Study Notes For Philippians

Chapter 2

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Philippians 2:1 –

  • Paul was not questioning if there is any consolation in Christ or not for he knew there was/is (II Corinthians 1:3-5 and II Thessalonians 2:16).

  • Nor was Paul questioning if there is any comfort in love (II Corinthians 13:11 and Colossians 2:2).

  • Nor was he questioning if there was fellowship in the Spirit (I Corinthians 12:12-13, II Corinthians 13:14, and Ephesians 4:1-6).

  • Nor was he questioning any bowels and/of mercies (Colossians 3:12).

  • What he was doing is tied to the word “therefore”. He had just told them about his afflictions, their coming sufferings, and had asked them to let him hear of their unity in the Gospel (Philippians 1:27-30). Now he is saying if there is any comfort for him, fellowship, and mercy… The next verse is Paul therefore stating how he could receive those things through their actions.

Philippians 2:2 –

  • Joy can be reached through brethren (II Corinthians 2:3, II Corinthians 7:6-7, Colossians 2:5, and II John 1:4).

    • Sorrow can come too, if they err (Luke 19:41-44, Romans 9:1-3, II Corinthians 2:4, and Philippians 3:18-19).

  • Being like-minded is about one’s way of thinking. That Greek term is translated in other places as “regardeth” (Romans 14:6), “think” (I Corinthians 4:6 and Philippians 1:7), “understood” (I Corinthians 13:11), “mind” (Philippians 3:16; 19), and even “affection” (Colossians 3:2).

  • Our way of thinking matters in many ways (Romans 12:1-3, II Corinthians 10:1-5, Philippians 4:6-8, and Ephesians 4:23).

  • Having the same love is about loving God (Mark 12:30), one another (I Peter 1:22), and so on (ex. II Thessalonians 2:10).

  • One accord or united in affection (Acts 2:46). Understand that being of one accord doesn’t necessarily mean that what you are united in is right (Acts 18:12).

  • One mind is about unity of minds, thinking (I Corinthians 1:10, Philippians 1:27, and I Peter 3:8).

    • Keep in mind though, one’s maturity in the faith will have some determining factors on how like-minded we can be (cf. Hebrews 5:12-14).

    • So will one’s abilities to learn, work, etc. effect how like-minded we can be (Luke 12:41-48).

  • Being of one mind and like-mindedness tie together (Romans 15:5-6).

Philippians 2:3 –

  • Nothing done through strife [faction; contention] (Proverbs 20:3, Proverbs 26:20-21, Romans 13:13-14, and James 3:13-18).

    • Consider the type of person that generates strife (Proverbs 15:18, Proverbs 16:28, Proverbs 17:19, Proverbs 22:10, Proverbs 28:25, Proverbs 29:22, and Luke 22:24-30).

  • Nothing done through vainglory [empty glorying, i.e. self-conceit] (I Corinthians 3:21, Galatians 5:26, and I Thessalonians 2:6).

  • Having lowliness of mind (Acts 20:19 and I Peter 5:5-6).

  • Esteeming others better than yourself (Matthew 20:26-27, Romans 12:10, and Galatians 5:13).

  • Think about how being like minded,loving, and unified in the previous verse (Philippians 2:2), ties to this (cf. I Peter 3:8-11).

Philippians 2:4 –

  • Don’t be selfish (Acts 20:35, Romans 15:1-3, I Corinthians 10:24-33, and James 2:8).

  • We live in a time of selfishness, amongst other things (II Timothy 3:1-5).

    • For further and deeper thought, consider how people being lover’s of self and without natural affection are things that have to be overcome so that they can cease being selfish. The fact that people need to be taught how to love is not a new thing (I John 3:8-4:21).

  • Be mindful of other people (Romans 12:10; 13; 15-16, Galatians 6:1-2) without expectation of repayment (Luke 14:12-14).

