June 30, 2021

June 30, 2021

Author: Pastor Bernard Ibrahim
June 30, 2021

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. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 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. 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.

Philippians 2:1-11

 This directive from Paul is first introduced in chapter 1:27, “Only let our manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.” I thought that is interesting. What does this mean to be worthy of the gospel of Christ? “So that whether or I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that…” so this is the manner of life worthy of the gospel of Christ. “…you are standing firm in one spirit with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.” I thought, “The gospel is central, what he is saying is, ‘to be worthy, to have the life, a church life, a group life with one mind striving side by side; standing firm in one spirit.’” There is a unity of mind and a unity of spirit that is expected and foundational to being a Christian in a church and living a life that is worthy of the gospel. He appeals again with the same words in chapter 2:2. The break is not well placed. It is the same idea, same command and he is saying something very similar that I didn’t expect and similar to the same language that we find in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “…that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”

In the Philippian church I never thought of anything other than encouragements for rejoicing, encouragements for peace, encouragements in tribulation, encouragements to do good works. But you never think of them. He opens this first directive after commending them the same way he opens 1 Corinthians after commending them in chapter 1.
This is nothing I ever really noticed about the church in Philippians, but it was encouraging to see that he saw this as important enough to make it his first point in addressing them after he commended them for their partnership in the gospel.

In Philippians 2:2,3 he gives them a picture of what to do and then what not to do, “not from ambition, not from conceit, but with humility, counting others more significant than yourselves.” Essentially summarizing, “Put others interests also in your view and not only your own interests.” Then again the same word “mind” in verse 5, “Have this mind among you.” So have a common mind, have a common thinking, a common way of motive and passion. We saw this word mind has a lot of potential connotations and different definitions. But this is really the thinking, the kind of thinking that we share together. Not that we are going to be the same, but this kind of thinking is the kind of thinking that we see in Christ who humbled himself and obeyed God to come and sacrifice himself for us.

I encourage you like I was encouraged. This, if we talk about foundational for being worthy of the gospel, living a life as a church body; this kind of mind, this humility, this taking the interests of our brothers and sisters is foundational for us to have peace and joy in this life, in the church and also to live a life that is worthy of the gospel.