Thursday, 29 December 2016
…fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Philippians 2:2
In verse 1, Paul gave four statements which were a preparation for a heartfelt petition. Now, he makes that petition in four exhortations. In doing this, he notes that they will “fulfill my joy.” Paul’s joy as an apostle, and one who is responsible for their growth and maturity in Christ, was to be found in the things he now asks of them. The same should be true with teachers and preachers of the word today. The evidence of these things in a congregation should be the rejoicing of the heart of one whose allegiance is to Christ, and whose hope is for a strong fellowship of people who are united in the ways he will now state.
First, he says that they are to be “like minded.” The Greek states, “that you think the same thing.” His heart for them is that they would have one mind, one intent, no splits or divisions, and to not be striving against one another. To be like minded would indicate harmony and good will. In the end, a congregation like this would desire that people would be saved, that others would be built up, and that Christ would be magnified.
Next he says, “…having the same love.” This would be both a vertical and horizontal petition. They should have the same love towards Christ, and they should have the same love towards one another. They may not be in complete agreement on all things, but they were to be in agreement in such love.
After this, he mentions that they should be, “…of one accord.” The word he uses, sumpsuchos, is found only here in the Bible. It is derived from two words which indicate “with” and “soul.” In other words, they are to be “of one soul.” Because they are in Christ, their souls should be united to one another just as they are united to Him. If this is so, then their allegiances and hopes for the fellowship would also be united.
Finally, he says they should be “of one mind.” They should be thinking the same thoughts, and agreed on what those thoughts are to be directed to.
Life application: Paul’s desire for those at Philippi should be the hope for all congregations who are properly directed towards the Lord, and who hold to proper and reasonable doctrine. Though differences on minor points of doctrine may exist, there should at least be fellowship between the people to the point that they can overlook those differences. Only if extremely bad doctrine, or even heresy, is involved should a schism be allowed to arise.
Lord God, it is immensely difficult to be at fellowship with other Christians when there is so much disagreement on doctrine. But it isn’t because we have an unsure word. It is because we are unsure of Your word. And that comes from an unwillingness to spend an acceptable amount of time in this precious gift. If people would put aside their petty arguments and study to show themselves approved, there would be a lot less contention in the church. Help us in this. Grant us a desire to really dig into it and apply it to our lives. And won’t it be a marvelous day when we are in Your presence and have the final and full fellowship which will never sour! May that day be soon. Amen.