When Paul writes to the believers in Philippi, he is addressing one of the wealthier and more privileged churches in the 1st century. Many in Philippi enjoyed the status of Roman citizenship.
Paul challenges them to focus on a different type of citizenship (1:27 cf. 3:20): Gospel citizenship or heavenly citizenship. It is a cross–centric vision. Roman citizens were not subject to crucifixion so it is profound that Paul focuses on this aspect of Jesus in Philippians 2:5–11. Moreover, Paul calls himself a “slave” in 1:1 and repeats this language when speaking of Jesus in 2:7.
What is the message? The status we embrace sets the limits on our capacity to reach others with the Gospel.
What would this look like for us in the 21st century?