Philippians 2:1-4

"If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interest, but also for the interests of others." Philippians 2:1-4 NIV

In verse 1, Paul gives the rhetorical question of "if there is any". I learned as I studied this passage that Paul asks these of the Philippians knowing that if they have received these things he has mentioned, then they have the responsiblity to do as Paul describes in verses 2-4.

Following are the 4 "if anys" and a brief commentary as to why we know these to be true:

    * Encouragement in Christ - In 2 Thessalonians 2:16, Paul tells us "God has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope by grace."

    * Consolation of Love - Another word used for consolation in the scriptures is comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3 says that God is "the God of all comfort." The word comfort as used in the Bible is much more than the soothing type of comfort. Comfort in the Bible refers to the idea of strengthening, of helping, of making strong. In other words, "The love of God in our lives makes us strong and makes us brave."

    * Fellowship of the Spirit - fellowship in this context means the sharing of common things. Therefore, what Paul is refering to is the sharing of life with the Spirit of God. We, as Christians, are guided by the Holy Spirit.

    * Affection & Compassion - this refers to the affection and compassion that comes from God. As Christians, we know these exist as we experience them on a daily basis.

Verses 2-4 go on to tell us our responsibilities if we have received Christ and, therefore, have received the above noted blessings in our lives.
    * Be of the same mind, maintain the same love, united in Spirit - these words stress that Christians should work together towards the same goal.

    * Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit - always do for the love of others, not for self-advancement or self-promotion.

    * With humility of mind let us regard one another as more important - this is to say that as individuals we should consider others more important than ourselves. By doing so we are able to move forward to help others in the name of Christ.

These scriptures have caused me to ask the following questions in my life:

    Do I consider others more important than myself?

    Am I united in spirit with my fellow Christians?

    Am I selfless in all that I do?

    Am I humble?

    Do I place the needs of others above the needs of self?

0 Thoughts Shared: