Paul begins his letter to the Christians at Philippi without the statements that defend his apostleship, seen in some of the other epistles, which leads us to believe that no such controversy existed there at that time. It is another epistle written from prison; and one in which he offers encouragement for the saints there. It was the first church that he established in Europe, and where he converted the Philippian jailor. He assures them of his well-being, and in verse 12 states that his imprisonment has actually served to advance the gospel.
He wants them to know that he will come to see them if possible, but that whether or not he does, he wants to hear that they “are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents.” He tells them that they are privileged that for the sake of Christ they believe in him — and that they will suffer for His sake, just as Paul has.
He continues that theme in chapter two. Not only will Christians suffer for Jesus, but they are supposed to put others ahead of themselves, doing nothing from selfish ambition, but looking toward the interests of others. That is hard to do sometimes, and Paul knew it. So he gave them the following words to encourage and embolden us, knowing the reward that Jesus claimed for us:
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 emptied himself, by 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.
If Jesus could selflessly do all that for us, we can endure anything comes our way in life until we receive our reward.
Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Ephesians and Philippians
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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.