v1-4 - This opening passage is arranged in an "if/then" format, but it's done so in a way that presupposes the reader will meet the condition listed. That means you can read it this way:
SINCE you have:
encouragement, comfort and compassion from being united with Christ;
THEREFORE do these things:
live like Christ did by putting others ahead of yourself.
v5-11 - In demonstrating what it means to have the same mindset of Christ, this passage is one of the Bible's clearest christologies; meaning it's a fantastic resource to understand who and what Jesus is:
He's by nature God, but He then also assumed the nature of man.
Having successfully completed His mission, God exalted Christ above all things.
Atheism is a temporary condition. So says v11 - every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord - even the atheists will need confess this truth.
But in order to gain the everlasting benefits that come from confessing Jesus as Lord, you need to confess it here and now.
v12-18 - Knowing who and what Christ is changes the way you live.
Your called to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling (v12). Understand that you're totally saved by God's grace, but that God works His grace through you as you align your life with His will to fulfill His good purposes.
That means your life needs to look different than the people you live and work with who are of the world. Paul modifies a passage from Deuteronomy into what would be a great personal mission statement in our modern world:
Be a child of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation (v15).
v19-29 - Paul tells of his plans to send Timothy and Epaphroditus to the Ephesians.
Timothy stands out because he exemplifies what it means to have the same mindset of Christ;
Epaphroditus overcame a deadly illness by God's grace who had been sent to take care of Paul in prison, but now is being sent back to Ephesus.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Deuteronomy 32 is a psalm written by Moses. Look especially at the way the reality of v5 has been changed for those who are in Christ for Paul to use that verse the way he does in Philippians 2:15.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: Paul mentions two of his fellow workers in this chapter. Who are they? (See verses 19 and 25.)
From the evidence you see in this chapter, what does Paul want most for the Philippians to understand about Jesus?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The one who is above all things and to whom all glory is due (v9 & 11)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to give you the same love and purpose that Jesus did because you are united to Him (v2)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: