Love and humility work together.
Paul presented that wonderful truth to the Philippians by showing them and us Messiah Jesus set the example of love and humility working together.
Paul begins by exhorting us to partake of that love, participate in the Spirit and to be of the same mind and same love.
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love (agapēs), any participation (koinōnia fellowship) in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love (agapēn), being in full accord and of one mind.” Philippians 2:1-2.
Then Paul shows us how.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition (eritheian self-interest) or conceit (kenodoxian vain conceit), but in humility (tapeinophrosynē) count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4.
Now, he shows love and humility work together.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ (Messiah) Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped (harpagmon), but emptied (ekenōsen) himself, by taking the form of a servant (doulou), being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled (etapeinōsen) himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8.
He concludes by showing how God rewarded Messiah Jesus.
“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11.
Click on the Greek words added for a full listing of Scripture for each. All Scripture quoted above is from the English Standard Version
In view of Paul’s teaching, we are work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
“So then, my beloved (agapētoi), even as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear (phobou) and trembling. For it is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without complaining and arguing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without defect in the middle of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you are seen as lights in the world, holding up the word of life, that I may have something to boast in the day of Messiah that I didn’t run in vain nor labor in vain. Yes, and if I am poured out on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. In the same way, you also should be glad and rejoice with me.” Philippians 2:12-18 WMB.
“But he who is greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:11-12.
LOVE – the most excellent way.
In 1 Corinthians 12; Paul concluded his teaching on spiritual gifts in the body of Messiah;
“Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.” 1 Corinthians 12:31 ISV.
With that, he wrote 1 Corinthians 13; the love chapter of The Bible.
~ Bill Bremer
Bill Bremer is Founder and Managing Director at Kingdom Relationships Colorado.