|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-4 Here are further exhortations to Christian duties; to like-mindedness and lowly-mindedness, according to the example of the Lord Jesus. Kindness is the law of Christ's kingdom, the lesson of his school, the livery of his family. Several motives to brotherly love are mentioned. If you expect or experience the benefit of God's compassions to yourselves, be compassionate one to another. It is the joy of ministers to see people like-minded. Christ came to humble us, let there not be among us a spirit of pride. We must be severe upon our own faults, and quick in observing our own defects, but ready to make favourable allowances for others. We must kindly care for others, but not be busy-bodies in other men's matters. Neither inward nor outward peace can be enjoyed, without lowliness of mind.
Verse 3. - Let nothing be done through strife or vain-glory. Not "strife," but "faction," as R.V. The word is the same as that rendered "contention" in Philippians 1:10, where see note. Party spirit is one of the greatest dangers in running the Christian race. Love is the characteristic Christian grace; party spirit and vain-glory too often lead professing Christians to break the law of love. But in lowiness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. In your lowliness; the article seems to have a possessive sense, the lowliness characteristic of Christians, which you as Christians possess. Ταπεινοφροσύνη an exclusively New Testament word: the grace was new, and the word was new. The adjective ταπεινός in classical Greek is used as a term of reproach - abject, mean. The life of Christ ("I am meek and lowly in heart") and the teaching of Christ ("Blessed are the poor in spirit") have raised lowliness to a new position, as one of the chief features in the true Christian character. Here St. Paul bids us, as a discipline of humility, to look at our own faults and at the good points in the character of others (comp. Romans 12:10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Let nothing be done through strife,.... About words merely; otherwise they were to strive for the faith of the Gospel, the purity of Gospel ordinances, worship and discipline; but the apostle would not have them strive merely to carry a point determined on, without having any regard to reason and truth, or yielding to the infirmities of the weak; which is the case and conduct of contentious persons; than which nothing can be more contrary to the Spirit of the Gospel, or the peace of churches: the apostle adds,
or vain glory; for where this is predominant, persons will always be singular in their sentiments, and never relinquish them, let what reason soever be given against them; nor will they give way to the judgment of others, but right or wrong will have their own wills; Diotrephes like, loving to have the preeminence in all things, 3 John 1:9; and such persons and conduct are very injurious to the comfort and harmony of the saints:
but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves; not as to the things of the world, in respect of which one man may be a better man than another, and he must know and think himself so; nor with respect to the endowments of the mind, and acquired abilities, which one man may have above another; and the difference being so great in some, it must be easily discerned, that one is more learned and knowing, in this or the other language, art, or science; but with regard to, grace, and to spiritual light, knowledge, and judgment: and where there is lowliness of mind, or true humility, a person will esteem himself in a state of grace, as the great apostle did, the chief of sinners, and less than the least of all saints; one in whom this grace reigns will pay a deference to the judgment of other saints, and will prefer their experience, light, and knowledge, to his own; and will readily give way, when he sees such that are of longer standing, of greater experience, and more solid judgment, as he has reason to think, than himself, are on the other side of the question; and so peace, love, and unity, are preserved. This grace of humility is an excellent ornament to a Christian, and wonderfully useful in Christian societies.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
2:3 Do nothing through contention - Which is inconsistent with your thinking the same thing. Or vainglory - Desire of praise, which is directly opposite to the love of God. But esteem each the others better than themselves - (For every one knows more evil of himself than he can of another:) Which is a glorious fruit of the Spirit, and an admirable help to your continuing of one soul.
Philippians 2:3 Parallel Commentaries
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