Encouragement

The previous post in this series is:

Trials in Christ

The first post in this devotional series covering the book of Philippians is Devoted to Philippians.

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit. (Philippians 2:1-2)

At the end of chapter one, we talked about the Philippians suffering for Christ. The first two verses of chapter two show a set of desired character traits they should offer.

Paul says that IF there is love, fellowship, affection, and compassion (for each other), then … show unity. Why unity? This is the second time he encourages unity among them. Apparently he knew something we don’t (yet) know: there was some kind of discord going on.

In chapter four, he will tell us the problem: Two women, Euodia and Syntyche, were having some kind of disagreement. We don’t know exactly what the problem was, but they weren’t getting along.

Now, my question is, why is Paul asking for unity — twice — in the first thirty-two verses of the letter? This is so far ahead of him actually naming the two disagreeing parties that it’s a decent question.

I suspect Paul wrote the letter itself primarily to address this conflict, but all the other stuff was just ministry stuff he was planning on telling them anyhow.

Could that be it? If so, we can focus on encouraging each other, and only deal with unity when we need to.

The next post in this series is:

Selfishness vs. Humility

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