From Troas, Paul traveled to Philippi after seeing the vision of a Macedonia man, Acts 16: 6-10. In Philippi, Lydia, the Philippian jailer, and his family were saved and they started the Philippians church which grew and thrived.
VV 1-4, 1Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Paul implored the Philippians Christians to be united in fellowship. They were to be consolated in Christ, comforted in love, fellowship in the Holy Spirit, show affection and mercy to one another. The Greek word for affection is “splanchnizomai”, which means bowel, the seat of emotion. Paul implored them not to let disunity, tension, competition, and self-glorification disrupt the church unity. He implored them to be humble, meek, and others-centered.
VV 5-8, 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Although Jesus was equal to God, He spiraled downward and came to earth as a human being, to die on the cross for our sin. Greek for “made himself of no reputation” is “kenosi”, which means to empty oneself of all powers. Philippians 2:5-8 is believed to be a hymn or creed of the 1st century Church.
VV 9-11, 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
God exalted Jesus to the highest and gave Him a name above all name. One way, everyone must confess Jesus Christ is Lord. Romans 10:9, is a confession of salvation, “ if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”. Philippians 2:11 is a confession of condemnation on judgment day. Today is the day of salvation. Hebrews 3:15, “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
VV 12-13, 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Salvation is by grace, through faith in Christ, and not through work. The injunction is to work out your salvation, not work for your salvation. Be amazed at your salvation with fear and trembling. Continue to grow in faith and God will put the desires in your heart corresponding to His will.
VV 14-16, 14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
Do everything without complaining or murmuring so that you will be a blameless, and faultless child of God and shine the light of Christ into the dark world. Stay strong in the word and rejoice as you anticipate the day of Christ’s second coming.
VV 17-18, 17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.
Can you see hear the emotion of Paul? Doon, his blood could be poured out as a drink offering, and his life could be sacrificed for his faith in Christ. He rejoiced and invited them to rejoice with him, knowing that he was headed to heaven.
VV 19-24, 19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.
20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. 23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me. 24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.
Paul made know his intention to send Timothy to Philippi to be their minister. There was no one as capable as Timothy in Rome to take on this role. Timothy was Paul’s son in the faith and of proven character. Even Paul himself wanted to visit Philippi but he could not. Do you have a Timothy? Do you have a Paul? We need to mentor others and we need others to mentor us in the faith.
VV 25-27, 25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need;26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
The Philippians Church sent Epaphroditus or Epaphrus to Rome to minister to Paul but in Rome, he fell sick and almost died, but God had mercy on him and healed him.
VV 28-30, 28 Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; 30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.
Paul sends Epaphroditus back to Philippi, urging them to receive him back with gladness and joy and with high regard because he had been a faithful servant of Christ.