Philippians 2:4
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Sermons
Christian DisinterestednessW. Jay.Philippians 2:4
Christian DisinterestednessW. H. Fremantle, M. A.Philippians 2:4
Christian ObligationJ. Dixon, D. D.Philippians 2:4
Considering Others Before SelfT. T. Shore.Philippians 2:4
Disinterested FriendshipJ. F. B. Tinling, B. A.Philippians 2:4
Doing GoodEssex Congregational RemembrancerPhilippians 2:4
Others Before SelfSunday MagazinePhilippians 2:4
Our Own and Others' ThingsS. Martin.Philippians 2:4
Regard for OthersW. Baxendale.Philippians 2:4
Religious Selfishness CommonPhilippians 2:4
SectarianismThe Hon. and Rev. W. H. Fremantle, M. A.Philippians 2:4
SelfishnessW.F. Adeney Philippians 2:4
Self-Sacrifice for OthersT. De Witt Talmage.Philippians 2:4
The Difficulty of Looking on the Things of OthersW. H. Fremantle, M. A.Philippians 2:4
The Evils of SelfishnessD. King, LL. D.Philippians 2:4
The Temper of ChristCharles KingsleyPhilippians 2:4
Unselfish Care for OthersW. Baxendale.Philippians 2:4
AltruismR.M. Edgar Philippians 2:1-4
Genuine Socialism Apostolically UrgedD. Thomas Philippians 2:1-4
Exhortation to Unanimity and HumilityR. Finlayson Philippians 2:1-11
A Communion DiscourseJ. G. Butler, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian ConcordR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian Union -- StrengthJ. Hutchinson, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian Union How ObtainedE. Meade, M. A.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian UnityE. Meade, M. A.Philippians 2:1-13
Christian UnityJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
Consolation in ChristC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 2:1-13
Consolation in ChristS. Lavington.Philippians 2:1-13
How Unity is ObtainedDr. Hamilton.Philippians 2:1-13
Love Promotes UnityLife of Brainerd.Philippians 2:1-13
Mutual HarmonyW. M. Statham.Philippians 2:1-13
Paul's AppealJ. Parker, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
Shoulder to ShoulderT. T. Shore.Philippians 2:1-13
The Apostle's AppealH. Airay, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
The Christian Doctrine of SelfW. B. Pope, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
The Emotional in ChristianityJ. B. Thomas, D. D.Philippians 2:1-13
The Excellence of Christian UnityE. Meade, M. A.Philippians 2:1-13
The Tender Sympathy of ChristTalmage.Philippians 2:1-13
Avoiding Vain-GloryJ. A. James., H. O. Mackay.Philippians 2:3-4
Christian HumilityPhilippians 2:3-4
Evils to be Shunned and Graces to be CultivatedH. Airay, D. D.Philippians 2:3-4
Exhortation to Unity: (3) Causes of its BreachV. Hutton Philippians 2:3, 4
HumilityOwen Feltham.Philippians 2:3-4
Humility and JoyfulnessH. W. Beecher.Philippians 2:3-4
Lowliness of MindJ. Daille.Philippians 2:3-4
Prohibitions and InjunctionsJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 2:3-4
SelfishnessJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 2:3-4
The Estimation of Self and OthersChristian AgePhilippians 2:3-4
The Example of ChristProfessor Eadie.Philippians 2:3-4
The Qualities of Christian Like-MindednessT. Croskery Philippians 2:3, 4
True HumilityJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 2:3-4
Truthful EstimationH. W. Beecher.Philippians 2:3-4
UnanimityJ. Parker, D. D.Philippians 2:3-4
Vain-GloryLord Bacon.Philippians 2:3-4

I. SELFISHNESS IS THE ROOT OF SIN. Selfishness is living in and for ourselves. It manifests itself in various aspects.

1. In thought. Self becomes the largest figure in a man's conception of the universe. The shadow of self lies across everything else. The merits of self are magnified in pride. Vanity craves the admiration of others for one's self. Self-worship makes a man prejudiced in holding to his own opinions and bigoted in rejecting those of other men.

