Thursday, July 13, 2017

Philippians 2:1

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, (Philippians 2:1, ESV)
If... Then...

This is the format of a conditional statement. It's function is very basic, and just what common sense will tell you. If the first thing happens, then the second thing will happen. If the first thing is true, then the second thing will be true. If A, then B...

In this particular case, Paul has just been telling these Christians to live a life worthy of the Gospel (Philippians 1:27). He has told them to do this, primarily through their brave, unified stance together (Philippians 1:27-28). This verse starts with "So..." which could also be translated as "Therefore..." It means that this thought follows from the previous thought. In other words, because we are to live a life worthy of the Gospel, in a unified, brave stance together, this next statement naturally follows.

In verse 1, we have the "if" portion of this statement. In verse 2 will will see the logical connection, but for today, simply ask yourselves as Christians if you do have any of these things:

Do you have any encouragement in Christ? Have you ever been encouraged by Christ himself? Have you seen his Cross and his life and been lifted up?

Do you have any comfort from love? Has the love of Christ ever been any comfort to you? Have you ever considered all that he has done for you and felt or experienced comfort?

Have you participated in the Spirit? Not necessarily a feeling of participation, though that is not excluded, but have you ever found yourself doing or acting in such a way that you knew that this isn't really you? had to have been the Spirit of God in you.

With each of these, have you ever experienced encouragement, comfort, and participation in the Spirit, through someone else? Has another member of the body of Christ ever shown you these things?

Have you ever, simply because you have faith in Jesus, experienced affection and sympathy?

In the next verse we will see what follows, but for today, simply ask yourself if you have these things. Instead of reading this verse as, "So if..." read it as "So since..." (Which is an alternate translation of the word that is translated "if".)

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