Appeal to strive
together for the gospel (1:27-30)
Appeal to be
Appeal to have
the mind of Christ (2:5-11)
fast, one spirit, one mind, salvation, suffer, joy, like-minded, same love, one
accord, one mind, lowliness of mind, humbled.
1.Stand fast in
one spirit (1:27); having one mind (1:27; 2:2); having the same love (2:2);
being of one accord (2:2); not doing anything out of selfish ambition or
conceit (2:3); in lowliness of mind esteeming others better than ourselves
(2:3); looking out for each other’s interests (2:4); having the mind of Christ
The teachings on unity and
obedience are all about conducts that are worthy of the gospel.
Our conduct testifies to our
Standing fast in one spirit;
striving together with one mind; not terrified by our adversaries; being ready
The believers’ steadfastness
and boldness for the faith of the gospel.
The believers had previously
witnessed how Paul was persecuted and imprisoned (e.g. Acts 16:16-24). Now they
hear about his afflictions and chains (Phil 1:13, 16).
Know that we are destined for
suffering (1Thess 3:3; 1Pet 4:12). 2. Consider it a privilege and joy to suffer
for Christ because we share in the sufferings of Christ and such sufferings are
beneficial to our faith (Jas 1:2-4; 1Pet 1:6,7;
The consolation in Christ,
comfort of love, fellowship of the Spirit, and affection and mercy enable
Christians to become one. What all believers have in common is that they have
all received God’s grace and have been brought into God’s household (cf. 1Cor
12:12-13; Eph 2:11-18; 4:1-16). It is God who makes unity among believers
possible, and it is His Spirit that binds us together. Thus, God’s grace and
love serve as the basis and motivation of unity.
Selfish ambition and conceit,
resulting in power-struggle, division, slander, judging others, stubbornness,
jealousy, etc.; 2. Being self-seeking, resulting in inconsiderate words and
actions that hurt others.
Love, affection, mercy,
lowliness of mind, looking out for others’ interests.
The Lord Jesus willingly laid
aside His glory and humbled Himself. He became a servant (Mk 10:45). He was
obedient to the point of death (Mk 14:36). We should likewise forsake our
selfish ambitions and serve one another with a heart of submission.
In terms of Christ’s humility,
the hymn describes the descent of Christ from the glorious God to a sinner on
the cross: Being in the form of God > did not consider equality with God
something to be grasped (NIV) > made Himself of no reputation > coming in
the likeness of men > taking the form of a bondservant > humbled Himself
and became obedient to the point of death > even the death of the cross.
In terms of His exaltation, the
hymn finds its climax in the lordship of Christ: Therefore God also has highly
exalted Him > and given Him the name which is above every name > that at
the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on
earth, and of those under the earth > and that every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord > to the glory of God the Father.
The phrase “made Himself of no reputation” in verse 7 is literally “Himself
He emptied.” Unity is not possible without denying and emptying ourselves. To
achieve unity, we must be ready to forsake our personal rights, interests, and
pride. Only then can we serve one another in true humility.
It was His great love for us
that brought Jesus to this world to die on the cross (Jn
3:16; 15:13; Rom 5:6-8; Gal 2:20; Eph 5:25; 1Jn 3:16). Likewise, our love for
our brothers and sisters also compels us to put aside all selfish ambition and
conceit, consider others better than ourselves, and look out for the interests