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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Philippians 2

 

 

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Verses 1-11

Philippians 2:1-2. If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord of one mind.

He knew that these saints at Philippi loved him. They had sent once and again to relieve his necessities, so he pleaded with them, by their love to him, to love each other. He does as much as say, “If you really do love me, if it is not a sham, if you have any sympathy with me, and with my labours and sufferings, if you really have the same spirit that burns in my breast, make my heart full of joy by clinging to one another, by being like-minded, ‘having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.’”

Philippians 2:3. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;

This would be a good motto for those who are intending to build new places of worship. Let them not be built through strife, because of a squabble among the people of God, but make sure that all concerned are actuated by right motives, and seeking only the glory of God. Then, sometimes, if one gives a guinea, another feels that he must give two so as to excel him; this is giving out of vainglory. Let nothing be done in this way, but as unto the Lord, and as in his sight, let us do all our works, and give all our gifts.

Philippians 2:3-4. But in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Consider how you can help others, and in what way you can prosper them both in temporal things and in spiritual. You are members of a body, so one member is not to think for itself alone, the unity of the whole body requires that every separate and distinct part of it should be in harmony with the whole.

Philippians 2:5-8. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

He humbled himself, so be you not unwilling to humble yourself. Lower than the cross Christ could not go, his death was one of such extreme ignominy that he could not have been more disgraced and degraded. Be you willing to take the lowest place in the Church of God, and to render the humblest service, count it an honour to be allowed to wash the saints feet. Be humble in mind; nothing is lost by cherishing this spirit, for see how Jesus Christ was honoured in the end.

Philippians 2:9-11. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Some foolish and superstitious persons make this passage a pretext for bowing their heads at the name of Jesus whenever it is mentioned. Nothing can be more senseless, because the passage means no such thing. What we are taught here is the great truth that Jesus Christ, though once he stooped to the lowest shame, is now exalted to the very highest glory, and even the devils in hell are compelled to own the might of his power. We are also to learn from this passage that the way to ascend is to descend. He who would be chief must be willing to be the servant of all. The King of kings was the Servant of servants; and if you would be crowned with honour by-and-by, you must be willing to be despised and rejected of men now. The Lord give us this gracious humbleness of mind, for Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen.

This exposition consisted of readings from Philippians 1:21-30; and Philippians 2:1-11


Verses 1-13

Philippians 2:1-4. If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, be one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things,—

Do not obey the world’s maxim “Take care of Number One.” “Look not every man on his own things,”—

Philippians 2:4-7 But every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation,—

Observe that expression: “of no reputation,”—

Philippians 2:7. And took upon him the form of a servant,—

A slave,—

Philippians 2:7-8. And was, made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

What a cruel and ignominious death for the Son of God to suffer! Did he lose anything by all this wondrous condescension? Will you lose anything by any dishonour that may come upon you for Christ’s sake, for the truth’s sake? No; listen to what followed our Saviour’s humiliation:—

Philippians 2:9-11. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Note how the apostle, after writing on this high theme, again seeks the practical good of his friends at Philippi:—

Philippians 2:12-13. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye 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. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

This exposition consisted of readings from Philippians 1:12-30; and Philippians 2:1-13.


Verses 1-18

Philippians 2:1-2. if there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Paul did not mean to doubt that there is “any consolation in Christ, any comfort of love, any fellowship of the Spirit, any bowels and mercies,” for no one knew better than he did how those blessings abound to them that are in Christ Jesus. He put it by way of argument. If there be consolation in Christ, since there is consolation in Christ, since there is comfort of love, since there is fellowship of the Spirit, be one in Christ; be not divided; love one another: “be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

Philippians 2:3. Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory;

“Nothing”: never give to exceed other givers. Never preach that you may be a better preacher than anybody else; never work in the Sunday-school with the idea of being thought a very successful teacher. “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory.”

Philippians 2:3. But in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

There is some point in which your friend excels you. Notice that rather than the point in which you excel him. Try to give him the higher seat; seek yourself to take the lowest room.

