Why Desire Humility?

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy” (Philippians 2:1).

Paul begins chapter two like a fisher of men -- trying to reel people in with the immeasurable grace of Christ; Paul yearns for people to love the humility of Jesus. May we, as believers, also treasure that same humility. 

He then presents the church with four “if” statements to elicit powerful “then” conclusions. Today let’s look at the “if” statements:

1 – “if there is any encouragement in Christ” - The word “encouragement” comes from a Greek word often used to describe the work of the Holy Spirit, “paraklesis.” The word also develops a mental picture of Jesus walking closely with each of us. Indeed, He traveled farther than anyone ever has – from heaven to earth – to walk in the shoes of a man, to be an encouragement.

2 – “if there is any comfort from love” - Paul is writing to a church that is divided – and now he gives them the ultimate reason to unite. Our Savior, out of love and obedience to the Father, chose -- not His own will, but the Father’s -- that you and I might be saved. To dwell on this reality is to be comforted by the One who loved us perfectly. There is no greater reason for us to be united.

3 – “If there is any participation in the Spirit” – The word translated “participation” or sometimes “fellowship” is the Greek word “koinonia”— the same word used in chapter one: “In every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel” (Philippians 1:4-5). Essentially this word means to share something in common. As believers, we have in common God’s Holy Spirit indwelling us. How then could people with the same Spirit argue and be divisive?

4 – “if there is any affection and sympathy” - The word “affection” is a Greek word (“splanknon”) that literally refers to the stomach and intestines. The word is used in the Gospels when Jesus had affection on the crowds because they had nothing to eat. His stomach literally felt what the hungry stomachs of the people in the crowds felt!  What a humble Savior -- One who feels what you feel and wants to draw near to you and provide healing. Dear believer, may this stir a desire in you to want to take on this same humble spirit that God’s Son has modeled. 

Join us this week, as we look at the most glorious example of humility the world has ever known. 
      
By Matthew Rondeau

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