Philippians 2

* Exhortations to a kind, humble spirit and behaviour. (1-4) The

example of Christ. (5-11) Diligence in the affairs of salvation,

and to be examples to the world. (12-18) The apostle's purpose

of visiting Philippi. (19-30)

1-4 Here are further exhortations to Christian duties; to

like-mindedness and lowly-mindedness, according to the example

of the Lord Jesus. Kindness is the law of Christ's kingdom, the

lesson of his school, the livery of his family. Several motives

to brotherly love are mentioned. If you expect or experience the

benefit of God's compassions to yourselves, be compassionate one

to another. It is the joy of ministers to see people

like-minded. Christ came to humble us, let there not be among us

a spirit of pride. We must be severe upon our own faults, and

quick in observing our own defects, but ready to make favourable

allowances for others. We must kindly care for others, but not

be busy-bodies in other men's matters. Neither inward nor

outward peace can be enjoyed, without lowliness of mind.
5-11 The example of our Lord Jesus Christ is set before us. We

must resemble him in his life, if we would have the benefit of

his death. Notice the two natures of Christ; his Divine nature,

and human nature. Who being in the form of God, partaking the

Divine nature, as the eternal and only-begotten Son of God, #Joh

1:1|, had not thought it a robbery to be equal with God, and to

receive Divine worship from men. His human nature; herein he

became like us in all things except sin. Thus low, of his own

will, he stooped from the glory he had with the Father before

the world was. Christ's two states, of humiliation and

exaltation, are noticed. Christ not only took upon him the

likeness and fashion, or form of a man, but of one in a low

state; not appearing in splendour. His whole life was a life of

poverty and suffering. But the lowest step was his dying the

death of the cross, the death of a malefactor and a slave;

exposed to public hatred and scorn. The exaltation was of

Christ's human nature, in union with the Divine. At the name of

Jesus, not the mere sound of the word, but the authority of

Jesus, all should pay solemn homage. It is to the glory of God

the Father, to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; for it is his

will, that all men should honour the Son as they honour the

Father, #Joh 5:23|. Here we see such motives to self-denying

love as nothing else can supply. Do we thus love and obey the

Son of God?
12-18 We must be diligent in the use of all the means which

lead to our salvation, persevering therein to the end. With

great care, lest, with all our advantages, we should come short.

Work out your salvation, for it is God who worketh in you. This

encourages us to do our utmost, because our labour shall not be

in vain: we must still depend on the grace of God. The working

of God's grace in us, is to quicken and engage our endeavours.

God's good-will to us, is the cause of his good work in us. Do

your duty without murmurings. Do it, and do not find fault with

it. Mind your work, and do not quarrel with it. By

peaceableness; give no just occasion of offence. The children of

God should differ from the sons of men. The more perverse others

are, the more careful we should be to keep ourselves blameless

and harmless. The doctrine and example of consistent believers

will enlighten others, and direct their way to Christ and

holiness, even as the light-house warns mariners to avoid rocks,

and directs their course into the harbour. Let us try thus to

shine. The gospel is the word of life, it makes known to us

eternal life through Jesus Christ. Running, denotes earnestness

and vigour, continual pressing forward; labouring, denotes

constancy, and close application. It is the will of God that

believers should be much in rejoicing; and those who are so

happy as to have good ministers, have great reason to rejoice

with them.
19-30 It is best with us, when our duty becomes natural to us.

Naturally, that is, sincerely, and not in pretence only; with a

willing heart and upright views. We are apt to prefer our own

credit, ease, and safety, before truth, holiness, and duty; but

Timothy did not so. Paul desired liberty, not that he might take

pleasure, but that he might do good. Epaphroditus was willing to

go to the Philippians, that he might be comforted with those who

had sorrowed for him when he was sick. It seems, his illness was

caused by the work of God. The apostle urges them to love him

the more on that account. It is doubly pleasant to have our

mercies restored by God, after great danger of their removal;

and this should make them more valued. What is given in answer

to prayer, should be received with great thankfulness and joy.

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