Today, we’ll examine how the opening verses of Philippians 2 connect to Philippians 1.27-30. Then, we’ll examine what could be defined as four driving motives for unity, because the ultimate call here is for congregational together unity and togetherness.
I. Introductory Thoughts:
- The primary directive is first found in 1.27-28a. It is a call for congregational unity.
- 1.28b-2.1 – theological explanation for suffering.
- 2.2 – Here Paul gets back to the main thing. This not about doctrine, rather the focus is on relationships.
- Let’s focus on 2.1.
- “So,” ties this back to the suffering mentioned in 1.29-30. “If” should be understood as “since.”
- 2.1 really defines the blessings of being inside a Christian family.
I. Philippians 2.1a – Encouragement in Christ:
- 2.1a – If there is any encouragement in Christ…
- Encouragement means “to call to oneself,” “to give relief in comfort or affliction.”
- Think of ways in your life where Jesus has personally, consistently, and faithfully helped you. 2 Corinthians 1.5.
- We should respond in obedience and an overwhelming desire for unity.
- Why? John 13.34-35; 17.20-21.
II. Philippians 2.1b – Comfort From Love:
- 2.1b – If there is any …comfort from love… From what? The struggles in 1.29-30.
- 2.1b – Comfort. NASU: Consolation. Literally: “to speak to someone, coming close to his side.” Think friendship, tender, intimate love.
- Romans 5.1-5 – Everything we have is a gift of God’s love. He pours this into our heart through the Spirit.
III. Philippians 2.1c – Participation in the Spirit:
- 2.1b – If there is any …participation in the Spirit… Think “sharing,” or “fellowship.”
- We each share in the spirit. See Galatians 3.3; 5.25.
- As we share in the Spirit, we also naturally have a sharing with one another.
- This teaches us that unity is not something we produce. It is a result of what the Spirit is doing in each of our lives.
IV. Philippians 2.1d – Affection and Sympathy
- 2.1b – If there is any …affection and sympathy… the Spirit longs for us with deeply felt affections. See Romans 8.26-27.
- With God, it’s personal. He longs for our good.
- The Spirit lives within us. He longs for our good. It is compassionate sympathy.
- Let’s join together and build our relationships, living inside our common love.
- It’s all about relationship. Do you know Jesus?