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Philippians 2:1-4 Meaning (Verse-by-Verse Study & Commentary)

Philippians 2:1-4 Scripture

1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:1-4)

Philippians 2:1 Meaning

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy” (Philippians 2:1).

All of these things that Paul is listing here are absolutes. There is consolation, or comfort, in Christ, there is comfort of love, there is fellowship of the Spirit, and there is affection and mercy.

Paul is trying to say that as these things are true, so also fulfill what I am about to tell you. We’ll cover what he tells in them in the next few verses, but first lets briefly analyze each one of these things that he mentions.

There is consolation in Christ & comfort of love. Consolation means to comfort after some form of suffering. Jesus is our comforter in the midst of suffering. The Philippians were being heavily persecuted for their faith and they no doubt were experiencing the comfort of the Lord.

The reasons why Jesus Christ is a comforter is because at the root of His character is love (1 John 4:8), and love is always comforting. The very presence of love brings comfort because you know when someone is pure love there is no twisted motive or deception taking place, but the sole desire to build you up in truth.

There is fellowship of the Spirit. We are meant to have fellowship with the Spirit. We should be talking to Him in our prayer times and throughout the day. We should be asking questions and listening to His voice.

The truth is, Holy Spirit is Jesus’ Spirit on this earth so we should treat His presence as Jesus’ physical presence. Sadly, many Christians struggle with this. [Related article: Is the Presence of God the Holy Spirit? (Biblical Answer)].

There is affection and mercy. There is an abundance of affection and mercy available in the life of a Christian. There is affection and mercy coming from God towards us, there is affection and mercy flowing out of us to the world and other believers, and there is affection and mercy flowing out of other believers towards us. Affection and mercy are something that we should never lack.

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Philippians 2:2 Meaning

“…fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” (Philippians 2:2)

Remember, the verse before this one Paul used absolute truths to stress the importance of these things that he mentions in this verse and the verses following.

Paul says that just as the things mentioned in verse 1 of Chapter 2 are true, so also let these things be true in your life as well.

We are to be like minded, of one accord, of one mind, with the same love as Christ. How is this possible? How can a whole church with different visions, passions, callings, and gifting be of the same mind?

The answer is love. The only way this can be possible is if we all wake up with the same motive and perspective of love.

We truly love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and we truly love our neighbor as ourselves. Then through loving our neighbors, we are able to fulfill The Great Commission and make disciples of all the nations.

If The Great Commandment and The Great Commission do not become the main thing of the Church then we will never have a unified body.

Philippians 2:3 Meaning

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” (Philippians 2:3)

This verse is not telling us that we should look down on ourselves and view ourselves as unworthy compared to others. 

Instead, this verse is encouraging us not to think less of ourselves but to think about ourselves less. This is what true love and humility is. 

One of the key attributes of the God kind of love is selflessness (1 Corinthians 13:5). “It does not seek its own” and therefore is able to esteem others highly, and attempts to benefit the lives of others as it lays down its own life. 

This is what Christ has done for all of us. Although He was the greatest individual to have ever set foot on this earth, He died as if He was the worst in order that we can be saved. 

Philippians 2:4 Meaning

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)

How many Christians actually do this? How many do you personally know? Some of you reading this may be able to count 1 person, possibly even 2, but most of you reading this have never seen this scripture lived out and yet you lived in Church your whole life.

What a tragedy! And what hypocrisy by the Church!

Let’s be people who take these scriptures to heart and make an intentional effort in our lives to truly care for people as if they were ourselves and members of our own household.

Now of course there is a limit to this. I don’t mean have every needy and homeless person in the world to come live with you, but what I do mean is if you see someone in need and you have the means to meet that need, give and take care of that person. Whether that is through time, money, or resources, meet the need.

Otherwise, if you don’t the scripture says, “how can the love of God abide in you?” (1 John 3:17).

I hope you enjoyed the article and that it assisted you in your walk with God.

If you want to read the entire commentary of the previous chapter on Philippians you can by clicking the title. Philippians Chapter 1 Meaning (Complete Commentary & Study).

Or you if you want to read more articles on the second chapter of Philippians you can by clicking the following titles:

Philippians 2:5-11 Meaning (Verse-by-Verse Study & Commentary)

Philippians 2:12-18 Meaning (Verse-by-Verse Study & Commentary)

Philippians 2:19-24 Meaning (Verse-by-Verse Study & Commentary)

Philippians 2:25-30 Meaning (Verse-by-Verse Study & Commentary)

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