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Philippians 2:5  (King James Version)
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<< Philippians 2:4   Philippians 2:6 >>


Philippians 2:3-7

The attitude Jesus showed in washing His disciples' feet is the same attitude that enabled Him to give up the power and glory of being like God and become a man. Here we see that our Creator, the Almighty God, is first and foremost a servant. He is willing to serve His own servants! When we come to the point that we are able to do everything in an attitude of service and humility, we are truly following Jesus Christ.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Footwashing



Philippians 2:1-5

The Philippian congregation was generally a wonderful group of people. Many different commentaries state that of all the groups that Paul wrote to, Phillipi was probably the best of them all. However, Paul was writing to these people with some measure of sadness because two ladies were feuding, and it was inexorably dividing the group into rival camps. In this section, the apostle is spelling out our Christian responsibility.

Notice that nowhere in the entire epistle to the Phillipians does Paul tell them, "Don't come to church." He did not say, "Split away by yourself." That is what is happening in the greater church. Paul did not say, "Just go sit in your living room." That is not an option with God. He tells us here that we have to look to and seek higher things. He says to let our conduct be worthy of the gospel that we say that we believe.

How far did Jesus Christ go to make peace? To the death! He did not allow the hostility of the world against Him to justify hostility against those who were mistreating Him.

We should not be misled by the word "if" in verse 1. Paul is not stating a "maybe." He is stating an absolute fact. That word "if" is better understood as "since": "Since there are these things in you because of God's Spirit, sacrifice yourself. Make my joy complete and use them." What are we to use? Love, fellowship of the spirit, bowels and mercies. "Fulfil you my joy, that you be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind."

Because of God's calling, because He granted us repentance and gave us His Spirit, we have already been enabled by His spirit to use these things to make peace, to be of one accord, to be of one mind. "The mark of the beast" can be overcome by God's Spirit in us, but we must sacrifice ourselves to use it. It is already there. Thus, Paul is saying, "Use God's love in you, and be of one mind. Quit fighting with each other to gain the upper hand. Consider the other person better than you, and serve him by looking out for his interest."

When he says, "Let this mind be in you," what he literally says in the Greek is, "Keep thinking like this." How? As Jesus Christ has already shown us. He is saying, "Don't let your mind be drawn toward what you consider to be the cause of the offence." Or, "Don't dwell upon those things."

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Spiritual Mark of the Beast



Philippians 2:1-5

Philippians 2 is written to a congregation with a problem of division within it. Two ladies were having a fight or at least a strong disagreement. Paul, at least partially, writes what he does in Philippians to correct this problem. He advises in broad principles how division that exists between any two people can be healed.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 7): Ephesians 4 (D)



Philippians 2:5

Perfection, as used in Scripture regarding everyday life, means maturity and completeness. We can certainly attain an increasing level of spiritual maturity, yet we cannot truly complete the process until changed into God—until our human nature has been totally changed. Only then can we reach the stated goals of being perfect "as our Father in heaven," having "the mind of Christ," bringing "every thought into captivity," and never uttering a wrong word.

Martin G. Collins
Basic Doctrines: Going On to Perfection



Philippians 2:5

Paul says that Christ dwelled in Him through the Holy Spirit. This indwelling of God's Spirit enables us to be faithful. Christ's faithful mind is imparted to us and becomes part of our mind. If we provided the faith to obey God, it would be self-righteous. Our righteousness must come through the faith of Jesus Christ.

Martin G. Collins
Faithfulness



Philippians 2:5-11

God commends the humble, not those who consort with the rich and famous, and He promises to exalt the humble at the appointed time (Proverbs 16:18-19). Jesus Christ's example of humility helps us to realize the meek stature of true Christians. In Him we see the zenith of virtue from which the apostles drew illustrations and admonitions for us. He gave up inexpressible glory to take upon Himself the humble form of humanity and perform the lowliest of services to us. He consented to be without distinction or honor and was willing to be despised and disregarded. When He laid aside his former rank and dignity, He became as nothing, yet now He is exalted above everything and everyone. He set this example for us that we might overcome self-exaltation and develop the true and ultimately exalting trait of humility.

Martin G. Collins
Overcoming (Part 9): Self-Exaltation



Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus shows us that meekness is not a mere contemplative virtue; it is maintaining peace and patience in the midst of pelting provocations. In II Corinthians Paul realizes that the meek and gentle approach can easily appear as weakness to those unfamiliar with Jesus' example, so he calls it "the meekness . . . of Christ." True meekness is always measured by Christ's meekness. His humility, patience, and total submission of His own will to the will of the Father exemplifies meekness.

