Philippians 2:1-5
Phil 2:1 (KJB)
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Consolation - Encouragement
Comfort - Solace or alleviation
Bowels - Inside affections
Paul is not stating with “if” that there may be consolation or comfort, the word “if” has a meaning of “since.” It means those things in Christ are absolutely true. In Christ, there is always encouragement for the believer, no matter what the outward circumstances may be. Along with that encouragement of the believer, there is always the comfort of love, that is, that we are loved unconditionally by God who gave His Son for our salvation. In turn, we are to love God and we are to love the brethren and we can easily do this because we have fellowship in the Holy Spirit because all true believers are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Paul uses an example from the Old Testament concerning the affections God has for His children and the affections which we should have for the other brethren. (Isa 63:15 KJV) Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained? Our affections should not be those of surface but they should come from deep down inside us which would mean true unwavering affections and mercy toward others with accompanying deeds. (Love without works is dead!)
Phil 2:2 (KJB)
Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Fulfil - Make full or be complete
Ye be likeminded - Think the same thing
Being of one accord - Of one mind
Mind - Attitude or disposition of the mind
Here Paul is encouraging the Philippians to make full his joy because there may have been some areas in which the Philippians were lacking. This is why he stressed the points of being likeminded, that is, to think the same thing or to be in line with the true Gospel, so there will be unity among the brethren. It was very important to Paul that the Christians were in concert with each other because he knew that if they were in harmony, they would be able to stand firm against any attacks by Satan. He wanted them to be of one mind and one attitude and that attitude was to be strengthened in the true Gospel. When an entire assembly is on one accord, they are walking in strength and it would be very hard to defeat them.
Phil 2:3 (KJB)
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Strife - Contention or selfish ambition
Vainglory - Empty pride, groundless self-esteem, or self-delusion
In lowliness of mind - humility or modesty
Esteem - Consider, count, or think
There may have been some self-centered people in the Philippian assembly and they might have exalted themselves above the others. So Paul is admonishing them that nothing is to be done out of selfish ambition. There is no place in the Kingdom of God for arrogance or self-promotion. If the Lord gifts a Christian for a certain ministry, they are not to look down on others simply because they do not possess the same gifted ministry. Selfish ambition leads to empty pride which is called vainglory. When we try to exalt ourselves, we begin the spiritual spiral downwards and sometimes God must break us to show us that our ministries are not of us but of the Lord and we are to be dependent upon Him for every aspect of it. As we minister to the brethren, we are to look upon them as better than us thus keeping a humble outlook. Some of the weakest brethren have been the most blessing because of their simple outlook on things. That is why we never look down on those who have less education or those who do not grasp well the deeper spiritual things. This does not mean they have no value it may just mean they see things from a different perspective. So we must never treat other brethren with contempt.
Phil 2:4 (KJB)
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Look - Consider
Here Paul is stating plainly that for us to maintain a humble posture, we need to consider the other brethren. This mindset would put to death the attitude of self-centeredness. The principle is thus, if there are 50 people in a congregation and all have a self-centered spirit that would make 50 individual self-serving congregations but if you 50 people and all look upon each other as better, you will have 50 humble people making up one congregation and this is what Paul had desired. Basically, this verse is teaching us to be caring toward other Christians.
Phil 2:5 (KJB)
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Paul gives the perfect example of the mind which Christians should possess. The Lord Jesus Christ did not come to this earth for His own purposes but He came to die for the sins of the Elect. His ministry from start to finish was other-centered, that is, He came for the benefit of others. Even unbelievers had benefited from His ministry. Remember the ten lepers which were cleansed? Only one came back to thank Him, the others went their way. (Luke 17:17-18 KJV) And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? {18} There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. We must follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ in focusing our minds on the good of others and this way we will never succumb to the self-centered mindset and life.