INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:
Background to Philippians…
The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).
Some of the main divisions of the book include:
1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2
2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11
3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26
4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18
5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30
6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11
7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21
8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9
9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20
10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23
Php 2:3-4 – “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
Paul continues to help us understand proper motivations we should possess as we cultivate Godly relationships with other Christians…
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;
Godly relationships cannot be motivated with desires for:
1. strife – conflict, confusion and disorder
2. vain-glory – worthless praise
Neither of these motivations should hold any place in the lives of Christians. When these motivations are present they are to be replaced with humility…
but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
We are to, with a humble mind, we are to see others as more valuable than ourselves. This attitude will cause us to put the welfare of others first and to be willing to make personal sacrifices for them.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
When we see others as better than ourselves, we will begin looking out for their welfare and seek to meet their needs. We will no longer be self-centered and discouraged due to our own personal wants but our attention will be centered upon Christ and working to help others along life’s way.
The Lord’s mandate to “look …. on the things of others” does not give us the liberty to judge others in an ungodly way, become tattlers of their affairs, or noisy interferers. Please keep in mind, when we have a truly humbled heart pointed towards the welfare of others, the mistreatment of others will not be an option for us.
1Jn 3:14 – “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”
Rom 15:1 – “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”
When we develop a selfless attitude towards the people of God, we are showing ourselves to be genuinely saved and spiritually strong. What a wonderful testimony to have before the lost around us. When they see us enjoying Godly relationships, willing to make sacrifices for others, they are seeing the love of Christ at work in us.
May we all continue to come to a better understanding and application of the Lord’s word given to us through the Apostle Paul which will allow us to develop more Godly relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ and be living testimonies of the love of Christ in the eyes of those who are lost.
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