Christians by their regeneration (2 Corinthians 5:17) are new. We have new attitudes and motives. Paul discusses these in the first part of Philippians chapter 2. Evidently, the believers needed to be reminded of these principles, just as we need to be reminded of them.
Philippians Chapter 2
Encouragement to Have Humility Like Jesus
1 Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affections and compassions,
[If these things are true (they are), then a response is required. Our response if found in the next verse].
2 Then fulfill my joy that youp be like-minded, having the same love, and united in soul and mind.
[We are to live and think according to God’s worldview, lifestyle, and rules. It is our wrong attitudes and motives that cause trouble in the church. The example of righteous and correct attitudes and motives are found in Jesus Christ in verses 5-8].
3 Let nothing be done according to selfish ambition or self-seeking praise, but in a humble attitude let each consider the other better than themselves.
[“According to” suggests the idea of motive. Our motives must not be for selfish ambition or self-seeking praise. The Greek word for “selfish ambition” is ἐριθεία eritheía (G2052). It means to do whatever is necessary and at any cost to be the leader or considered to be the best or greatest. This same word was “found before NT times only in Aristot., Polit. 5, 3 p. 1302b, 4; 1303a, 14, where it denotes a self-seeking pursuit of political office by unfair means” (BDAG). It then comes to denote the attitude of self-seekers, harlots, etc., who demean themselves for gain (TDNTa). Compare the same Greek word in Romans 2:8, 2 Corinthians 12:20, and Galatians 5:20. The Greek word for “self-seeking praise” is κενοδοξία kenodoxía (G2754). It means arrogance not based on reality. Thus, thinking one is smarter than everyone else and their ideas are better than anyone else. It includes the ideas of delusion and conceit. Consider Proverbs 26:12, 1 John 2:16, and Luke 18:9-14. Some examples are found in Matthew 23:6-8 and Luke 20:45-47. Our motives and attitudes are important. Let us rely on God’s supernatural grace to help. God does know how to humble us].
4 Each must not be just attentive of their own things but also the things of others.
[The characteristics listed in these verses are God’s worldview, lifestyle, rules, actions, etc. that He is and wants us to be. See 1 Corinthians 11:1, Philippians 4:9, and Romans 8:29. The Holy Spirit teaches, disciplines, and encourages us in the best ways for each of us individually. See 2 Corinthians 3:18, Galatians 5:22-23, and Romans 8:5-9. We must respond positively and not refuse to live and think the way God wants for us. Compare Ephesians 4:30].
5 Have this attitude in youp, which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 Who, being in the nature of God [essence], did not consider it robbery to be equal to God
[“Nature of God” refers to God’s essence. God’s essence is the stuff that God is (spirit different from angel spirit and human spirit) and His character traits. Yahweh is God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Paul is stating that Jesus is God the Son of the same essence as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit—one God in three persons. Or, to quote part of the Athanasian Creed:
That we believe and confess
that our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son,
is both God and human, equally.
He is God from the essence of the Father,
begotten before time;
and he is human from the essence of his mother,
born in time;
completely God, completely human,
with a rational soul and human flesh;
equal to the Father as regards divinity,
less than the Father as regards humanity].
7 But divested himself, took the nature of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.
[The Greek word for “divested” is κενόω kenóō (G2758). It means empty, as in the emptying of a glass of its water. It is usually used figuratively as empty words, empty faith, etc. Jesus did not empty Himself of His God self. He emptied Himself of doing His own will to do the will of His Father (Luke 22:42), of restraining His obvious glory, power, and authority. He had a ministry to complete, and He was dedicated to that goal. This is THE example for us. TDNTa has this: This can hardly mean that Christ negated himself, nor is it suggested that he aspires beyond his existing state. The point, then, is that Christ does not selfishly exploit his divine form but lays it aside to take the form of a servant. The preexistent Lord is the subject. He remains himself, but changes his mode of being (cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9). Albert Barnes writes: The essential idea is that of bringing to emptiness, vanity, or nothingness; and, henc, it is applied to a case where one lays aside his rank and dignity, and becomes in respect to that as nothing; that is, he assumes a more humble rank and station. It should be also noted that when Joseph and Mary looked and held the baby Jesus, they saw and held a baby. Jesus as a baby did not know advanced mathematical concepts, philosophical ideals, every language, advanced physiology and pathology. He was a baby. He had to learn to walk, talk, work, etc. just like other humans. Yet, He is 100% God and 100% man. See John 1:1, Romans 1:4, and Colossians 2:9].
8 Being found outwardly as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.
[Jesus lived what He preached. “Humility comes before honor” Proverbs 18:12. Jesus humbled Himself, then He was highly exalted by His Father (see next verse)].

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