1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ (see Luke 6:24), if any comfort (or, stimulating force, incentive) of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit (there is no article, and the whole context in an exhortation to being of one mind. Cp. 1:27), if any bowels (see 1;8) and mercies (see Rom. 12:1),
2 Complete you my joy, in order that you think the same thing, having the same love, being of one accord, minding the one thing. (Don't be an odd ball. Servants of God should be of one mind. Doing the will of our Father should be our priority. If you are causing problems among the brethren, your priority isn't doing the will of God. You are part of the many membered body which makes up the church. The most important thing in your life should be God and the church, if you serve them.)
3 Let nothing be done according to strife or vainglory; but by lowliness of mind (see Acts 20:19) reckoning one another better than themselves. (Be humble. We all fall short at times. Repent and be forgiven. God gives different gifts to members of the body of Christ. Never be jealous or envious of other members. Utilize the gift God has given you to the best of your abilities.)
4 Look not every man on his own things, but each one on the things of others also. (Be considerate of others. Don't only be concerned about yourself. Christians are all of one body. You have to put the church first. You have to think of all the members reaching the goal of eternal life.)
5 Let this mind be in yourselves (i.e. your mind), which was in Christ Jesus also:
6 Who, subsisting (essentially or being) in the essential form of God (including all the qualities which can be made visible to the eye), reckoned it not an act robbery (or a usurpation) the being on an equality with God: (A virgin shall conceive, And shall call His name Immanuel [Isaiah 7:14]. "Immanuel" means "God with us".)
7 But emptied Himself, having taken upon Him the form of a servant, and became in the likeness of men: (Of what He divested Himself is not stated, but Geo. Herbert's words, "He laid His glory by", i.e. the outward attributes of Deity, well suggest the meaning here. The Lord's wisdom and knowledge astonishing to the Rabbis [Luke 4:27]. He came only to accomplish the work the Father gave Him to do [John 17;4[, so He only spoke the words Father gave Him [John 3:34; 7:16; 8:28; 12:49,50; 14:10,24; 17:8,14]. His perfect obedience [as far as death, v.8] was shown in that He did and said only what was appointed to Him to do and say, not His own will, but the will of Him that sent Him [Heb. 10:5-7]. Christ didn't place Himself above everyone else in the 1st advent. He served all by defeating death on the cross. He did that for you. Humble yourself. He did.)
8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, becoming obedient as far as death, even the death of the cross. (That death, the shame of which made it a stumbling-block to the tribe of Judah. Cp. Heb. 12:2. The 7 successive step's of the Lord's humiliation is illustrated. The 7 steps upward in His glorification are given in vv.9-11. Jesus was completely innocent, but He suffered a criminal's death for us. That is love.)
9 Wherefore God also highly exalted Him, and gave Him the name which is above every name: (Humble yourself and be exalted, or exalt yourself and be abased [Matt. 23:12]. Be a servant of the living God. Work to accomplish His will.)
10 That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow (see Rom. 11;4. Cp. Isa. 45:23. Rom. 4:11.), of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (Cp. Prov. 15;24. These are the dead who shall be raised to give glory to Him. Cp. Rev. 5:13; and the angels and demons of the abyss. Luke 8:31. Rev. 9:11. And see Ps. 148.)
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Every knee will bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord on the first day of the millennium.)
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as you 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. (See 1 Cor. 2;3.)
13 For it is God which works in you both to will and to work His good pleasure. (See Rom. 10;1. Here is another goal we should reach to attain. We should strive to be pleasing to God. That is only one way you will receive His blessings. That is the only way you will receive eternal life.)
14 Do all things without murmurings (see Acts 6;1) and disputings:
15 That you may become blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked (see Acts 2:40) and perverse generation (see Acts 13;8), among whom you appear as lights in the world;
16 Holding forth the word of life; for rejoicing to me in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.
17 Yes, even if I be poured out [as a drink offering] upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
18 In respect to the same thing do you also joy, and rejoice with me.
D E 19. Paul's hope to send Timothy. F 20,21. Reason. None like him. F 22,23. Proof and experience. E 24. Paul's trust to come himself.
19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy quickly to you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know .
20 For I have no one of equal mind, who will naturally care for the things concerning you.
21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.
22 But you know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he served with me in the good news.
23 Him therefore I hope (as trust, v.19) to send forthwith, so soon as I shall see the things concerning with me.
24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
D G 25. His character. H 26,27. His desire to see them. G 28,29. His mission. H 30. Commendation of him.
25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus (see 4:18), my brother, and fellow-laborer, and fellow-soldier, but your messenger (= apostle), and minister to my wants.
26 For he was longing after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that you had heard that he had been sick.
27 For indeed he was sick near to death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, in order that I should not have sorrow upon sorrow.
28 I sent him therefore the more diligently, that, when you see him again, you may rejoice, and that I may be the more free from grief.
29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such as honorable (or esteemed):
30 Because for the work of Christ he drew near to death, disregarding his life, that he might fill up your lack of service toward me. (Paul's joy at their kind ministrations lacked one thing, their personal presence. This Epaphroditus, their messenger, supplied.)