2. In feeling. Self-love fills a selfish man's heart. He has no grief at another's trouble and no pleasure in another's joy. Instead of feeling as a member of a great body moved by the common pulse of a common life, he is like a solitary cell detached and self-concentrated.

3. In action. Self-will becomes the predominating energy and self-seeking the prevailing motive. In its extreme development this becomes positive cruelty - a pursuit of one's own pleasure through the pain of others. Now, all this is sinful in the sight of God and man, and frightfully injurious to society. War, crime, intemperance, etc., all spring from some form of selfishness.

II. CHRISTIANITY REQUIRES THE ERADICATION OF SELFISHNESS, So long as a man thinks only of himself he has not learnt what the gospel means. He may be seeking what he calls his spiritual welfare - escape from hell, a happy future, or peace here. But all this is selfish. Selfishness in every respect must be uprooted in order that the true Christian life may be established.

1. In thought. This is essential to repentance. Humility and confession of sin are necessary before we can even enter the kingdom of heaven.

2. In feeling. Love to Christ, not the saving of our own souls, is the great motive that should inspire us. Love to our fellow-men, not personal comfort, is the spirit that should pervade our lives. We are only Christian in so far as we follow Christ. And Christ denied himself and "went about doing good." All pretensions of saintly devotion count just for nothing, or for worse than nothing, for hypocrisy, so long as the self sits enthroned in our hearts.

3. In action. Faith pre-supposes self-abnegation; it is the surrender of ourselves to another. It takes two forms -

(1) submission of our souls to the will of God in reliance upon his grace in Christ as our Savior; and

(2) obedience of our lives to the will of God in loyal service to Christ as our Master. - W.F.A.







Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others
This is but a practical application of sentiments and dispositions already enforced. The vain-glorious spirit is fussily and uselessly concerned with the affairs of others; but love, the faculty of soul sight, looks at others' endowments and virtues and appreciates them: at others' privileges and rights, and defends them; at others' blessings, and rejoices in the possession of them; at others' sorrows, and weeps over them; at others' wants, and would supply them. And further, what Paul would have the Philippians do Christ Jesus had done (ver. 5, etc.). The life of Jesus is a perfect exposition of the text.

I. WHAT DO THESE WORDS PROHIBIT?

1. A supreme and exclusive regard to our own things. It forbids —

(1)The closing of the eye to the things of others.

(2)The shutting of the heart.

(3)The closing of the hand.

2. Why —(1) Because it is not Godlike. Religion is Godlikeness.(2) Because it transgresses the laws which demand love.(3) Because it does not become the gospel of Christ. If God in our salvation has looked on our things so as to provide for our complete uplifting, sheer consistency demands compliance with the text.(4) Because it is injurious to self and to Christ's cause.

II. WHAT DO THESE WORDS REQUIRE

1. Not the neglect of our own things — "also." Nor does it sanction the conduct of the busybody in other men's matters. But —

2. Sympathy with others in whatever state they may be seen by us. We are to "weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice." Competitors in any calling find the latter very difficult.

3. Heart readiness to defend and serve others according to our opportunity and ability.

4. The avoidance of all that will damage the things of others. In a word, look not as the Priest and Levite looked, but as she good Samaritan looked — so as to enlarge the heart and open the hands.

III. TO WHAT EXTENT ARE THE PROHIBITION AND REQUIREMENT OBLIGATORY.

1. They are addressed to "every" Christian man. Other men cannot translate them into life. We do not wonder that men say, "Your morality is too high for us." Of course it is for those who are in the horrible pit, but not for those who are walking on the high table land with Jehovah. "Every man"(1) however poor. You cannot give money, but you can give sympathy and prayer.(2) However rich. Some men give money to be exempt from personal attention to others. They think they are not required to work, only to give.(3) Masters are to look with careful and sympathetic eyes on their servants' things, and servants on their masters'.(4) Tradesmen on the things of their rivals.(5) Patriots on the things of other lands.

