“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion…Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others” (Philippians 2:1, 3-5).
Only if Jesus is Lord…
Only if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ…
Only if you have been comforted by the love and grace of Christ…
Only if you share in the tenderness and the compassion of the Holy Spirit…
Then do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.
If Jesus is Lord, there is a very particular and specific way God expects followers of Jesus to live:
- Do nothing out of selfish ambition
- The Greek word for selfish ambition refers to work that is done only for hire, only for selfish gain, only if there is something in it for me
- We have a word like that – mercenary
- Do nothing out of vain conceit
- The Greek word for vain conceit literally means “empty pride”, a state of pride that has no basis or justification
- We have a word for that – confused, fool
- Rather in humility
- The Greek word for humility literally means “lowliness of mind”. Humility and lowliness of mind happens because we are no longer comparing ourselves against one another, but against the Lord himself. Compared to Christ, we have not basis for pride or vain conceit
- The Greek word literally means to regard, to consider, to esteem
- Because of Christ, because of all that Christ has done for us, because salvation is purely grace, because we are all recipients of grace…we value, regard, consider, esteem others above ourselves
Remember, this only refers to you if you are a disciple, a follower of Jesus. Only if Jesus has saved you from sin and death. If that’s the case, however, then this is how disciples and followers of Jesus live.
Why? Because Jesus lives this way. Doing nothing out of selfish ambition and vain conceit. Instead, in humility valuing others above himself.