Philippians 2:5 –

  • The mindset of unselfishness was surely in Jesus Christ (Matthew 20:26-28, Luke 22:27, Ephesians 5:2, and I Peter 3:18).

  • We should imitate Christ and not only in being selfless (John 13:1-17, Ephesians 5:2, I Peter 2:21-23, I Peter 4:1-2, and I John 2:3-6).

Philippians 2:6 –

  • He was in the form of God, while in Heaven, meaning He was in a spiritual form (John 4:24).

    • We should not get caught up in the study of “the form of God” for Jesus was easily capable of appearing in multiple forms (Exodus 3:1-4:31; cf. John 8:58 and Matthew 17:1-5).

    • He appeared after being risen in a different form, a hidden manner (Mark 16:12; cf. Luke 24:13-35).

    • Is it really that hard to see that Jesus didn’t change who He was though he appeared in different forms? Won’t the same happen to us (I Corinthians 15:35-57)?

  • No one can deny Jesus who Jesus was/is (Colossians 1:12-15 and Hebrews 1:1-7).

  • Not considering equality with God the Father as robbery [plunder; seizing] is explained in the next verse. The point being, He did not need to hold on to being in the form of a spirit and was willing to take upon Himself a fleshly form. Consider the point in II Corinthians 8:9 as further commentary here.

Philippians 2:7 –

  • He left the grandeur of Heaven and become one of no reputation (Isaiah 53:2-3, Matthew 13:53-58, John 6:42, and John 9:29).

    • Some erring versions of the Scritpures actually demote Jesus here and translate “make himself of no reputation” as “emptied himself” (ex. ASV 1901, ESV, and NASB).

    • This has nothing to do with Jesus, as some have erroneously taught, emptying Himself of being deity while He was in human flesh (Isaiah 9:6, Matthew 1:23, John 1:1-14, John 8:56-58, John 10:30-33, John 20:28-31, Acts 20:28, Romans 9:1-5, Colossians 2:8-9, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8-12, I John 3:16, and, I John 5:20).

    • Such a view causes one to be lost (John 8:23-24).

  • Took upon Him the form of a servant rather than the form of God (Mark 10:45).

  • That form was the likeness [figure] of men (Romans 1:3, Hebrews 2:9-18, and II John 1:7).

Philippians 2:8 –

  • He died in human form, which carries great significance (Hebrews 7:22-28 and Hebrews 10:5-22). The word translated “fashion” means: “a figure; external condition” (Strong’s # 4976).

  • Unto His death, Jesus was obedient (Hebrews 5:8-9; cf. John 4:34, John 5:30, John 6:38, John 8:28-29, John 14:31, John 15:10, and John 17:4).

  • Think of how humility was shown in His obedience to the Father (Matthew 11:28-30 [vs. 29], John 5:41, Romans 15:1-3, etc.).

  • His death, for our sins, was on the cross (John 19:16-19, Ephesians 2:13-16, Colossians 1:20, and Hebrews 12:1-3).

  • It was HIS CHOICE to die (John 10:17-18). He could have, but chose not to, prevented His death (Matthew 26:36-46; 53-56).

  • Herein we see the significance of Him giving up His spiritual form to appear in the form of a man (John 1:14-17).

Philippians 2:9 –

  • God the Father highly exalted Him (Acts 5:30-31, Ephesians 1:19-23, Ephesians 4:10, I Peter 3:21-22, and Revelation 3:21).

  • God the Father gave Him a name above every name (Matthew 1:21-23, Acts 4:10-12, Colossians 3:17, and Hebrews 1:1-4).

Philippians 2:10 –

  • Every knee of all beings in heaven and earth will bow at the name of Jesus (Romans 14:10-12; cf. Colossians 1:12-20).

Philippians 2:11 –

  • As noted in the previous verse, all things will bow to Jesus and then confess His name (again; Romans 14:11-12).

  • On our part however, we should be unlike the others in that we should always willingly doing confess His name (Matthew 10:32-33, Romans 10:9-10, I Timothy 6:12-13, and I John 4:15).

