2:1 If 1 [there be] therefore any consolation in a Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any b bowels and mercies,
(1) A most earnest request to remove all those things, by which that great and special consent and agreement is commonly broken, that is, contention and pride, by which it comes to pass that they separate themselves from one another. 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the c same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind.
(a) Any Christian comfort.
(b) If any seeking of inward love.
(c) Equal love. 2:5 2 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
(2) He sets before them a most perfect example of all modesty and sweet conduct, Christ Jesus, whom we ought to follow with all our might: who abased himself so much for our sakes, although he is above all, that he took upon himself the form of a servant, that is, our flesh, willingly subject to all weaknesses, even to the death of the cross. 2:6 Who, being in the d form of God, e thought it not robbery to be f equal with God:
(d) Such as God himself is, and therefore God, for there is no one in all parts equal to God but God himself. 2:7 But made himself of g no reputation, and took upon him the h form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
(e) Christ, that glorious and everlasting God, knew that he might rightfully and lawfully not appear in the base flesh of man, but remain with majesty fit for God: yet he chose rather to debase himself.
(f) If the Son is equal with the Father, then is there of necessity an equality, which Arrius that heretic denies: and if the Son is compared to the Father, then is there a distinction of persons, which Sabellius that heretic denies.
(g) He brought himself from all things, as it were to nothing. 2:9 3 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a i name which is above every name:
(h) By taking our manhood upon him.
(3) He shows the most glorious even of Christs submission, to teach us that modesty is the true way to true praise and glory. 2:10 That at the name of Jesus k every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;
(i) Dignity and high distinction, and that which accompanies it.
(k) All creatures will at length be subject to Christ. 2:11 And [that] l every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(l) Every nation. 2:12 4 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, m work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
(4) The conclusion: we must go on to salvation with humility and submission by the way of our vocation. 2:13 5 For it is God which worketh in you both n to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.
(m) He is said to make an end of his salvation who runs in the race of righteousness.
(5) A most sure and grounded argument against pride, because we have nothing in us praiseworthy, but it comes from the free gift of God, and is outside of us, for we do not have ability or power, so much as to will well (much less to do well), except only by the free mercy of God. 2:14 6 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
(n) The reason why we are not statues; and yet we do not will well by nature, but only because God has made of our wicked will a good will.
(6) He describes modesty by the contrary effects of pride, teaching us that it is far both from all malicious and secret or inward hatred, and also from open contentions and brawlings. 2:15 7 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;
(7) To be short, he requires a life without fault, and pure, so that being enlightened with the word of God, they may shine in the darkness of this world. 2:16 Holding forth the o word of life; 8 that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
(o) The Gospel is called the word of life, because of the effects which it produces. (8) Again he urges them forward, setting before them his true apostolic care that he had for them: in addition comforting them to the end that they should not be sorry for the greatness of his afflictions, no, not even if he should die to make perfect their sacrifice with his blood, as it were with a drink offering. 2:17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the p sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
(p) As if he said, I brought you Philippians to Christ, and my desire is that you present yourselves a living sacrifice to him, and then it will not grieve me to be offered up as a drink offering, to accomplish this your spiritual offering. 2:19 9 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of q good comfort, when I know your state.
(9) Moreover, he strengthens and encourages their minds both by sending back Epaphroditus to them, whose fidelity towards them, and great pains in helping him, he commends: and also promising to send Timothy shortly to them, by whose presence they will receive great benefit. And he hopes also himself to come shortly to them, if God wills. 2:21 For r all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christs.
(q) May be confirmed in the joy of my mind.
(r) The most part. 2:30 Because for the s work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.
(s) He calls here the work of Christ the visiting of Christ, being poor and in bonds in the person of Paul.