Monday, July 17, 2017

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3, ESV)
Wow.  Now Paul is getting practical. Now he has taken this teaching from the clouds to the ground... the nitty-gritty.

Don't let anything that you do... from the time you wake up, until the time you go to bed... be from selfish ambition or conceit.  Selfish ambition -- Thayer's Greek dictionary describes this as "electioneering or intriguing for office." It goes on to say that "This word is found before NT times only in Aristotle where it denotes a self-seeking pursuit of political office by unfair means." In this context, that is why it is translated as "selfish ambition." It is the actions or attitudes that want to promote oneself in the eyes of others. Conceit is similar -- it is the same attitude, regardless of action. It is to think of oneself at the top.

Instead of this, we ought to do the opposite. Christians, seeking to be counter-cultural, ought to come to situations in humility. We are to actually consider... to literally think of... others as being truly more significant than ourselves. (Compare to Matthew 20:25-28)

We need an example of this... a demonstration of this... Let us look to Jesus, as Paul will do shortly.


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