CONTEXT: This chapter is an example of Christology teachings in the Bible. Paul uses Christ as the example (be, live, etc. like Christ) to the church at Ephesus. Matthew Henry breaks down the chapter as follows: Exhortations to a kind, humble spirit and behaviour. (1-4) The example of Christ. (5-11) Diligence in the affairs of salvation, and to be examples to the world. (12-18) The apostle’s purpose of visiting Philippi. (19-30)
Our text for today is at the forefront of this chapter in that it proceeds one of the best known text in scripture:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
While Paul was not (and neither should we) de-emphasize Christ, he was rightly emphasizing the need (Christology) for us to live humbly like Christ. I want to make clear this does not mean being a punching bag, a pushover, etc. for Jesus certainly was not that. Yet He was humbly obedient to the Father and never showed arrogance or self-righteous.
Spurgeon Comments on these verses as follows: 3 This would be a good motto for those who are intending to build new places of worship. Let them not be built through strife, because of a squabble among the people of God, but make sure that all concerned are actuated by right motives, and seeking only the glory of God. Then, sometimes, if one gives a guinea, another feels that he must give two so as to excel him; this is giving out of vainglory. Let nothing be done in this way, but as unto the Lord, and as in his sight, let us do all our works, and give all our gifts. 3-4 Consider how you can help others, and in what way you can prosper them both in temporal things and in spiritual. You are members of a body, so one member is not to think for itself alone, the unity of the whole body requires that every separate and distinct part of it should be in harmony with the whole.