Today I am continuing my list of “Do and Do Not” in the Book of Philippians Chapter Two, trying to find out how God expects us to conduct ourselves during this life on earth.
I believe that the Book of Philippians is a God inspired guideline for our walk and being in this world. And, just as a reminder, the Book of Philippians is not the only book in the Bible to give advice for life. We have to take the whole of Scripture into consideration and it’s important to keep all of it in context.
Now we are going to look at Philippians 2:2:
Philippians 2:2 (NIV)
Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
Do we agree wholeheartedly on everything? No!
Do we have to? No! There will always be instances where we are of different opinion. And that is fine, as long as we are in agreement with one another on the most important matter of all times.
And what would that be?
God’s word! God is truth, His word is truth, and He has given it to us as an instruction manual to follow because He loves us unconditionally and wants only the best for us. Children of God, please seek the truth and agree with each other in Him! Don’t pick and chose verses but take all of Scripture in context.
What about loving one another?
There are three different kinds of love mentioned in the Bible. Agape—Philos—Eros. Which one is Paul talking about in this context? The Greek translation shows that it’s Agape love.
How does the dictionary define Agape love?
The New Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words says:
- The attitude of God toward His Son (Jn 17:26), the human race
(Jn 3:16; Rom 5:8); and to believers on the Lord Jesus Christ particularly (Jn 14:2).
- It is His will to His children concerning their attitude
(2a) one toward another (Jn 13:34), and
(2b) toward all men (1Th 3:12; 1 Cor 16:14; 2 Pet 1:7).
- He desires for them to express His essential nature (1 Jn 4:8).
- Love can be known only from the actions it prompts as God’s love is seen in the gift of His Son (1 Jn 4:9, 10).
- This is not the love drawn out by any excellency in its objects
- It was an exercise of the divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself (cf. Deut 7:7, 8).
- Love had its perfect expression among men in the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:14; Eph 2:4; 3:19; 5:2).
- Christian love is the fruit of His Spirit in the Christian (Gal 5:22).
- Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments (Jn 14:15, 21, 23; 15:10; 1 Jn 2:5; 5:3; 2 Jn 6).
- Self-will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God.
- Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered.
(11a) Love seeks the welfare of all (Rom 15:2), and
(11b) works no ill to any (Rom 13:8-10);
Wow! Love one another like God loves you!
Even the people you don’t like?
I understand that in a lot of cases it’s easier said than done. I struggle with it in regard to people I just don’t like but I have been praying, asking God to help me change and to show those people unconditional love even though I disagree with their ideas or their behavior.
Love the sinner, hate the sin!
We know that God loves everyone unconditionally. He hates sin and one day we will stand in front of Him for the final judgment. He is a just Judge. That sounds scary but born-again believers have been freed from this judgment because Jesus already paid the price in our place when we accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour. And whenever we fall or trip, He is there to forgive us when we ask Him for forgiveness. The Prompter, the Holy Spirit inside us convicts us immediately when we do or say something wrong, giving us the opportunity to correct it and ask Him for forgiveness. This sets us free from bondage to sin!
One more look at Scripture with regard to Agape love:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil it rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Let’s continue to the next part of the verse:
Working together with one mind and purpose
This goes back to agreeing wholeheartedly with each other.
When all born-again believers agree that
-God is truth,
-His word, the Bible is the truth and there are no contradictions,
-Jesus Christ (God’s only begotten Son) died on the cross to take upon Himself the punishment we deserved for our sins,
-Jesus Christ rose again on the third day and is now sitting at the right hand of God the Father,
-there is NOTHING we can physically do ourselves to be saved from God’s wrath other than asking for God’s forgiveness in the Name of Jesus Christ,
-we have a triune God –Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
This list can go on and on; I don’t claim for it to be complete.
With this I conclude that when we agree wholeheartedly with each other and love one another we can be of one mind and fulfill the one purpose God put us here on earth for:
to let God shine through us and spread the Good News.
I hope this post is an encouragement to you in your walk with the Lord.
What are your thoughts on Philippians 2:2?
Do you struggle with loving people you don’t like?
Please feel free to leave me a comment; I would like to hear from you.
To God be the Glory!
Philippians 1:9-11 (NKJV)
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
My next post will continue in Philippians Chapter Two.