I. PAUL'S DESIRE WAS FOR THE UNITY OF THE BODY OF CHRIST. THAT THEY BE LIKEMINDED AND OF ONE ACCORD AND OF ONE MIND. vs 2
A. The basis of the appeal.
1. If there be any consolation in Christ.
2. If there be any fellowship of the Spirit.
3. If there be any bowels and mercies.
a. The ancients believed that the bowels or the stomach area of man is where the deepest feelings of man were experienced.
b. The experiences in the head were rather shallow.
c. The heart was the seat of deeper emotions.
d. But the bowels were the deepest part of a man's emotional being.
4. Fulfill ye my joy.
B. Things that bring division.
1. Strife and vain glory.
2. Selfishness, "Look not every man on his own things."
C. The cures.
1. Esteem others better than yourself.
2. Look after the needs of others.
D. He speaks of lowliness of mind.
II. CHRIST IS OUR EXAMPLE OF LOWLINESS OF MIND. "LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU WHICH WAS ALSO IN CHRIST JESUS."
A. Who being in the form of God and thought it not robbery to be equal with God.
B. He made Himself of no reputation.
C. He took upon Him the form of a servant.
D. Was made in the likeness of man.
E. He humbled Himself.
F. Took upon Him the form of a servant.
G. Was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
1. From the form of God to the form of a servant.
2. He said that He did not come to be ministered to but to minister.
3. He said to His disciples, "You call Me Lord, and that is correct, but if I being your Lord, wash your feet, then you ought to wash each others feet."
H. The result of His emptying Himself.
1. God has also highly exalted Him.
a. He that humbleth himself shall be exalted, but he that exalteth himself, shall be abased.
b. He that would be great among you, let him become the servant of all.
c. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time. I Pet. 5:6
2. Given Him a name that is above every name.
3. That at the name of Jesus.
4. Every knee shall bow.
a. Of things in heaven.
b. Things on earth.
c. Things under the earth.
5. Every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
6. To the glory of God the Father.
III. PAUL'S DESIRE FOR THEM TO WORK OUT THEIR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING.
A. Paul was absent from them, he is to be absent for an indefinate period of time.
1. He is not certain that he will ever see them again.
2.While he was with them, they were obedient to his exhortation. Now that he is absent, he is trusting that they will be even more diligent in their obedience.
B. Because he was absent, they were to learn to work out their own salvation. How was this to be done?
1. For it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
2. God promised the day would come when He would no longer write His laws on tables of stone, but on the fleshly tablets of their hearts.
3. It is God that gives me the desires, and then the capacity to fulfill the desires.
C. Do all things without murmurings and disputings.
1. You are murmuring against God.
2. You are in a dispute with God.
D. The glorious results.
1. You will be blameless and harmless.
2. The sons of God.
3. Without rebuke.
4. In the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.
5. Shining as a light in this world
6. Holding forth the word of life.
E. This will bring joy to the heart of Paul for he will realize that he did not run in vain or labor in vain.
IV. PAUL'S REALIZATION THAT HE MIGHT BE NEARING THE END OF THE RACE.
A. If I be offered on the sacrifice of your service and faith.
1. If I am called upon to sacrifice my life because of the service I have rendered you, and the faith that I have brought you to.
2. I joy and rejoice with you all.
3. His desire was that they also joy and rejoice with him.
B. If I give my life as a sacrifice, rejoice and joy with me. For I will be rejoicing in the presence of the Lord.
C. His plan to send Timothy to them shortly so that he could bring back a report to Paul of their state.
1. I have no man likeminded who will naturally care for your state.
2. It is so difficult to find a man who is likeminded to the apostle.
3. So many seek their own state. They put themselves first. They minister down to the people. They cannot say as Jesus I came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.
4. You know the proof of him that as a son with the father he has ministered with me in the gospel.
5. I plan to send him just as soon as I see how things are going to go with me.
a. He would soon be standing before Nero, to give his defense of the gospel.
b. As he stands before Nero, you can be sure that he will be laying a heavy witness upon him.
D. His hope was that he might also be able to come himself.
1. His brother and companion in labor.
2. A fellowsoldier.
3. Your messenger and a minister to my wants.
a. It was Epaphroditus who had brought to Paul the gifts from the Philippians.
4. He had become very sick and almost died.
a. It was for the work of Christ that he almost died.
b. He did not regard his own life, that he might bring to Paul their gifts.
5. He was sad that they had heard the news of his illness and longed to return to them that they might know that he was well.
6. Paul was sending him back to them probably with this letter that they may rejoice in his being with them again.
7. Paul is asking them to honor him in the Lord.