Some of the littlest words carry some of the biggest weight. The word IF is one of them. Paul seems to be saying in this passage “IF you identify yourself as a Christian then start acting like one. Quit acting so self absorbed. Stop putting your own wants above the wants and needs of others. Consider Christ! Always consider Christ!”
Evidently the Philippians needed an attitude adjustment. I often do as well. I need to be reminded that it is not about me. I like to get my way as much as anybody else. But when I stop and consider Christ and what He did on the cross – how He put my needs before His own, then I am much more apt to act accordingly.
Here are a few other examples in the New Testament of the weight that this little word IF carries…
“…IF you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
“Therefore, IF anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Jesus said: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, IF you love one another.” John 13:35
“IF God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
“By this gospel you are saved, IF you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:2