2. "On the things."(1) Although in competition with one's own.(2) Although not quite to one's taste.(3) Although not always convenient.(4) Including the health, wealth, honour, peace, comfort, well-being and well-doing of others.(5) The others may be strangers, but they are men for whom Christ died; rivals, but they are neighbours whom I am required to love; employers or workpeople, but they may be fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God; or they may be enemies, but even them we are to love.Conclusion:

1. The text is one of the many illustrations of the practical character of New Testament teaching. Christ's doctrines are the inspiration of its ethics. Nearly every point of Christian theology is raised in the subsequent paragraph to enforce the text. Religion is a sham if it be not practical.

2. The text exhibits a high standard of conduct, but it leads us in a path in which we may hear the Good Shepherd's voice. He speaks these words through His apostle; elsewhere He spoke them through His life. Look at him providing for His mother amidst the agonies of the cross.

3. The text shows that a selfish man cannot be a Christian.

4. Such precepts as these exalt the dispensation to which we belong. What must Christ's religion be if this be a precept in harmony with its doctrines, facts, ordinances, and spirit?

(S. Martin.)

1. It is true that our own things have the first claim on our regard (Proverbs 27:23; Romans 12:17). Persons without wealth cannot be generous without first seeking their own profit. Nay, attention to a lawful calling where nothing is given away benefits the community. The carpenter and the mason may have exclusive regard to their earnings, but the house they build is not less valuable. The mariner who handles dexterously the tackling of a ship, may aim only at promotion, but he is the undesigned benefactor of all on board. So with the vessel of state.

2. On these grounds some have ridiculed all philanthropy, and have pronounced a vigorous selfishness the best disinterestedness. With this the text remonstrates. Let no man look on his own things "only." This exclusive looking is —

I. MEAN IN ITSELF. The effect of such action may be magnificent, but that does not alter its inglorous character. Each of the lower animals in satisfying its immediate wants tenders some service to the whole economy of life. Nay, insensible matter has comprehensive usefulness. The eye is affected by its colours, the ear by its vibrations, etc., and each molecule has its share in imparting the stability of attraction to the stellar universe. For a man to tell us, then, that he is doing good when it is not his aim is to appropriate a praise due equally to brutes and vermin. You must do good with an intent to do it, and find your motive and reward in communicating bliss.

II. RUINOUS TO SOCIETY.

1. How far is the adage, "Every man for himself," to he carried?(1) Is not a man to act for his family? Then the brutes he scorns will be his censors.(2) But if a wife or child is to be cared for, why not an aged father, or widowed mother, or dependent sister?(3) And if relation create claim in one case, why not in all?(4) And if obligation extend to all the members of a family connection, how shall it disown neighbourhood and country? for one God hath made us, and we are all His offspring.

2. To think or act otherwise will leave countless evils without remedy, and create manifold disasters. The landed proprietor will look only to his rents, the manufacturer think only of the number of his "hands," the railway contractor strive only to make the most of his navvies without the least care for evils which may entail ruin and death. The neglect of superiors foments dislike, and induces all those jarrings which marked the decline of ancient commonwealths.

3. The man who cares for none but himself does harm by his very presence. He is like an iceberg, which, straying into warmer latitudes, reduces instantly their temperature, replaces their pure air by fogs, the bright sun by gloom, and a luxuriant vegetation by decay.

III. OPPOSED TO THE WHOLE SPIRIT OF THE GOSPEL. Scripture associates the conceptions of God and goodness. He did not need to give His bounties for His own happiness. He does not confine them to friends; His foes share them. But He is more than good; He "so loved the world," etc., and He who was sent in love, came and suffered in love, to teach us not to look on our own things, but also on the things of others.

(D. King, LL. D.)