Martin G. Collins
Meekness



Philippians 2:5

We are to come to have the very mind of Jesus Christ, bringing absolutely every thought into captivity or control. This is the highest form of mind control—where God expects us to control our own minds.

Martin G. Collins
Basic Doctrines: Repentance



Philippians 2:5-12

There is our example and the instruction as to the mind that we have to adopt and make our own. If we are going to go through this with a kind of growth that God wants us to have, it takes a certain mindset to be able to do it.

One of the things God wants us to get out of this is that He wants us to consider often that He, the Father, did not withhold suffering from His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ. He shared suffering with us despite His high status as God in the flesh and living a totally sinless life. We are neither God in the flesh nor have we led a sinless life. He did this to be our Savior. He did it in order to be our example, and He did it to be perfected to carry out His job as High Priest and Savior. He set His mind to be this way, and He carried through.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Wilderness Wandering (Part 5)



Philippians 2:5-11

Jesus teaches self-denial to His disciples not only with His words but also by His actions. Notice that His call to self-denial comes immediately after predicting His own sacrificial death. He is the supreme model of the self-denial to which He calls others. He even denies Himself any urge to avenge Himself or to threaten His persecutors for what they had done to Him. In Jesus' example, we see that, by committing ourselves to God who judges rightly, we deny ourselves the temptation of worldly lusts.

Martin G. Collins
Overcoming (Part 5): Self-Denial



Philippians 2:5-6

These verses provide the background for Christ's incarnation. The first word we need to consider is form in verse 6. It is the Greek morphe, for which English has no exact equivalent. Unlike "form" in English, morphe does not mean "shape." It is a philosophical term that means "the outward expression of an inner essence." We can derive an illustration of this definition from figure skating. One might say, "I went to the Winter Olympics, and the figure skater's form was outstanding." What is meant is that skater's swift, rhythmic grace, and coordinated movements were an outward expression of his inward ability to skate expertly.

Jesus was in the form (morphe) of God. The word being indicates a condition that began in the past and continues into the present. Therefore, while on earth, the outward expression of His inmost being was the expression of the divine essence, deity. Paul means that when the One who became Jesus, the Word, came to earth to assume the form of a man, He did not cease being God.

Also in verse 6 is the word consider, meaning "to make a judgment based on facts." Paul desires us to weigh the difference between Christ's original state with what He became as a man. He implies that the difference—and thus His humility in making such a sacrifice—is awesome.

The word robbery has two applications: "to seize unlawfully" or "a treasure to be clutched and retained at all hazards." Since the subject of this section is Christ's humility, the second meaning must be the proper application. Christ humbly did not assert His right to consider the expression of His divine essence such a treasure that He should hold on to it at all hazards. He waived that right. This is the very essence of humility.

Finally, God in verse 6 does not refer to a Personage, or it would say "the God" in the Greek. Since it does not, it must refer to deity in general, that is, the expression of the divine essence.

Verse 6, then, declares that, before His incarnation, the Word outwardly expressed His essential nature—Deity—and He judged that being equal with Deity in the expression of the divine essence was not a treasure to be clung to and held at all hazards. Thus, He gave it up to take on another outward expression.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Man and Fully God?



Philippians 2:5-7

Can anything that has some part removed from it still be as much as it was before? In the Word's case, He surrendered a level of existence never experienced by any human being, since only God lives at such a level in terms of both quality and length. We should not forget that what He gave up included immortality. If this is the case, was He as fully God as a human as He was before?

Of course, the other side of this picture is His humanity. In Philippians 2:5-7, Paul is saying that God exchanged one form of expression for another. Therefore, He never ceased being what He originally was, just the expression of what He was changed. Therefore, He was not a man in the strictest sense of what a man is—as we are. He was the Word of God manifest in the flesh and nature of a man. Can we then say He was fully man?

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Man and Fully God?




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Philippians 2:5:

Matthew 23:23
John 10:15
John :
John 17:21-23
John :
Romans :
1 Corinthians 1:26
1 Corinthians :
Galatians :
Galatians 3:27
Ephesians :
Philippians 2:5-7
Colossians :
Colossians 2:6-10
Hebrews 12:14
2 Peter 1:19-21
1 John :

 

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