    This action, for us who are faithful, is not just a vocal instruction but also includes a manner of life (II Timothy 2:19).

Philippians 2:12 –

  • Wherefore”… We have discussed the example of Christ in His being a humble, obedient, servant that was willing to give up everything of benefit to Himself for the betterment of others (Hebrews 2:9-18). Now, the Philippians needed to apply this mindset that they see in Christ unto themselves (as do we). Remember, they were to learn to have the mindset of Christ (Philippians 2:5).

  • Paul used a phrase of endearment, “my beloved” (I Corinthians 4:14 and Philippians 4:1; cf. Matthew 17:5 and Mark 1:11).

    • For Paul, his affection did not have to be returned for him to put forth the effort to help the lost be saved (II Corinthians 12:15).

    • Wasn’t that true of Christ (Romans 5:8-10)?

    • Isn’t that the love we see in God (I John 4:9-10)?

    • Aren’t both examples to be followed (I Corinthians 11:1 and Ephesians 5:1-2)?

    • We need to be sure we have learned these things (Matthew 9:10-13).

  • Being willfully (Psalms 40:8) obedient at all times (John 9:31, John 14:21, Hebrews 5:8-9, I John 5:1-3, and II John 1:6) just as Jesus was (John 8:28-29 and John 15:10-14).

  • Being obedient without the need of someone constantly urging you to do right or not do wrong (Galatians 6:4).

  • Work out your own salvation (Acts 2:40, I Corinthians 9:27, I Timothy 4:13-16, and Hebrews 3:12). *Remember this point, as we look at the next verse especially, that obedience is YOUR choice.

    • So very often Christians lose their sense of individual responsibility and place all of their thinking on the church. We must remember that there is a huge difference of what is expected of us individually from what is expected of us collectively as a congregation (Galatians 6:4-5). We spend most of our lives outside of the assembly.

    • Remember, there is a difference between individual, concurrent, and collective actions we do as Christians (Matthew 18:15-17 and I Timothy 5:3-16).

    • As a clear distinction, here locally, this class is not the work of the Sunrise Acres church of Christ. It is a class that I, as an evangelist, hold for Christians who want to and can study things more in depth. In such an effort, the church is not at work. While teaching occurs when the church is assembled (Acts 20:7 and Colossians 3:16), evangelists also work outside of the congregation, even amongst Christians, aside from the work of the church (Acts 19:8-10, Acts 20:17-20, Acts 28:30-31, etc.).

  • With fear and trembling (Psalms 2:11, Psalm 119:120, II Corinthians 7:1; 14-15, and I Peter 1:1-17).

    • Think of how a servant is to be obedient to his or her master (Ephesians 6:5 and I Peter 2:18).

  • For the sake of thought and discussion, how does the command to fear and tremble not contradict Luke 1:67-75, II Timothy 1:7, and I John 4:14-21? What about Revelation 21:8?

    • The answer is not in the Greek word. The same Greek word in Philippians 2:12 translated “fear” is also in I John 4:18 [Strong’s # 5401].

    • The answer is not in redefining “fear” as reverence, for God is due BOTH (Hebrews 12:28-29).

    • Consider the answer by looking back to a context we have discussed already (Hebrews 2:14-15).

    • One of the best ways to understand this just MAY be in considering Exodus 20:18-20. Also, how the same principle is used in discussing how to fear civil authorities (Romans 13:1-7).

    • Fearing God is not about being afraid of God in general. If you know you’re going to be saved (I John 5:13), through your complete love (John 14:15); you’re not afraid of Him. What you should be afraid of is disappointing Him, by violating His will, for if you disobey Him there will be Hell to pay for that (II Thessalonians 1:7-9).

  • No matter what we study though the fear of God, there is an abundance of Scriptures that teach we are to fear God and we cannot confuse that fact (Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 9:10, Proverbs 14:26, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, Matthew 10:27-28, Acts 5:1-11, Acts 9:31, Acts 10:34-35, Acts 19:11-20, II Corinthians 5:11, Ephesians 5:21, and I Peter 2:17).

