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Friendship and Unity

So then, my dearly loved and longed for brothers and sisters, my joy and crown, in this manner stand firm in the Lord, dear friends.

2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I also ask you, true partner, to help these women who have contended for the gospel at my side, along with Clement and the rest of my coworkers whose names are in the book of life.  (Philippians 4:1-3)

 

After establishing the point that a believer’s life is to be focused on pursuing Christ, Paul begins to close the letter by encouraging the believers, sharing how there can be joy in a believer’s life, even through all the trials and tribulations. In verse 1, we can see that joy can be found in friendships. Paul addresses the believers as, “my dearly loved and longed for brothers and sisters, my joy and crown…dear friends.” Paul shows that they are all equal under the Lord, and he deeply cares for their spiritual well-being, calling them to “stand firm in the Lord.” Seeing their growth gives Paul great joy, his “crown.”

 

Then, in verses 2 to 3, Paul addresses a specific instance happening in the church, a disagreement between two believers, Euodia and Syntyche, “I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to agree in the Lord.” Paul asks for the assistance of an unnamed believer or the whole church to help out in this situation, “Yes, I also ask you, true partner, to help these women who have contended for the gospel at my side, along with Clement and the rest of my coworkers whose names are in the book of life.” Commentator Max Anders makes a great point about this passage, “Quarreling is not the nature of the church nor was it of the women involved. They had fought alongside Paul like gladiators in the arena to spread the gospel message.” Unfortunately, this disagreement was causing division within the church and was detracting from the goal of pursuing Christ. Therefore, Paul called for them to “agree in the Lord,” to refocus and turn back to being Christ-minded.

 

If you are a believer, the call to follow Christ can, at times, be difficult. Yet, Christ provided us the gift of the Holy Spirit to be our guide and helper; as well as the body of believers known as the church. We should encourage one another to stand firm in our walks, and when disagreements arise, if it detracts us away from focusing on Christ, may we realize this mistake, make amends and get back to walking alongside one another pursuing Christ in unity.

 

Blessings,

Isaac De Guzman

 

Yorumlar


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