“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy”
In 2:1, Paul was challenging the Philippians toward unity, with four incentives. We now come to the second catalyst for unity.
“if any comfort of love”
This second “if” is also a fact and can be translated “since.” The idea is that it is true that we are comforted by God’s love.
“Comfort” means speaking near or with someone. It comes to mean admonition, encouragement, consolatory exhortation, invitation, or entreaty. This is communicating with someone to show them God’s love. This is persuasion that comes from an understanding of God’s love. God’s love in our hearts produces unity.
“Comfort” is a greater degree of tenderness than “consolation.” There is a tender persuasiveness of love. Paul was saying, in effect, “If the tenderness of God’s love has any power to touch you, listen to what I am about to say from verse 2 and following.”
There is comfort in being loved. People who feel that they are not wanted are people who do not sense love. There is great comfort in knowing that God wants you.
When people feel wanted and loved, they are relaxed. They are not continually trying to prove themselves. Christians know that they are loved “with an everlasting love.” God is not going to stop loving us at some point. Therefore, we have confidence and trust in His infinite, unchanging, undying love.
Human love is finite. It can change quickly. It is far more fickle than God’s love for us. God’s love has stability. We can count on God’s love. This kind of love is catalytic to the Christian life.
There are great comfort and security in being loved by Someone who will not be daunted by anything in us.
God loves us with unconditional love; therefore, we can count on His commitment to us.
Do you employ God’s unconditional love as a motivation for your fellowship with fellow believers?