The Lowly Life

Title: The Lowly Life

Bible Book: Philippians 2 : 3

Author: Tom Hayes

Subject: Humility; Christian Living



The second division of this epistle very naturally issues out of one of the final exhortations of the former chapter: “Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel” (1:27). Properly understood, the text calls upon us to live in a manner that is worthy of the gospel! Then, in the chapter before us, this worthy lifestyle is set forth and explained. Before we can live worthy of the gospel, we must sense our unworthiness of divine mercy. Of course, this puts us on our face in the dust! Paul refers to this attitude as “lowliness of mind” (2:3), or true humility. The subject is developed in a three-fold way.

I. A Plea For The Lowly Life

The four statements of verse 1 are not mere suppositions, but are divine revelations. The word “if” might be better rendered “since.” Since there is “consolation in Christ;” since there is “comfort” in His love; since there is “fellowship” through His Spirit; and since there is tender affection and “mercies” in His economy (2:1); there is no reason to be self-centered and proud.

The fullness of Christ is our enablement to be “of one accord, of one mind” (2:2). Instead of being consumed with ourselves, we can “esteem” (2:3) and care for “others” (2:4).

II. A Pattern In The Lowly Life

We are not left to our own imaginations when it comes to this matter of lowliness.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our pattern and example! His humble and selfless lifestyle is the precedent that we must follow. Although He was “equal with God” (2:6), He “made Himself of no reputation,” or “emptied Himself” (2:7), and assumed the position “of a servant” (2:7).

He not only “humbled Himself” in becoming one of us, but in being “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (2:8). His downward steps, however, only led Him to the “highly exalted” (2:9) status of the throne, an excellent incentive to walk in His steps.

III. A Pursuit Of The Lowly Life

In ourselves, or in our own strength, we certainly cannot live worthy of the gospel. But, as God works in us, “both to will and to do, of His good pleasure” (2:13), we can “work out” our “own salvation with fear and trembling” (2:12). He Who told us, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14), will enable us to truly “shine as lights in the world” (2:15).

Like Timothy, who humbly served with Paul “in the gospel” (2:22), and Epaphroditus, who, for "the work of Christ" and others, regarded not “his life” and was “nigh unto death” (2:30), let us pursue to exemplify the mind of Christ.


Years ago, I was in a prayer meeting where we all were encouraged to have a private time of prayer in the different Sunday School rooms. I was not very familiar with the building. Consequently, when I finally located the right section of the facility, all the other classrooms were occupied, and only the nursery was available. The Lord used that special time to remind me that I must become like a little child to enjoy His best. Oh, while others “seek their own, not the things” of “Jesus Christ” (2:21), may we be found following the lowly Jesus.

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