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We are going to continue with our series of messages from
Philippians. This week we are up to chapter two and the title is, “Shine
brightly with the attitude of Christ”.
Last week in our message Living wholeheartedly for Christ from
chapter one we saw four main ideas…
This week we will have four points again.
Philippians 2:1-30 – Is there any encouragement from belonging to
Christ? Any comfort from His love? Any fellowship together in the
Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me
truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one
another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t
be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others
as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own
interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have
the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though He was God, He
did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7
Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position
of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human
form, 8 He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s
death on a cross. 9 Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of
highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, 10 that at
the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and
under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. 12 Dear friends, you always
followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it
is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation,
obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in
you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.
14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can
criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining
like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.
16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return,
I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was
not useless. 17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring
it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is
an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 18
Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy. 19 If the Lord Jesus
is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit. Then he can
cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along. 20 I have no
one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. 21
All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to
Jesus Christ. 22 But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like
a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News.
23 I hope to send him to you just as soon as I find out what is going to
happen to me here. 24 And I have confidence from the Lord that I
myself will come to see you soon. 25 Meanwhile, I thought I should
send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and
fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need.
26 I am sending him because he has been longing to see you, and he was
very distressed that you heard he was ill. 27 And he certainly was
ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him–and also on me,
so that I would not have one sorrow after another. 28 So I am all
the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad to
see him, and then I will not be so worried about you. 29 Welcome
him with Christian love and with great joy, and give him the honor that
people like him deserve. 30 For he risked his life for the work of
Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you
couldn’t do from far away.
Today I want to share four main points that spoke to me as I was
studying this passage this week.
1. Having the attitude of Christ
Philippians 2:1-11. It is titled, “Having the attitude of Christ”.
It contains a number of ideas.
a. Be unified
Paul urges the believers to be unified in Christ. He asks them to
make him happy by “agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one
another, and working together with one mind and
Being unified is about loving and caring for each other, putting
differences aside and working together in our joint Kingdom purpose.
Jesus prayed for His followers in John
17. He prayed that we might be one as He and the Father are one. So
being unified is very important to both Jesus and Paul. Therefore, it
needs to be important to us.
Being unified does not always mean we will agree on every issue. But
it means we chose to put Christ and unity of faith above our issues or
A.W. Tozer, in his book the The Pursuit of God said this
about unity. “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all
tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are
of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard
to which each one must individually bow. So, one hundred worshipers
[meeting] together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer
to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’
conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer
b. Be interested in others
Verses 3 says, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be
humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out
only for your own interests, but take an interest in others too”.
Life is not just about you and me as individuals. It is about all of
us. When I fall into selfish patterns I don’t look out for others. I can
be concerned about my interests only. Jesus lived in a constant mission
of the Father. He was interested in others to the point of sacrificing
all. As we have seen in the last year. He travelled miles for the just
the one person.
c. Be humble
Verses 7-8 says, “Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took
the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he
appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died
a criminal’s death on a cross”.
Christ left the glories of heaven to live in this world. He took a
lowly place of a servant and even died a “criminal’s death” for our sin.
His humility paved the way for our salvation. If Christ showed that
humility, what do I have to be proud of?
Years ago Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, was scheduled
to speak at a Large Presbyterian church in Melbourne, Australia. The
moderator of the service introduced the missionary in eloquent and
glowing terms. He told the large congregation all that Taylor had
accomplished in China, and then presented him as “our illustrious
guest.” Taylor stood quietly for a moment, and then opened his message
by saying, “Dear friends, I am the little servant of an illustrious
Master.” (W. Wiersbe, Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers, p.
So today, let us be unified in Christ’s mission, be interested in
others above ourselves and be humble in all we do. Let us understand we
are little servants connected to an awesome God.
2. Shine brightly for Christ
Verses 12-18 is the next section. It is titled, “Shine brightly for
In verse 12 he says, “Dear friends, you always followed my
instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even
more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying
God with deep reverence and fear”.
In this passage Paul encourages the Philippians to continue on living
right. He says they did well when he was with them, but it is important
to keep it up while he is away.
As I read this passage it took me back to my primary school days.
When the teacher was in the classroom with us, everyone behaved well.
When the teacher left us alone, some of the kids (including me!)
misbehaved. We would all sit down nicely before the teacher returned!
So, the Philippians stayed on track while he was away (unlike my
school friends and I!) Paul urged them to…
If they continued to do these things Paul knew they would be on
track. He wanted them to be a witness to the world in the way they
lived. He wanted them to shine brightly in the midst of the crooked
world around them.
So today, let us remember to shine brightly and be a good example in
the way we live. As we do remember “God is working in you, giving you
the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (v13). In chapter 1 we
saw that God will continue the work He started in us too (1:6)
3. Paul commends Timothy
In the next section in our Bibles “Paul commends Timothy”.
In this passage the Apostle Paul speaks highly of Timothy to the
Philippians. In verse 12 we see he Paul wants to send Timothy to them to
see how they are going.
Bible scholars tell us that Timothy had already been to Philppi.
Timothy accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey when the
church was planted. So, some would have known him, but not all.
In his recommendation Paul says three encouraging things about
a. That he really cares for the Philippians.
In verse 20 he says, “I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely
cares about your welfare”.
b. That he cares for Christ’s work.
Verse 21 says, “All the others care only for themselves and not for
what matters to Jesus Christ”.
c. That he served Paul well.
Verse 22 says, “But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a
son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News”.
This is a great recommendation! One that most of us would be proud
of. In it we see that Timothy really cares for the Philippians, he cares
for Christ’s work and he serves Paul and the Gospel like a son serving
When I read this passage, I can see why Paul love his “spiritual” son
in the faith so much. He was a great young man with lots of potential
and he really cared about what mattered to God.
4. Paul commends Epaphroditus
In previous verses Paul commended Timothy. In verses 25-30 he
a. Commends him for his work
Verse 25 says, “Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back
to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. And he was
your messenger to help me in my need”.
The church at Philippi took up an of offering for Paul while he was
in prison in Rome. This was to help him through his time of need. The
church sent Epaphroditus to deliver the offering and stay with Paul for
Paul really appreciated the offering from the church he planted on
his second missionary journey. In Philippians
4:18 he calls it a “sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and
pleasing to God”.
Paul also appreciated Epaphroditus coming and being with him. As we
see above he described him as a true brother, a co-worker, a fellow
soldier, and a messenger in his need. Often when we have been away from
home serving God for a while, there is great joy catching up with
someone from home.
b. Paul commends him back to the church
In the final section of verses 29-30 Paul commends him back to the
church and Philippi and asks them to recognise his great work…
“Welcome him with Christian love and with great joy, and give him the
honour that people like him deserve. For he risked his life for the work
of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you
couldn’t do from far away”.
Honoring people who served well was a big part of the early church.
We see this in the commending of both Timothy and Epaphroditus. I
believe it is something we should continue to practice today.
Today we looked at Philippians chapter two and saw four main points.
By Dave Quinn
Founder of PASSIONAustralia.org
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