    • Hebrews 10:26-31 should help us think through things.

    • It is NOT a good thing to NOT fear God (Romans 3:9-23).

    • One aspect of godly fear is in knowing how hard salvation really is (I Peter 4:17-19).

Philippians 2:13 –

  • God worketh in you (Hebrews 13:20-21).

    • Then, this was supernaturally true (Mark 16:20, I Corinthians 12:3-11, and I John 2:18-27).

    • Such a statement, now, should be understood as God working in us through the Scriptures (I Thessalonians 2:13 and II Timothy 3:16-17).

    • A contrast would be that the devil is working in those of the world (I John 3:1-10).

    • The figure of speech “in you” (I John 4:15).

  • Think about the statement “to will” [would have; desire (Strong’s #2309)] (I Timothy 2:4). We see this in Jesus to the will; desire; pleasure of the Father (Hebrews 10:1-9).

  • To do His pleasure (Proverbs 16:4, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, Isaiah 43:21, and Revelation 4:11).

  • This, as the previous verse makes clear, is not to say that freewill was surrendered (Genesis 2:15-3:20, Deuteronomy 5:29, Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Joshua 24:14-16, Matthew 11:28-30, Luke 8:4-15, John 8:31, Acts 2:37-41, Acts 13:38-50, Romans 8:13, Colossians 1:23, Hebrews 3:6-14, and Revelation 22:17).

Philippians 2:14 –

  • All things” is certainly subjective and inferred to be authorized things; pleasing to the Lord (I Corinthians 14:40, Philippians 4:13, I Thessalonians 5:21, Titus 2:7-8, and I Peter 4:11).

    • At the first, they had “all things common” (Acts 2:44).

    • Yet, we assuredly know they did not share their spouses (I Corinthians 7:1-5 and Galatians 5:19-21).

  • Do all things without murmuring [grudging; grumbling; secret displeasure] (John 7:12, Acts 6:1, and I Peter 4:9; cf. James 5:9).

  • Do all things without disputings [doubtful reasoning/discussions; thoughts; evil thoughts] (Matthew 15:19, Mark 7:21, Luke 9:46-48, Romans 1:21, and James 2:4).

  • It is interesting to note that the word “doubting” (KJV) in I Timothy 2:8 and “doubtful” (KJV) in Romans 14:1 is the same Greek word translated “disputings” here (Strong’s #1261).

  • If you’re doing things RIGHT, avoiding the wrong (I Thessalonians 5:22) what would you have to grumble about and be displeased over (I Thessalonians 5:18)?

  • is the grumbling, displeased person pleasing to God (Psalms 144:15, Philippians 4:4, I Thessalonians 5:16, and I Peter 1:3-9)?

Philippians 2:15 –

  • Be blameless (Luke 1:5-6, II Corinthians 7:1-2, Ephesians 1:3-4, Colossians 1:21-22, I Thessalonians 3:13, I Peter 4:11-16, and II Peter 3:10-14).

  • Be harmless (Matthew 10:16 and Romans 16:19).

  • Sons of God (II Corinthians 6:14-18 and I John 3:1-3).

  • Be without rebuke (Titus 2:7-8 and I Peter 2:12). Meaning that, you do not need corrected (Hebrews 12:5 and Revelation 3:19).

  • We live amongst the crooked and perverse (John 17:14-17, Romans 12:1-2, Galatians 1:3-4, and I John 5:19).

  • Among whom (I Corinthians 5:9-13) we should shine as lights (Proverbs 4:14-19, Matthew 5:14-16, and Ephesians 5:6-11).

Philippians 2:16 –

  • Hold forth the word of life (Acts 8:1-4, Acts 15:35, Romans 10:8-17, and II Timothy 2:2).