I. WHAT THE TEXT FORBIDS.

1. Negatively. Not proper self-attention, which reason and Scripture combine to enforce. You may, and aright, look on your own things —(1) As to the soul. This is the one thing needful.(2) As to your bodily health, which is to be valued not only for enjoyment, but for usefulness. "Life is yours"; therefore take care of it.(3) As to your reputation. "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches," and a Christian cannot afford to be indifferent to it.(4) As to the welfare of your family, otherwise you are "worse than an infidel."(5) As to your secular affairs. Idleness is condemned. "If any would not work, neither should he eat"; "not slothful in business."

2. Positively. Look not exclusively. "Also on the things of others"; "No man liveth unto himself"; "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

II. WHAT IT ENJOINS.

1. How are we to look on the things of others?

(1)Not inquisitively;

(2)nor enviously;

(3)nor unconcernedly;

(4)but so as to have an interest in them by sympathy.

2. Why are we to look?

(1)Because God commands it;

(2)because of our mutual need;

(3)the pleasures of beneficence;

(4)the reward of benevolence;

(5)the example of Christ.

(W. Jay.)

Man's first obligation is to save his own soul; his second to save the souls of others. The first is implied, the second taught in our text. Observe —

I. THE PERSONAL STATE OF EVERY CHRISTIAN PLACES HIM UNDER AN OBLIGATION TO PROMOTE THE WORK OF GOD. Being initiated into the faith and privileges of the Christian covenant, he is bound to hold it as a whole. Now, Christianity contemplates not only his personal illumination, happiness, and preparedness for heaven, but it equally contemplates the same privileges for others, and constitutes saved men its agents. The true Christian, then, does not meditate upon misery and leave it in its destitution.

II. THE SPIRITUAL GRACES AND GIFTS POSSESSED BY THE CHURCH LIE HER UNDER AN OBLIGATION OF DEVOTED ZEAL TO GOD.

1. Spiritual blessings can only be enjoyed in spiritual channels. You cannot bestow the tenderness of Christian affection on gold and commerce and art. They must be employed religiously.

2. The moral power of Christianity can only be employed morally, and no other form of power — that of genius, science, oratory, magistracy, etc., can supply its place in the Church. It is of no great consequence on what nature this moral force operates. Take a feeble branch and engraft it on a living tree, and it partakes of the beauty and vigour of the tree, and bears fruit. And this moral power operates individually, as in Howard, Wilberforce, and Wesley, or it may be centralized in the Church. But we must be careful not to drown the individual in the society.

3. The Church also possesses the gifts of the Spirit, which can only be devoted to religious objects. On these and on Him who gives them depends the life of the Church.

4. Other gifts are superadded for the purpose of conveying the truth to the world.

III. FROM THE SITUATION OF CHRISTIANS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD THEY ARE BOUND TO PROMOTE ITS INTERESTS. Christian patriotism suggests that we should defend the faith, and Christian philanthropy that we should extend it.

IV. THE GREAT ALTERNATIVE BEFORE US — WHETHER WE AND THE WORLD WILL GO TO HEAVEN OR HELL — MAKES IT IMPERATIVE ON US TO DO OUR UTMOST TO PROMOTE TRUE RELIGION.

(J. Dixon, D. D.)

Essex Congregational Remembrancer.
I. THE EVIL THE TEXT GUARDS US AGAINST — Selfishness. Self-preservation is indeed the first law of nature, but we are bound to observe the higher law of grace — "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

II. THE DUTY THE TEXT ENJOINS — To care for and promote the welfare of our fellow men. True benevolence demands —

1. Our personal exertion towards our families, friends, neighbourhood, world.

2. Our property.

3. Our influence.

4. Our prayers.

III. SOME MOTIVES TO THE OBSERVANCE OF THIS DUTY.

1. He who cares only for self is a useless member of society.

2. The law of nature requires the exercise of beneficence (Acts 10:26).

3. The pleasure of doing good invites to it.

4. A regard for the esteem of our fellow men.

5. The Word of God enforces it.

6. The example of Christ sets it forth.

7. The hope of standing without confusion before the judgment seat of Christ is an important consideration.

(Essex Congregational Remembrancer.)

