What is true is found in God (2 Tim. 2:25), in Christ (Eph. 4:20,21), in the Holy Spirit (John 16:13), and in God’s Word (John 17:17). The Greek term for noble means ‘worthy of respect.’ Believers are to meditate on whatever is worthy of awe and adoration, i.e., the sacred as opposed to the profane. Meditating on what is ‘just’ means those things which are right. The believer is to think in harmony with God’s divine standard of holiness. Things that are pure are those things which are clean and undefiled. Those things which are lovely are those things which are pleasing or amiable; whatever is kind or gracious, in this context. Things that are of good report are those things which are highly regarded or thought well of; what is generally considered reputable in the world such as kindness, courtesy, and respect for others.
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Philippians 4:8.
“…[E]steem others better than himself” (verse 3), is the basic definition of true humility (Romans 12:10; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 5:21; 1 peter 5:5). Christ is the ultimate example of selfless humility (Matthew 11:29; John 13:12-17).
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Philippians 2:3,5.
The Philippians were in effect storing up for themselves treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:20). The gifts they gave to Paul were accruing eternal dividends to their spiritual account (Proverbs 11:24,25; 19:17; Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6).
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Philippians 4:17.
Fret and worry indicate a lack of trust in God’s wisdom, sovereignty, or power. Delighting in the Lord and meditating on His Word are a great antidote to anxiety (Psalm 1:2).
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Philippians 4:6.
“but in lowliness of mind
let each esteem others better than himself.”
The basic definition of true humility.
Christ is the ultimate example of selfless humility.
Let us follow Him.
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible.
We are all on the same level at the cross and saved by the same grace and blood of Jesus. As we humbly admit our sinful, helpless condition and call on the Lord to save us, He forgives our sin and irrevocably adopts us into His family. And just as we humble ourselves to receive Christ’s salvation by faith, we must also serve Him with humility of mind.
Being a servant of Christ requires that we submit to His leadership, regarding what we’re to do, how we’re to carry out His will, and where He would have us serve. There is no room for self-seeking or self-promotion; our only concern should be obedience, with the aim that God alone gets the glory.
Sometimes we become preoccupied with finding our purpose in life so we can gain a sense of usefulness and self-fulfillment. Although we do benefit from serving the Lord according to the way He’s gifted and designed us, that should not be our motive. A humble spirit doesn’t look out for its own interests but instead thinks of others (Philippians 2:3-8). This is the attitude Christ had. He willingly left heaven to take on human form in order to go to the cross – that was a selfless act of obedience to the Father so we could be saved.
Are you willing to serve the Lord in obscurity? What if no expressions of gratitude or praise come your way? Do you cheerfully do lowly tasks? It’s not always easy to evaluate our motives, but asking ourselves these questions will help us determine whether we’re truly serving in humility or seeking our own interests.
Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, February 3, 2018.