  • Knowing how/if to do so requires much thought (Colossians 4:5-6; cf. Matthew 7:6, II Timothy 2:23, and Titus 3:9-11).

  • Not always done through verbal teaching (I Peter 3:1-4).

  • Think of the phrase “word of life” (John 6:63-69, Acts 13:26, and I John 1:1-3).

  • Paul wanted to be able to rejoice in them for the sake of his labor (Galatians 4:11 [cf. Galatians 3:1-3] and I Thessalonians 2:19-20; 3:5).

  • He didn’t want all he did to be in vain (Galatians 2:1-2, Galatians 4:11, and I Thessalonians 3:1-8).

Philippians 2:17 –

  • If Paul had to sacrifice his life in service to their faith, he would rejoice (II Corinthians 7:4, Colossians 1:24-25 and I John 3:16).

  • One difference between Paul and the rest of us is, Paul was sure to suffer for the cause (Acts 9:10-16).

  • Paul’s mindset was what enabled him to be willing to suffer for others (Acts 20:22-24, Acts 21:8-14, I Thessalonians 2:8, I Thessalonians 3:7-8).

  • A true teacher of the truth must have a sacrificial mindset when it comes to the salvation of others, even to the extreme (Exodus 32:25-35 and Romans 9:1-3; cf. James 3:1).

Philippians 2:18 –

  • They had joy and rejoicing with Paul even in the sufferings that were accomplished in Paul for Christ (II Corinthians 1:3-7 and Ephesians 3:13; cf. James 1:2-4).

  • Consider the application of fellowship in suffering with/for the Lord (Philippians 3:10; cf. Romans 8:17, II Timothy 2:11-12, and I Peter 4:1-2).

Philippians 2:19 –

  • The sending of Timothy (I Corinthians 4:16-17).

  • Paul trusted “in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus” (cf. Acts 10:1-23, Acts 13:1-4, and Acts 16:6-10). *While Paul was sending Timothy (vs. 23) such was subject to the Lord’s will most of all.

  • Paul sent other brethren to congregations at times too (II Corinthians 12:17-18, Ephesians 6:21-22, and Colossians 4:7-9).

  • Comfort in knowing the state of the brethren (I Thessalonians 3:1-7 and III John 1:3-4).

Philippians 2:20 –

  • Timothy was special. Paul took Timothy under his wing (Acts 16:1-5) and such was previously ordained by God in some prophesy (I Timothy 4:12-16).

  • At this time, Paul felt that there was no one else whom he trusted as much as he trusted Timothy as being “likeminded” (cf. I Corinthians 1:10) in regard to having natural care for the saints in Philippi.

    • This should not be understood as Paul saying no one else was teaching the truth (Acts 15:6-35, Acts 15:40-41, I Corinthians 16:15-19, and Colossians 4:10-13).

    • It should not be understood as though there were not other brethren who cared about saints either (Romans 16:1-4). Even the remainder of this context will bear that out (Epaphroditus).

    • Timothy was like a son to Paul (Philippians 2:22).

    • To whom did Paul write, ever, that resembles II Timothy 2:1-4; 3:10-14; 4:1-8?

  • Timothy, at this time, was the only teacher Paul considered to have that same natural care (I Thessalonians 2:1-12) for the saints as he himself did.

  • A good teacher not only teaches the truth, but also has a natural care for the brethren (John 10:11-13).

Philippians 2:21 –

  • Paul’s point is made clearer in him establishing that other teachers did not have the same selfless mindset as he and Timothy had (I Corinthians 9:19-23, I Corinthians 10:24-33, II Corinthians 12:14-15, and II Timothy 2:10).

  • Paul was selective in whom he wanted working with him for reasons such as this (Acts 15:36-41).

Philippians 2:22 –

  • Timothy was proven (Acts 16:1-2, II Corinthians 1:19, I Thessalonians 3:2, etc.).

  • Having proof of one’s faithfulness comes down to seeing that they will and have done God’s will when tested (ex. II Corinthians 8:1-24).

