paul takes us towards an understanding of what we should seek to pattern this Christ-centered life on – the mind of Christ. We will discover that the pattern is summed up in verse 5, “Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus….”
The pattern of Christian Living is not one of imitation. Often we think we should imitate Jesus in our daily walk. While Paul is speaking of Jesus as our pattern of living, he is not speaking of imitation. He is speaking of impartation. We are not to imitate the mind of Christ; we are to have the mind of Christ in us. This is only possible by the work of the Holy Spirit. The word impartation means to grant or share. For a believer to have the mind of Christ in them, the Holy Spirit must impart or grant to us this gift. Man is not able to get this on his own. We can study, search, define, describe, dissect all we want – but we will never have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) if we do not regularly apply, ponder, pause, meditate, search, seek. God. The Holy Spirit will give us the mind of Christ through the Spirit-inspired Word of God; thus, we will become biblically minded, which is, in essence, having the mind of Christ. When we have this mind in us, then our life will follow the pattern that God has set for us in Romans 8. “For those whom he foreknew he also decided beforehand to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers; and those whom he decided beforehand he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” – Verses 29-30.
Paul will now describe and challenge the reader to have this mind. He will show us through the humility of Christ how this mind appears. He will encourage us to rejoice that we have the ability to be children of light and give us examples through Christ, Timothy, and Epaphroditus to be able to pattern our life after the center of our life – the Lord Jesus Christ.
More in-depth Insights
Philippians chapter 2 is filled mainly with urging to carry out different Christian responsibilities and the public display of Christian integrity. (2:1-4) One of the first exhortations from Paul, given in a very loving way, is for them to live their lives as one, in unity with one another, as this will bring Paul joy. He implores them to not live by strife and the desire to stand out and draw attention to themselves. Instead, they need to possess humility to see others as more than they are. (2:5-11) This exhortation Paul implements in an incredible way. He wanted each of them to have in themselves the mind of Christ. Jesus, when he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as a prize. Instead, he emptied himself, taking on the form of a slave, coming into the likeness of humanity. Jesus, he came as a man; he humbled himself and was obedient down to death, the death of a cross. For this, God the Father raised him extremely high and gave him the name above every other name. So that in the name of Jesus, every knee of that is in heaven and that is on earth, and that is underground should bend. And every tongue should acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (2:12-13) Paul then encourages them to work out their salvation with perseverance, guaranteeing them, for their motivation, that God who is at work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure. (2:14-16) Then he exhorts them that they should sidestep such things as murmuring and arguing, debating, that they should be blameless and inoffensive in their walk with God, demonstrating the superiority of Christianity loving their bother and sisters. He wanted their behavior to exert a tremendous influence on others so that Paul would not feel like he had labored in vain (2:19-24) He motivates them by letting them know that he was willing to be sacrificed on behalf of them, giving his life gladly so that they might find happiness. Thus, he expected nothing less from them. (2:19-24) Paul then tells them that soon he would be sending Timothy to them, a man who possessed a deep interest in their health, happiness, and success, and Timothy’s coming was even more evidence of Paul’s love for them, putting them before himself. (2:25-30) So Paul evidenced even more love as he felt it was essential to send Epaphroditus to them, his brother and co-worker and fellow-worker and the Philippian’s ambassador and representative in service to Paul’s needs. He did this so that Epaphroditus might be with them and bring them comfort. Paul further asked that they give him a kind reception and loving treatment because of the way he had suffered in the cause of Christ.