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United in Christ

If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. (Philippians 2:1-2)

Last chapter, Paul shared how the believers in Philippi could find joy in the trials and tribulations as they served Christ faithfully, growing in their relationship with Him, and sharing the gospel. With chapter 2, Paul shares how they can also find joy in another relationship, with other believers. With verse 1, Paul lists three aspects found in Christ that can help encourage one another. First, “consolation of love,” meaning that believers can be comforted in knowing that they are loved by Jesus. Second, “fellowship with the Spirit,” meaning that believers are never alone, especially in their ministries, for Christ has given them the Holy Spirit to be a wonderful guide in the day to day. Third, “affection and mercy,” meaning that believers experience Christ’s tenderness and compassion every day.

With these aspects in mind, Paul appeals to the believers, “make my joy complete,” by giving three practical actions they could do with one another. First, “thinking the same way,” meaning everyone is on the same page, seeking out God’s will. Second, “having the same love,” meaning that as Christ has loved them, so too should the believers love one another. Finally, “united in spirit, intent on one purpose,” meaning that as a team, believers are to strive to glorify God with their worship together and share the gospel message to those around them. As Anders states, “These sentiments are viewed by Paul as being normal for Christians. Being united in Christ, believers work together for the same purposes rather than seeking areas of disagreement and division.” So, in light of those aspects of Christ, may we follow Paul’s instructions and treat our fellow believers as Christ would, so that we may effectively share the gospel to the world around us.


Isaac De Guzman


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