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,Philippians 2:1(NASB)
Throughout his writings, the apostle Paul emphasises the importance of Christians living together in spiritual unity and godly harmony. He reminds us that spirituality and godliness is manifested in a life that is emptied of self and is filled with Christ - a life that is walking in spirit and truth and in dependence upon the Father - a life that produces the beautiful fruit of righteousness in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul spoke of the mystery which has been hidden from past ages and generations, but now known to us: "Which is Christ in you the hope of glory," and he laboured unceasingly to maintain the pure message of the gospel of grace and to instruct believers in godly living.
He guarded the integrity of the Body of Christ with a godly jealousy so that we might be presented to Christ as a pure virgin, holy and blameless, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.
Paul knew that his joy would be complete if all who had received his instructions were to live their lives as outlined in so many of his epistles, in spiritual unity and godly harmony. And so Paul calls us all to reflect on what it means to be in the family of God; to know His grace, His affection, His compassion, His love, and to experience the benefits of the indwelling Holy Spirit (God's gift of grace to all Christians).
IF there is any encouragement in Christ (and there is), then we are to show it in our lives by living unto the Lord. IF there is any consolation of love in Christ (and there is), then we are to let it be shown forth in godly living. IF there is any fellowship of the Spirit (and there is), then we are to walk in spirit and truth, living in dependence upon the Father, and bringing forth the fruit of righteousness by His power within. IF any affection and compassion from our Father (and there is), then we are exhorted to live in spiritual unity and godly harmony with one another.
Paul knew that we could only respond to that little word 'IF' in a positive manner, for ALL believers have found encouragement in Christ, ALL have known the consolation of God's love, ALL have benefitted from the fellowship of the Spirit which is in Christ Jesus, and ALL have access to God's grace and mercy, His affection and love, and the compassion, joy, and hope which we share in our heavenly Bridegroom.
Paul emphasises the importance of Christians living together in spiritual unity and godly harmony, and of the eternal benefits that we derive from our salvation by grace through faith in Christ. Let us die to self and be filled with His love. Let us walk in spirit and truth and in utter dependence upon our Heavenly Father, and let us live a life that produces the beautiful fruit of righteousness in the power of the Holy Spirit, to His praise and glory.
Heavenly Father, thank You for all that I have received in Christ, for Your love and the consolation that it brings, for Your grace, compassion, and the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Thank You that I am accepted in Christ and part of that heavenly company that has received life eternal by faith in Him. I pray that, together with my brothers and sisters in Christ, we may live in spiritual unity and godly harmony. May we be of one mind, maintain the same love, be united in spirit, and intent on one purpose which is to be increasingly transformed into the image and likeness of Christ. To His praise and glory, AMEN.
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