1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Phil 2:1-2
The point of Paul’s teaching here is towards unity as brothers and sisters in Christ. He delves deep into his trove of theology to make his case and to reason with us. “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ…” Unity with Christ is our salvation. Paul’s plea comes from that one miracle of all time that filthy rotten sinners can be saved and become holy and righteous saints and find unity with the one who is holy, holy, holy. “If any comfort from his love…”, that awesome, infinite love most starkly demonstrated by the death of Jesus for our sins. Our unity wells up from that love. Also the fellowship with the Spirit. We share in common the life of the Spirit rooted in our salvation. Finally tenderness & compassion, the call of God on each of us to care deeply for one another as brothers and sisters.
This is all Paul’s reasoning and build-up towards his call for us to be united. Paul has put in place the foundational building blocks that we will need for the tougher things he will have us do (e.g. humility – will look at that tomorrow). If you are struggling with unity, perhaps you need to take time to meditate on these reasons for unity. Allow your heart to be challenged as you look at the depths of God’s love and participation with you. Drink of the powerful truths of Phil 2:1 and ask God to help your heart so that you may draw from such undeserved favour and extend the same to others in united, brotherly love. God help us!