Few weeks ago we discussed fractions of the first chapter of Philippians – an article entitled “Thinking of Philippians…”
It is time – after few long weeks – to discuss the beginning of the second chapter. We will not only think about those people and their church, but we try to learn through them and through what Paul highlighted to them. Let’s start!
“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,”
As the Chapter 2 begins, we are faced with what basically means to be Christian: at first and mostly we are united with Christ which signifies that we have accepted Him as our Lord and our Saviour. We are one with Him and all of us unified in one Body. We are comforted from His love, although, not only: I would add that we comfort each other as we learn from His love and His comfort, we imitate Him.
Being Christian means to have fellowship with the Spirit: the Holy Spirit. Remember that the Lord seats next to the Father? Remember that He promised to send the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit? Yes, we have the Holy Spirit! We are Its temple and we need to have fellowship with Him! Ah, for sure, we don’t forget to be united in tenderness and compassion through the Love of Christ! All the above defines us as Christians and as a Union.
“Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”
Union is not about making Paul’s joy complete, it is about making God’s joy complete as we remain at first in Love. I understand this Love as an Unconditional Love – the way that the Lord loves us. Does not mean that we agree in everything or love the same things but mostly to treat each other with love, respect and honour no matter who we are or under which conditions we exist.
Union is to be like – minded. It means that we think the way that Christ thinks; we seek His wisdom and understanding, not ours. It means that we feed our mind with the word of God and grow to think and desire His will, all together as one Body.
Union is to be under one Spirit and not only. It means to have the same purpose, even if we have different tasks. We are one Body and the Body has various parts, nevertheless, all parts work together for the same purpose/body. Our purpose is only one: to accomplish the will of God and all to be done for His glory!
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than your selves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
So, we know how to be united with Christ, how to be entitled to be called Christians and how to define our Union as one Body, one Church. Is the story finishes there?
Not a bit! It is when the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside us, when we become Its temple that things eventually will change. How? Our thinking, our desires, our perceptions just change: we have no selfish ambitions. Our ambition is to glorify the Lord, to serve Him and to serve others. We desire to be a contribution in this so suffering world, to spread the good news, to encourage and to empower, to share His Love.
We learn to be humble and to remember that we are not better than or worse than others. We are different but equal in the eyes of the Lord and within this life.
There are fellow Christians who think that our work is to fully sacrifice any of our interest in order to serve others. This is not the case and this verse brings clarity: we need to look to the interests of others but we are allowed to look to ours as well. There is nothing selfish in this. The important is that whatever we do, we do it for His glory and for the common benefit.
The Holy Spirit will guide us in each decision and choice we need to make. He will do it in wisdom, balance and harmony.
I pray that we meditate on these principles during this coming week. Any question that might rise will be answered, not through our limited minds but by His amazing wisdom. Amen!
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – Any unauthorised broadcasting, public
performance, copying or re-recording will constitute an infringement of