You can see the main point of this passage in the two highlighted purple occurrences of φρονέω. In verses 1-4, Paul urges the Philippians to fulfill his joy by being like-minded and others-centered (2a-c). Then, in verses 5-11, he urges them to think the same way Jesus did (5a-c).
So Paul exhorts them to have a mindset of love for each other, describing the specifics of what that looks like (2d-4d). Then he exemplifies that mindset with the life and death of Christ (6-11). Another way to describe the structure of this passage is love prodded and personified.
DETAILS OF THE PHRASE
Note the parallel εἴ phrases in verse 1. There is a one-to-one correspondence between the benefits we’ve received in Christ (1), and how we ought to live in their light (2).
The ἵνα in 2c is epexegetical, not one of Purpose or Result. You can translate it with “that is” or “in other words” to express this.
Note the five parallel Manner phrases in verses 2-5. You can see that they are parallel by the adverbial participles, which all modify φρονῆτε in 2c. I inserted participles in brackets to make this clear in 2e and 3a. (Two participles make a Negative contribution to the main point, as seen by the μη-words in 3a and 4a.)
The Comparative genitive in 3f isn’t on the cheat sheet, but it is a use described in Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, p. 110-12. You can translate this genitive use beginning with “than.”
I’ve highlighted μορφή in green in 6a and 7b. What a contrast! You can’t show this with arrows or relationships, but you can by marking up the text.
The three red participles (6c, 7a, and 8a) are the key events in Jesus’ downward steps in humiliation and obedience. The five blue participles all modify the red ones (6a, 7b, 7d, 7f, and 8b). All of this is part of describing Jesus’ mindset (see 5a).
I put “Ground or Concessive” for 6b because, depending on the meaning of ἁρπαγμόν in 6c, Paul could be saying that because Jesus was in the form of God, he didn’t think it was robbery to claim equality with him, or even though Jesus was in the form of God, he didn’t selfishly hoard that for his own advantage.
There is a double relationship in 7a and 8a because both phrases are an Explanation of Jesus’ mindset in 5c, but they are also a Ground for God’s exaltation of Jesus in 9a-b.
The Appositive relationship in 8d and 11e isn’t on the cheat sheet, but it is a use described in Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, p. 94, 96, 99. This genitive can be translated by adding “even” before it.
The two red participles in 9a-b describe Jesus’ upward steps to glorification. (Notice that Jesus is not the subject of the main verbs any more, but the Father is; Jesus is the one acted upon by the Father.) Then the two orange participles in 10a and 11a describe the two-fold purpose of God’s glorifying Jesus.
You could translate ἐν in 10b as “in honor of.” That’s why I chose Ground here.
In 11b, κύριος is the predicate nominative of Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, and is placed first for emphasis.
I indented 11c back to 11a instead of 11b to show that it is the confession of Christ’s lordship that is to God’s glory.
- We must worship and glorify Jesus as our God.
See Psalm 96:9 under ὑπερύψωσεν (9a), and similarities between Isaiah 45:23 and 42:8 in the Septuagint to verse 11.
This theological truth has very practical implications! To whom do we listen as our authority? In whom do we delight?
- Mutual self-giving love is the only appropriate response to the gospel.
You can see this in the relationship between 1-4 and 5-11. How are you doing in this? If you’re not doing well, you haven’t fully understood or treasured the gospel. This love is not optional.
- We must humble ourselves in Christlike obedience to God and service to others in order to be glorified.
See Matthew 5:19-20 and Heb 12:14.
It seems that here, in the climactic phrase of the first half of the hymn, “the central concern of this passage [has not been the saving power of the cross for us, but rather] what Christ’s obedience meant for him,” namely “condescension, humiliation, death, and finally exaltation” (O’Brien, NIGTC commentary on Philippians, 232). The cross must come before the crown.