By: Brent Joseph, transcribed from Live Conference in Bungoma, Kenya

Philippians 2:8-11:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

It was not a vainglory. He did not seek a vainglory. The glory was of God the Father. The glory of God in verse 11 is being sharply contrasted to the vainglory of Philippians 2:3. The glory of men is empty. The glory of men causes strife. But Jesus Christ was obedient to the glory of God and this obedience from verse 8 comes back into sharp focus in verse 12.

Philippians 2:12:
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

It is as though Paul is telling the church, “Because of the example of Christ my beloved, because of all we have seen Jesus Christ accomplished in verses 8-11, this mind is also to be in us my beloved.” “As you have always obeyed.” Obedience is the key. Obedience to lowliness of mind and to esteeming the other better than ourselves, to striving in nothing so that we can then be likeminded. They obeyed not in Paul’s presence only but now much more while Paul was absent writing this letter to them. And as obedient servants they were to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.

Philippians 2:13:
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

This God, the God of the heavens and the earth, is at work in you to be obedient in service. Obedience is His will and His good pleasure. For us to be obedient and to be servants, looking on one another so that we can be likeminded with the mind of Christ in us, this is how God works in us so that we can do His good pleasure. God will work in you because He is in you to become His obedient servants and to see how you can be an obedient servant situation by situation because He wants to help you perform His good pleasure.

Philippians 2:14:
Do all things without murmurings and disputings.

These murmurings and disputings are like the strife and vainglory from Philippians 2:3. You can have the elements in the church from Philippians 2:1 and still have the murmurings and disputings of verse 14. Paul says, “I want you to keep everything you are doing in verse 1, but as obedient servants, no longer murmur and strive with one another through disputings.” As obedient servants we can be as verse 15 goes on to explain.

Philippians 2:15:
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.

Being harmless. Think about being harmless. No strife or vainglory. No murmurings and disputings. When we make others more important than ourselves in our minds, when we esteem them better than ourselves, when we humble ourselves, then we are truly the servants of God – we are then blameless and harmless. This is how the world will know that we are the sons of God. In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus said, Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. He also said, Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:16 and 9). With this mind that was in Christ, we will be blameless and harmless and we will be called “the sons of God.”

Philippians 2:16-18:
Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

All we have been talking about in the book of Philippians has dealt with service and sacrifice for the benefit of others. And the word “minister” just means “a servant who works for the benefit of another.” Paul says here in Philippians 2:17, “That if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith.” Paul was willing to pour out his life. Paul was willing to pour out everything he had like an offering unto God, like the offerings in the Old Testament that would be offered to God, like liquid being emptied from a vase. And Paul himself, all that he was, was offered over and poured out upon the sacrifice that it cost and the service that he rendered, for their faith.

Philippians 1:20-25:
According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith.

“If I live, you will see Christ through my life, but if I die it is gain to me for I will see Christ for myself.” Paul was caught between two choices. Paul the apostle was in a tough situation. He was in prison at the time he writes this letter to the Philippian church. Even though he was in prison, there were still people attacking his ministry. He thought to himself, “To just die and be with Christ would be better than to deal with all of this!” And yet, because he was a servant of God, because he poured out his entire life and his entire self as an offering upon the sacrifice and the service for the faith of others, he said, “It is more needful for me to remain with you.”

“Though I would like to depart and to be with Christ, it is more needful for me to abide in the flesh and to be with you.” This is Paul’s example to us as a servant of God and putting others’ needs before our own. In verse 25 Paul says, “I will continue with you for the furtherance and joy of your faith.” Verse 26 continues, “That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.” Because Paul the apostle brought them the Word of God they had great rejoicing in Christ Jesus for him. He said, “I will stay in the flesh just so I can continue ministering the Word of God for you, just so you can continue rejoicing.” This is what he means in verse 25 when he says “for the furtherance of your joy and faith.”

He esteemed the others better than himself and he had in his mind the same mind that was in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:17-18:
Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

Here are the two key aspects of Philippians, “sacrifice” and “service.” It was not only the church that rejoiced because Paul brought them the truth of the gospel. Paul also rejoiced with them. When everything was so difficult for Paul that he thought it would be better to die than to continue, it was still the church and their reception of the gospel that brought Paul joy. “For the same cause also do you joy and rejoice with me.” There was rejoicing in the church and there was rejoicing in the minister Paul.

Philippians 3:1:
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.

Philippians 4:4:
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

This rejoicing was because of the reception of the gospel. The gospel was coming to them because a minister decided to sacrifice himself and put the needs of others before his own. There was joy in the church because the minister was making sacrifices as a servant of God, and was being obedient to God, and God was working in him to will and to do of His good pleasure so that he would be able to continue to give of the gospel, for the furtherance of the gospel. And Paul did it all for the furtherance of the gospel. This sacrifice for the furtherance of the gospel is what brought joy in the church and brought joy in the heart of Paul, so that he could tell the church, “rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.”

Philippians 4:1:
Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

You remember in Philippians 2:16 we read, “…that I may rejoice in the day of Christ.” There we have that joy again in Philippians 2:16. Paul said, “If you continue on this path, I will rejoice in the day of Christ when I see you there.” In chapter 4, the section begins with, “therefore,” and we know that means we need to look back at what was said previously. When we look back into chapter 3, in verses 20 and 21 of chapter 3, we see the reference to the appearing of Christ and the day of the Lord. This is why in Philippians 4:1 Paul calls the church his joy and his crown. They were his joy and his reward in the future because if they would follow the instructions of Paul, they would be present in the day of the Lord and would cause Paul great rejoicing and would be a reward unto him for his labor and his running. This is why Paul continued even through the hardest times to provide them the truth of the gospel.

Philippians 2:16-18:
Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

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