Philippians 2:3, 4
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.…
I. Warning faction and VAIN-GLORY. "Let nothing be done through faction or vain-glory." True unity of spirit is inconsistent alike with the exaltation of party and the exaltation of self. Faction carries men beyond the bounds of discretion, and rends the unity of the brotherhood. "The beginning of strife is as the letting out of water" (Proverbs 17:14). It should be "an honor for a man to cease from" it (Proverbs 20:3). Vain-glory, personal vanity, carries men into many follies and sins. "For men to search their own glory is not glory" (Proverbs 25:29). "There is more hope of a fool than of" such a one (Proverbs 26:12). We ought, therefore, to pray, "Remove far from me vanity and lies."
II. THE ESTIMATE OF A HUMBLE-MINDED MAN. "In humbleness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." This implies:
1. That we have modest thoughts of ourselves. (Proverbs 26:12.)
2. That we have a just idea of others excellences. (1 Peter 2:17.)
3. That in honor we are to prefer one another. (Romans 12:10.) The reasons for this command are:
(1) If we excel others in some things, they may excel us in others (Romans 12:4).
(2) We know not but others are more dear to God than ourselves, though they seem inferior to ourselves.
(3) It is a good way of preserving peace, as pride causes division among men (Proverbs 13:10) and separation from God (1 Peter 5:5).
III. AN UNSELFISH INTEREST IN THE WELFARE OF OTHERS. "Not regarding your own interests, but also the interests of others." There is nothing here said inconsistent with the most careful and conscientious discharge of the duty we owe to ourselves. The injunction of the apostle is profoundly Christ-like. It implies:
1. That we are to desire one another's good. (1 Timothy 2:1.)
2. That we are to rejoice in one another's prosperity. (Romans 12:15.)
3. That we are to pity one another's misery. (Romans 12:15.)
4. That we are to help one another in our necessities. (1 John 2:17, 18.) It reiterates the command of Christ: "Love one another." No other command can be performed without this one (Romans 13:10); we cannot love God without it (1 John 2:17); and this is true religion (James 1:27). - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.