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Read Introduction to Philippians

 

“Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

 

Having appealed to four powerful, poignant motivations in verse 1, Paul now made his challenge to the church at Philippi. He challenged them to harmony, vv. 2-4.

This challenge is that they would develop four areas of harmony:

-being like-minded

having the same love

being of one accord

being of one mind

“fulfill my joy by being like-minded”

“Fulfill” means literally to make full or to fill. It came to mean in usage fulfill, perform fully, complete, accomplish. This verb applies to all four characteristics believers are to form (listed above).

The grammar indicates that we should act upon these four motivations of verse 1 decisively. This is not something that you can ease into. It takes a decisive decision, or else we will continue to indulge ourselves in schism.

Paul’s joy would be completed or accomplished if the Philippians would develop these four qualities of unity. They would fill full Paul’s joy. There is a great joy to Christian leaders in seeing their followers manifesting dynamic unanimity.

The first earmark of unity is to be “like-minded.” Literally, it means to think the same thing. This is a unity of attitude. Where minds are in tune, they are one in perspective.

In the last chapter, we find the culprits who caused such schism in the Philippian church: “I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord” (4:2).  They were bitter in attitude toward each other.

The term “same mind” used in chapter 4, and here is basically the same in Greek. In what sense are we to have the same mind? Are we all to think like “cookie-cutter” Christians? Are we not to have individual opinions about things?  Obviously, this is not the meaning. The term “mind” means attitude. We are to be one in attitude, not in actual thoughts.

The oneness of attitude comes from knowing the Lord and his revelation (the Word). The closer we are to Him, the closer we are to one another.

PRINCIPLE:

Attitude is central to the Christian way of life.

APPLICATION:

Oneness of attitude is the principle here. An attitude is a habit of thinking, a bearing in life. What is your mental orientation towards others? Is it bitter, resentful?  Deal with it decisively.

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