What do you think Paul is trying to accomplish with the example of Christ who emptied himself in Philippians 2 in The Bible? What do you think Paul is trying to accomplish with the example of Christ...

What do you think Paul is trying to accomplish with the example of Christ who emptied himself in Philippians 2 in The Bible?

What do you think Paul is trying to accomplish with the example of Christ who emptied himself in Philippians 2 in The Bible?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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"Emptied" may be a misleading term. In context in the Greek, "emptied" is contrasted in verse 7 to the Greek phrase "form of bondman having taken." Therefore what "emptied" is expressing is the setting aside of high position, privilege, power, and authority. In place of these things is the taking up of lowly position, disadvantage, incapacity, and dependence (these are all opposites of what was laid aside). Paul, therefore, is illustrating, through Christ's example, the plea he makes in verses 2, 3, and 4 to have accord instead of strife, unity of love and purpose; to reject selfishness and vanity; and to unselfishly value other people's concerns and feelings without putting yourself first, and to take care of others' needs in the same way you take care of your own needs.

2then ... being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philipians 2:2-4)

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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To me, it means that we all need to embrace the idea of a servant's heart.  In other words, we should be more concerned with helping other people than taking care of ourselves.  God wants us to take care of others, not wait for them to take care of us!

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Paul's letter to the Philippians recalls Christ's message that "he who exalts himself shall be humbled...he who humbles himself shall be exalted."  For, Paul reminds the Phillippians that Chirst humbled Himself

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

 and as a result of this humbly of Himself, Christ is exalted by God.

This example of Christ's own act of humility serves as a profound example to all Christians.

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creativethinking eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This chapter engages one of the most beautiful metaphors of all time--the wine offering as the offering of Christ's blood, poured out for humanity. (This refers to Christ's "emptying himself," to which you referred in your question.) This figurative language and sense of ritual is one that Paul echoes in verses 17-18:

"But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 767 words.)

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accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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sherylmr | Student

In Philippians 2, Paul is trying to illustrate to his reader what makes a person an ideal Christian.  For this example, it is to no surprise that he selects Jesus Christ.  Usually referred to in anaylsis as the "mindset of Christ", the purpose of this passage is to remind Christains to think and act in the same matter as Christ did while on Earth.  Throughout this passage, Paul draws upon the life of Christ to act as a guideline of our personal interactions with others.  As Christ lived his life with humility, Paul calls for other Christians to show humility in their lives as well.  Similarly, Paul says that we should follow this example of Christ and put the needs of others ahead of our own.  If Christ was not pompous or boastful, those who are his followers should do likewise.  Finally, this passage is meant to unite Christian to show humility and live their lives following the example which Christ has given.

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