Philippians 2* Exhortations to a kind, humble spirit and behaviour. (1-4) Theexample of Christ. (5-11) Diligence in the affairs of salvation,and to be examples to the world. (12-18) The apostle's purposeof visiting Philippi. (19-30)1-4 Here are further exhortations to Christian duties; tolike-mindedness and lowly-mindedness, according to the exampleof the Lord Jesus. Kindness is the law of Christ's kingdom, thelesson of his school, the livery of his family. Several motivesto brotherly love are mentioned. If you expect or experience thebenefit of God's compassions to yourselves, be compassionate oneto another. It is the joy of ministers to see peoplelike-minded. Christ came to humble us, let there not be among usa spirit of pride. We must be severe upon our own faults, andquick in observing our own defects, but ready to make favourableallowances for others. We must kindly care for others, but notbe busy-bodies in other men's matters. Neither inward noroutward peace can be enjoyed, without lowliness of mind. 5-11 The example of our Lord Jesus Christ is set before us. Wemust resemble him in his life, if we would have the benefit ofhis death. Notice the two natures of Christ; his Divine nature,and human nature. Who being in the form of God, partaking theDivine nature, as the eternal and only-begotten Son of God, #Joh1:1|, had not thought it a robbery to be equal with God, and toreceive Divine worship from men. His human nature; herein hebecame like us in all things except sin. Thus low, of his ownwill, he stooped from the glory he had with the Father beforethe world was. Christ's two states, of humiliation andexaltation, are noticed. Christ not only took upon him thelikeness and fashion, or form of a man, but of one in a lowstate; not appearing in splendour. His whole life was a life ofpoverty and suffering. But the lowest step was his dying thedeath of the cross, the death of a malefactor and a slave;exposed to public hatred and scorn. The exaltation was ofChrist's human nature, in union with the Divine. At the name ofJesus, not the mere sound of the word, but the authority ofJesus, all should pay solemn homage. It is to the glory of Godthe Father, to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; for it is hiswill, that all men should honour the Son as they honour theFather, #Joh 5:23|. Here we see such motives to self-denyinglove as nothing else can supply. Do we thus love and obey theSon of God? 12-18 We must be diligent in the use of all the means whichlead to our salvation, persevering therein to the end. Withgreat care, lest, with all our advantages, we should come short.Work out your salvation, for it is God who worketh in you. Thisencourages us to do our utmost, because our labour shall not bein vain: we must still depend on the grace of God. The workingof 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. Doyour duty without murmurings. Do it, and do not find fault withit. Mind your work, and do not quarrel with it. Bypeaceableness; give no just occasion of offence. The children ofGod should differ from the sons of men. The more perverse othersare, the more careful we should be to keep ourselves blamelessand harmless. The doctrine and example of consistent believerswill enlighten others, and direct their way to Christ andholiness, even as the light-house warns mariners to avoid rocks,and directs their course into the harbour. Let us try thus toshine. The gospel is the word of life, it makes known to useternal life through Jesus Christ. Running, denotes earnestnessand vigour, continual pressing forward; labouring, denotesconstancy, and close application. It is the will of God thatbelievers should be much in rejoicing; and those who are sohappy as to have good ministers, have great reason to rejoicewith 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 awilling heart and upright views. We are apt to prefer our owncredit, ease, and safety, before truth, holiness, and duty; butTimothy did not so. Paul desired liberty, not that he might takepleasure, but that he might do good. Epaphroditus was willing togo to the Philippians, that he might be comforted with those whohad sorrowed for him when he was sick. It seems, his illness wascaused by the work of God. The apostle urges them to love himthe more on that account. It is doubly pleasant to have ourmercies restored by God, after great danger of their removal;and this should make them more valued. What is given in answerto prayer, should be received with great thankfulness and joy.
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