  • Paul and Timothy had a close relationship like unto a father and son (I Timothy 1:2 and II Timothy 1:1-6).

Philippians 2:23 –

  • Paul’s natural care is exhibited in how he wanted to send Timothy without delay. Important matters should not be put off (I Corinthians 4:19) when you realize the value of time (Proverbs 27:1 and James 4:13-15).

Philippians 2:24 –

  • Paul was not going to just be satisfied with sending Timothy. He still wanted to come and see them for himself (cf. I Thessalonians 2:17).

  • Again (as discussed in verse 19), whether or not Paul or anyone comes to Philippi as a teacher was subject to the Lord’s will (Acts 16:1-10).

  • Appreciate, for a moment, how many brethren were on the mind of the beloved Apostle Paul (II Corinthians 11:28).

Philippians 2:25 –

  • Epaphroditus was a messenger that had come from Philippi to Paul to serve Paul’s wants (Philippians 4:10-18).

  • He was called a brother (Mark 3:32-35, Hebrews 2:9-11, and Revelation 1:9).

  • He was called a companion in labor (Colossians 4:11 and Philemon 1:24), which is a statement that should be considered (Matthew 9:36-38 and I Corinthians 3:1-9).

  • He was called a fellowsoldier (Philemon 1:1-2; cf. Ephesians 6:10-17, I Timothy 6:12, II Timothy 2:2-4, II Timothy 4:6-8, and Jude 1:3-4).

Philippians 2:26 –

  • Epaphroditus longed (meaning of desire [I Peter 2:2], even great desire [I Thessalonians 3:6], as translated even as “lusteth” James 4:5) after his brethren (II Timothy 1:4).

  • Epaphroditus was full of heaviness because he caused his brethren to be concerned (cf. II Corinthians 12:14).

    • The term translated heaviness (Strong’s # 85) is the same used when Jesus was in the garden and is translated there as “very heavy” (Matthew 26:36-46 and Mark 14:32-42).

    • Think about how strong a term was used when you consider what heaviness is and causes (Psalms 119:28 and Proverbs 12:25, I Peter 1:6).

  • This sharing of sorrow is good (Romans 12:15 and I Corinthians 12:26).

Philippians 2:27 –

  • Even during this time wherein miracles were performed, some Christians got sick (II Timothy 4:20) and at some point all died (Hebrews 9:27).

  • If Paul was saying Epaphroditus was healed [God had mercy on him], that was certainly a possibility in that time (Matthew 10:1, Acts 28:8, and James 5:14-15).

  • Paul explained that God’s mercy on Epaphroditus was also mercy on himself as not to give him greater sorrow. Remember, there was always much on the mind of Paul in the way of sorrow (Romans 9:1-3) and that can destroy a person (II Corinthians 2:7).

Philippians 2:28 –

  • Paul sent Epaphroditus back to Philippi carefully [“speedily, sooner”; Strong’s # 4708] for their rejoicing at his presence (cf. II Corinthians 7:6).

  • Among faithful saints, there should be a longing to see one another (Acts 20:36-38).

Philippians 2:29 –

  • Now Paul commends Epaphroditus so that his reception of the saints in Philippi would be honorable. This is a common practice among faithful saints (Acts 9:26-31, Acts 18:24-28, Romans 16:1-4, I Corinthians 16:10, Colossians 4:10, Philemon 1:15-17, and III John 1:12; cf. Proverbs 12:8).

Philippians 2:30 –

  • Epaphroditus put his life on the line for the work of Christ (Acts 5:40-42, Romans 8:35-39, II Corinthians 4:8-5:1, II Corinthians 12:10, and I Thessalonians 3:3-4).

  • Epaphroditus supplied their lack of service toward him (as always addressed; Philippians 4:11-18).

Index of Studies In Philippians

© 2017 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain.  Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful!   Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies.  – Brian A. Yeager


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