Philippians 2:4. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Have a large heart, so that, though you care for yourself in spiritual things, and desire your own soul prosperity, you may have the same desire for every other Christian man or woman.

Philippians 2:5. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

What an example we have set before us in the Lord Jesus Christ! We are to have the mind of Christ; and that in the most Christly way, for here we have Christ set out to the life.

Philippians 2:6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

For he was equal with God.

Philippians 2:7. But made himself of no reputation,

Emptied himself of all his honour, of all his glory, of all his majesty, and of all the reverence paid to him by the holy spirits around the throne.

Philippians 2:7-8. And took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself,

He had not descended low enough yet, though he had come down all the way from the Godhead to our manhood: “he humbled himself.”

Philippians 2:8-9. And became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,

He stooped, who can tell how low? He was raised, who shall tell how high? “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him.”

Philippians 2:9. And given him a name which is above every name;

He threw away his name; he emptied himself of his reputation. How high is his reputation now! How glorious is the name that God hath given him as the reward of his redemptive work!

Philippians 2:10-11. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Now is he higher than the highest. Now every one must confess his divinity. With shame and terror, his adversaries shall bow before him; with delight and humble adoration, his friends shall own him Lord of all: “that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” See how the greatest glory of Christ is the glory of the Father. He never desired any other glory but that. The highest honour you can ever have, O child of God, is to bring honour to your Father who is in heaven. Do you not think so? I know you do.

Philippians 2:12. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye 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.

Get out of self. Work out your salvation from pride, from vainglory, from disputations and strife.

Philippians 2:13. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

You may very well work out what God works in. If he does not work it in, you will never work it out; but while he works within your spirit both to will and to do, you may safely go on to will and to do; for your willing and your doing will produce lowliness of spirit, and unity of heart with your brethren.

Philippians 2:14. Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

Do not say, “You give me too much to do; you always give me the hard work; you put me in the obscure corner.” No, no; “do all things without murmurings.” And do not begin fighting over a holy work; for, if you do, you spoil it in the very beginning, and how can you then hope for a blessing upon it? “Do all things without murmurings and disputings.”

Philippians 2:15. That ye may be blameless and harmless,

None finding fault with you, and you not finding fault with others; neither harming nor harmed: “blameless and harmless.”

Philippians 2:15. The sons of God, without rebuke,

So that men cannot rebuke you, and will have to invent a lie before they can do it; and even then the falsehood is too palpable to have any force in it: “without rebuke.”

Philippians 2:15. In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

You cannot straighten them; but you can shine. They would destroy you if they could; but all you have to do is to shine. If Christian men would give more attention to their shining, and pay less attention to the crooked and perverse generation, much more would come of it. But now we are advised to “keep abreast of the times,” and to “catch the spirit of the age.” If I could ever catch that spirit, I would hurl it into the bottomless abyss; for it is a spirit that is antagonistic to Christ in all respects. We are just to keep clear of all that, and “shine as lights in the world.”

Philippians 2:16. Holding forth the word of life;

You are to hold forth the Word of life as men hold forth a torch. Your shining is largely to consist in holding forth the Word of life.

Philippians 2:16. That I may rejoice in. the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

God’s ministers cannot bear the thought of having laboured in vain; and yet if some of us were to die, what would remain of all we have done? I charge you, brethren, to think of what your life-work has been hitherto. Will it remain? Will it abide? Will it stand the test of your own departure? Ah, if you have any fear about it, you may well go to God in prayer, and cry, “Establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands, establish thou it.” Paul cared much about God’s work; but he did not trouble about himself.

Philippians 2:17. Yea, and if He offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.

If he might be poured forth as a drink-offering on their behalf, or offered up as a whole burnt-offering in the service of the Saviour, he would be glad. He could not bear to have lived in vain; but to spend his life for the glory of his Lord, would be ever a joy to him.

Philippians 2:18. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

To live and to die for Jesus Christ, with the blessing of the Father resting upon us, is a matter for us to joy in unitedly and continually. God help us so to do!

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Philippians 2:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/philippians-2.html. 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 12th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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