November 16, 2023 – Thursday
Philippians 2:1-2 NKJV
1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Philippians 2:1-2 NET
1 Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, 2 complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose.
Wishing to work my way up to verses 12 and 13 from yesterday, I have turned to the first two verses of this chapter as you can see above. However, both the NKJV and the NET (New English Translation) begin with Therefore which sends us back to the end of chapter one.
The end of chapter one ends with verses 27-30 where Paul addresses how the Philippians are to stand strong for the Lord countering external conflicts. Here are the verses where the NKJV inserts a title “Striving and Suffering for Christ;” 27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me. It is about their conduct being worthy of the gospel of Christ. Part of that conduct is standing fast for the faith of the gospel, unafraid of those opposed. Being willing to suffer for His sake while believing in Him.
From there we come to our two verses for today (NKJV), 1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Paul prepares to warn them against internal conflicts within the body of believers and what actions to take. Look how Paul begins here, if there is any consolation [encouragement in the NET] in Christ, a rhetorical question as there is great comfort in knowing Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is something we can share with fellow believers of various denominations. I remember traveling on business with a Southern Baptist, a Roman Catholic, and I was attending a Pentecostal church at the time. We never argued as we all agreed upon the basics, Christ died for our sins, rose on the third day, and those who repent and believe in Him will go to heaven. We took turns praying over the food at common meals and regularly prayed for one another. Thus, we were like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Guzik writes, The word consolation in this passage is the ancient Greek word paraklesis. The idea behind this word for consolation in the New Testament is always more than soothing sympathy. It has the idea of strengthening, of helping, of making strong. He then quotes Spurgeon, The Holy Spirit consoles, but Christ is the consolation. If I may use the figure, the Holy Spirit is the Physician, but Christ is the medicine.
Bottom Line: Let us have all the arguments we wish to have with various doctrines and denominational practices, but also let us never forget we indeed share a common faith with Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We have more in common with each other than we have with non-believers.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help me to always look for unity in the gospel with my brothers and sisters around the world, even when I am certain they are in error. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God