Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy. (Philippians 2:1)
Philippians 2 contains a powerful and poetic description of the nature and work of Jesus. But Paul’s purpose for that description was to help the Christians of Philippi to get along better. So, he challenged them by introducing the basis for unity, humility, and love among believers. If the Philippian Christians had received what he mentions in this verse, then they had a responsibility to do what he was about to teach them.
If there is any consolation in Christ. Do Christians receive consolation in Christ? Yes, they do. Every Christian should know what it is to have Jesus console their soul. Luke 2:25, says Jesus is the Consolation of Israel. And in 2 Corinthians 1:5, For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:16, says that God has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace. Of course, in Jesus Christ there is great consolation – but are you experiencing it?
If there is any…comfort of love. Do Christians receive any comfort of love? Yes, they do. Every Christian should know what it is to have Jesus give them the comfort of His love. 2 Corinthians 1:3 says that God is the God of all comfort. There is no circumstance beyond His reach to comfort. The word comfort in this passage has the idea of more than sympathy. It also has the idea of strengthening, helping, and making strong. The love of God in the life of the believer makes them strong and brave. Of course, in Jesus Christ there is comfort of love – but are you experiencing it?
If there is any…fellowship of the Spirit. Do Christians receive any fellowship of the Spirit? Yes, they do. Every Christian should know what it is to have the fellowship of the Spirit. “Fellowship” here is the ancient Greek word koinonia. It means the sharing of things in common. Believers share life with the Spirit of God that they never knew before. The Holy Spirit fills, guides, and moves in our lives in a powerful and precious way. Of course, in Jesus Christ there is fellowship of the Spirit – but are you experiencing it?
If there is any…affection and mercy. Do Christians receive any affection and mercy? Yes, they do. As Paul wrote in Romans 5:5: the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Every Christian knows something of the affection of God, and the mercy of God – but are you experiencing them?
Paul suggests that these should be obvious parts of the Christian’s experience. These things should be just as real in our lives as the wetness of water, the hotness of fire, and the hardness of rocks.
Are they obvious parts of your life?