What is it? It is the overweening zeal for a part to the prejudice of the whole, and it has four great spheres.

I. The sectarianism of THE INDIVIDUAL.

1. Our first association with religion is its bearing on our own salvation. All the world for us centres round the question, "What must I do to be saved?" And so far we must for the time look on our own things, and not on the things of others. And we want to see more of this personal conviction and individual dealing of the soul with Christ.

2. But twin monsters are begotten alongside of the genuine conviction, and begin at once to make a personal interest in religion a sectarian interest.(1) The limitation of the idea of salvation to safety from misery. I do not underrate the part "the terror of the Lord" has played in conversion; but we are not forever to stand on the brink of the pit, but to use the vantage ground Christ has given us. Be no longer anxious about your own soul. Leave that to Christ, and be doing His work. The man who is ever thinking of personal safety will endanger that safety; but he that loses himself in Christ shall find Him.(2) The continuance of mere personal considerations as the staple of religion. There are those who think that Christian separateness means being very unlike other men.

II. The sectarianism of THE CONGREGATION.

1. I would speak with the deepest sympathy of congregational life. Our most blessed hours are connected with it, and its records are a ground for thankfulness. And it is to be viewed in relation to its whole work, Sunday school, tract society, etc.

2. But it is subject to sectarianism, and that in a more virulent form, because of the strength of its organization. I find it in the pronouns which appropriate religion — "my," "our." These contain —(1) The best of love. When we mean by them, This is my Church; These are our forms of doing good; May God grant success to our cause; we give expression to an appropriation of truth without which no Church can thrive.(2) But they contain the worst of sect, and mean "ours" to the exclusion, and even prejudice, of others. "We express true churchmanship," i.e., others do not; "We are liberal, others are narrow," etc. And then wretched pecuniary interests intervene, and we are glad that some wealthy man has left one Church to join ours, or that we are successful where others fail.

3. The best means to counteract this is to take an interest in another Church's work, or at least to join it on a common platform.

III. The sectarianism of THE DENOMINATION. It is this we usually think of as sectarianism.

1. But for two causes, their historical greatness and the overweening claims of a portion of the clergy, there would be nothing to be feared; for the belief in the Divine sanction of the denominations has waned considerably in the last two centuries, and each contributes its quota to full Christian life; and again they have been very useful as checks and chasteners to each other.

2. But the advantages of amity among the denominations are obvious.(1) While we maintain a separate and defiant attitude we waste our energies, weaken ourselves for all good purposes, and present a divided front towards sacerdotalism, infidelity, and indifference. The result of our divisions is the alienation of mankind; when we shall be at one, the world will believe in its Saviour.(2) We lose the advantage of effective mutual admonition and encouragement, by not thoroughly understanding each other.(3) It is preeminently in the interest of souls that we should cease from sectarianism. We are more anxious to make them members of our denomination than to make them members of Christ.

IV. The sectarianism of RELIGION.

1. We speak of that alone as religion which consists in prayer, Bible reading, public worship, etc.; but surely the administration of justice, the enactment of laws, education, etc., are religious. The Bible knows nothing of the distinction between secular and sacred, but only that between good and evil.

2. The man who marks out a particular sphere as religious, and bans the rest as worldly, makes religion a sectarian thing which grows narrower and pettier continually. The religion that has no message for the workman in his shop, the artist in his studio, the scientist in his laboratory, is in danger of alienating, not drawing mankind.

(The Hon. and Rev. W. H. Fremantle, M. A.)

Two boats were sent out from Dover to relieve a vessel in distress. The fury of the tempest overset one of them, which contained three sailors, one of whom sank. The two remaining sailors were floating on the deep; a rope was thrown to one of them from the other boat, but he refused it, crying out, "Fling it to Tom; he is just ready to go down. I can last some time longer." They did so. Tom was drawn into the boat. The rope was then flung to the generous tar, just in time to save him also from drowning.

(W. Baxendale.)

