Imitating Christ’s Humility
2:1If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions, 2:2make full my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; 2:3doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself; 2:4not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. 2:5Have this mind in you,1 which was also in Christ Jesus:
a thing to be grasped,
2:7but emptied himself,
taking the form of a servant,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient even unto death,
2:9Wherefore also God highly exalted him,
and gave unto him the name
which is above every name;
every knee should bow,2
2:11and that every tongue should confess
- Have this mind in you. That which we identify with, we become. cf. Rom. 12:2.
- every knee should bow. The writer of Philippians follows up the statement that forms today’s Golden Text with the words “That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth.” Metaphysically, the name Jesus represents the “I” in man, the self, the directive power, raised to di vine understanding and power—the I am. It is this I in each man that holds all else in him under its domin ion and power. This high entity controls the working of his mind (“things in heaven”) as well as his emo tions and his overt actions (“things on earth”), and it also has under its direction the subconscious impulses of which the conscious mind is often unaware (“things under the earth”). This high motivating and identifying principle of man “is he that shall save his people from their sins.” Unity 1934-05
- Jesus is Lord. Paul's true mission is not just converting Jews or Gentiles, but rather converting all of Rome, for Rome symbolized a world order that could not stand in light of the new world order (of oneness) established by Christ. According to Marcus Borg, when Paul declares that “Jesus is Lord” he is implicitly declaring that “Caesar is not Lord,” neither are the masters of slaves, and that there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile. But all of these, including Caesar, are part of the one reign of Jesus Christ. Borg, Marcus. Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001). New York: Harper Collins. See Divine Ideas in Paul's Writings, Bible Interpretation - Acts to Revelation.
Shining as Lights in the World
2:12So then, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation1 with fear and trembling; 2:13for it is God who worketh in you2 both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.
2:14Do all things without murmurings and questionings: 2:15that ye may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world, 2:16holding forth the word of life; that I may have whereof to glory in the day of Christ, that I did not run in vain neither labor in vain. 2:17Yea, and if I am offered upon the sacrifice3 and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all: 2:18and in the same manner do ye also joy, and rejoice with me.
- Work out your own salvation. We have been learning how to do the outworking, but have now come to a point where we must learn more of how to place ourselves in an attitude where we can each be conscious of the divine inner working. cf Lessons in Truth Lesson 9, Annotation 10.
- God who worketh in you. The work of regeneration cannot come through the personal self. When we consciously desire to unify ourself with Him, our life is no longer ours but His, and we may rest assured that He will not let us out of His care and keeping. Be Ye Transformed 151.
- if I am offered upon the sacrifice. If you have a thought of love and good will, you set free invisible emanations that are impregnated with these ideas. ... This is the inner meaning of offering sacrifices to the Lord
Timothy and Epaphroditus
2:19But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. 2:20For I have no man likeminded, who will care truly for your state. 2:21For they all seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ.1 2:22But ye know the proof of him, that, as a child serveth a father, so he served with me in furtherance of the gospel. 2:23Him therefore I hope to send forthwith, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me: 2:24but I trust in the Lord that I myself also shall come shortly.
2:25But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus,2 my brother and fellow-worker and fellow-soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need; 2:26since he longed after you all, and was sore troubled, because ye had heard that he was sick: 2:27for indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, that I might not have sorrow upon sorrow. 2:28I have sent him therefore the more diligently, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 2:29Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy; and hold such in honor: 2:30because for the work of Christ he came nigh unto death, hazarding his life to supply that which was lacking in your service toward me.
- Not the things of Jesus Christ. Macedonia represents the business mind and Philippi means getting gain, which is the chief motive of business. It is very natural that in this place (state of consciousness) there is "no man likeminded, who will care truly for your state. And so Timothy was sent to the assembly of believers at Philippi. The thoughts wherein love of gain is uppermost need Timothy (inspired reason united with faith) to instruct them concerning spiritual substance and life (the true riches) and their use.
- Epaphroditus. A message of love and peace that is sent by the word of Truth (Paul) to the enlightened thoughts of the states of mind that Philippi and Colossæ signify in individual consciousness.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks
Following Entry: Phil. 3