As I get further into this letter, I’m becoming more aware of how much a community the first century Christians were and how far present day Christians have gone from what God intended. Our time at church now is spent going from person to person and making sure we have surface conversations, not taking the time to really listen to the person we’re talking to because we want to make sure we get to the next person. How sad! God intended that we know the people we worship with, that they should be just as much family to us as the people who share our homes. But, I digress. I’m here to reflect on what I learned from the second chapter of Philippians.
This chapter starts with Paul saying how all believers should be of the same mind, think the same way, have the same love, and share the same feelings as they focus on one goal. That doesn’t mean believers are all robots. It just means that we have Jesus in our hearts and minds, and we are loving and taking care of others like Jesus would. Verses 3 and 4, in particular, portray this message.
“Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
After this introduction, the chapter continues and tells the reader about having a Christ-like attitude and how we should be obedient to the point of going to the cross like Christ did. Verses 9 – 11 are verses that have been quoted often in songs and in sermons.
“For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow–of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth–and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
There are so many good verses in this chapter I almost hate to keep quoting them as this is supposed to be what I think about what I read. The next section talks about obedience and how we’re to work out our own salvation. I’ve not understood before what the difference was between the words Paul used about “working out your own salvation” and the grace and mercy we receive from Christ. I understand it better now though. It means that God is working in us so we will desire what He wants and become more like Him. It’s what we signed up for when we asked Him into our hearts. And when we open our hearts like we should, He is able to do the work we asked Him to do in our lives.
And finally, Paul ends this chapter by telling the Philippians he will be sending Timothy and Epaphroditus to them. He does this so they will be encouraged in the faith and encouraged to have news of him. I believe this is also a way of encouraging us to take care of those who are in ministry and who minister to us.
I learned a lot from reading and studying this chapter and know that I will learn just as much from the other two chapters of this book.
God’s blessings on you today!