A very poor and aged man, busied in planting and grafting apple trees, was interrupted by the question, "Why do you plant trees who cannot hope to eat the fruit of them?" He raised himself up, and, leaning on his spade, replied, "Some one planted trees before I was born, and I have eaten the fruit; I now plant for others, that the memorial of my gratitude may exist when I am dead and gone.

(W. Baxendale.)

The Rev. Thomas Thomason, while at Cambridge, having once gained the Norissian prize for a theological essay, tried a second time for it, but was surpassed by his friend Jerram. The latter thus describes the incident: "One morning Thomason hastened into my room, followed by one of the beadles, and with a gladness of heart which I shall never forget, told me that the prize was awarded to me, and that the beadle, not knowing my room, had called at his and asked where he could find me. I sincerely believe my friend could scarcely have rejoiced more had he a second time succeeded." Thomason's account to his mother was as follows: — "I have lost the prize; Jerram has got it. I am not mortified; it is still in the family, a young man of the same college, of the same Church and profession. I have had it once; it ill becomes me to murmur." It is pleasant to learn that Thomason again gained the same prize on two successive occasions.

(J. F. B. Tinling, B. A.)

"I have been a member of your Church for thirty years," said an elderly Christian to his pastor, "and when I was laid by with sickness only one or two came to see me. I was shamefully neglected." "My friend," said the pastor, "in all those thirty years how many sick have you visited?" "Oh," he replied, "it never struck me in that light. I thought only of the relation of others to me, and not of my relation to them."

An engineer in the Southwest, on a locomotive, recently saw a train coming with which he must collide. He resolved to stand at his post and slow up the train until the last minute, for there were passengers behind. The engineer said to the fireman, "Jump! One man is enough on this engine. Jump!" The fireman jumped, and was saved. The crash came. The engineer died at his post.

(T. De Witt Talmage.)

It was said of Wilberforce that he was asked one day by a pious lady how the salvation of his own soul fared in the midst of business entailed on him by his efforts for the slave, and that he answered (surely a noble answer), "Madam, I forgot for the time I had a soul."

(W. H. Fremantle, M. A.)

Sunday Magazine.
Thomas Sampson was a working miner, and worked hard for his bread. The captain of the mine said to him on one occasion, "Thomas, I've got an easier berth for you, where there is little comparatively to do, and where you can earn more money. Will you accept it?" What do you think he said? "Captain, there's our poor brother Tregony. He has a sick body, and he is not able to work as hard as I am. I fear his toil will shorten his useful life. Will you let him have the berth?" The captain, pleased with his generosity, sent for Tregony, and gave him the berth. Thomas was gratified, and added, "I can work a little longer yet."

(Sunday Magazine.)

In the journals of the sainted wife of Jonathan Edwards it is recorded how one of her great struggles was to acquiesce in the revival work in the town being done by another minister than her husband.

(W. H. Fremantle, M. A.)

A German countryman went one day with his four sons to the neighbouring town to transact some business. While there, in the market place, he bought five peaches. One of these he kept for his wife, who was at home, and the others he gave to his boys. When they were sitting round the fire the next evening, he thought he would ask each of his sons what he had done with his peach. The eldest said he had eaten his, but had kept the stone to plant in the garden, in hopes that it would grow up and bear some peaches as good as the one he had so much enjoyed. The youngest boy confessed he had eaten his own peach and thrown the stone away, and after his return home had helped his mother to eat half of her peach! The second eldest boy told how he had picked up the stone which his little brother had thrown away, and cracked it, and eaten the kernel. "It was nice and sweet," he added, "and I sold my own peach for so much money that I have enough to buy several peaches now with what I got for it." The third son then had to tell his tale. The others had told all theirs out at once with no hesitation and no shame, but this little lad blushed as he began his story: "I took my peach to a poor little friend who has been in bed for so long, and suffers so much pain. He refused to take it from me, so I put it on his bed and ran away." His mother's kisses, as she heard these words, were far sweeter on his young lips than any fruit.

(T. T. Shore.)

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