"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Our culture is not one that champions humility. Pride, arrogance, and self-centeredness reign supreme.
When we strive for and live lives of humility, we look far different than the world. This is when we look most like Jesus Christ. The above verses show us this. Philippians 2:3-4 instructs us to humbly look out for the interests of others before ourselves. These are very important verses for the Christian life.
We must be careful, however, not to sever 2:3-4 from 2:5-11. If we separate these passages and only teach 2:3-4, then we run the risk of teaching moralism. We are danger of suggesting that we must live lives of humility under our own power and ability.
When we teach 2:3-4 in connection with 2:5-11, then we rightly show that our very ability to live humbly is based on the gospel itself. We can only display humility because of the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross, which is discussed so beautifully in the Christ Hymn of 2:5-11. Only because of Christ's work can we care about the needs of others before ourselves.
Jesus is our model in 2:5-11. He is also our salvation in 2:5-11.
Let's display humility in all we do, understanding that it is only because the the gospel of grace that we can do so.