A thief of joy
Philippians 1:29-2:3
Delighting in the preaching of Christ and the communion of the saints.
Published May 3rd, 2019
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Main point summary
The sufferings of the saints bring honor and glory to the name of Christ. The Phillippians suffer alongside Paul, while the apostle suffers in prison, but their consolation is Christ, and the Spirit is their comforter. Both Paul and the church at Philippi share the same struggle, namely, choosing between life and death, to continue to labor or to be with the Lord. Preach the gospel of Christ out of love, not out of self-exaltation like some in the church at Philippi. These deceitful men, somehow, have been able to "take away" some of Paul's joy. Paul's joy here may refer, perhaps, to the joy he finds in the growth of the saints at Philippi who labor and suffer with him as a result of their love for the Lord. In addition, his joy is not full because of those who preach Christ out of selfish ambition. These men do not have the same love and are not of the same mind. The apostle does not rejoice in this kind of division (a plurality of thoughts and opinions within the church); however, he delights in the preaching of Christ, regardless of who is proclaiming the gospel. This leads me to think that Paul's joy is complete when 1) Christ is preached and 2) when those who preach him are one in love, of one mind and esteem others as better than themselves.
Main point summary
Because you have also been comforted and suffered for Christ's sake, I ask you, make my joy full.
Philippians 1:29-2:3
For c it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him
Because God has given you the privilege to not only believe in Him for Christ's sake,
but also b suffer for his sake,
but rather He has granted you both to believe and to suffer for His name,
engaged in the same d conflict that e you saw I had
having the same struggle that you saw in me when I first came to you
and now hear that I still have.
and now hear that I have while I am in prison (1: 22)
So if there is any encouragement in Christ,
Therefore, if any one of your sorrows are truly soothed by Christ himself,
any comfort from f love,
[if you find] any consolation in the love of the Messiah,
any g participation in the Spirit,
[if you are] partakers of my sufferings in the Spirit- in any form (1:7),
any h affection and sympathy,
[if there is in you] any emotion and mercy,
i complete my joy
then make my joy full (1:4)
by being j of the same mind,
by having one single mind,
having the same love,
by having the same love,
being in full accord and of one mind.
being joined in soul and in thought.
Do nothing from k selfish ambition or l conceit,
[If you want to make my joy full] do not let empty praise or self -interest be the guides of any your actions (1:17),
but in m humility count others more significant than yourselves.
but rather , in lowliness of mind, esteem others as better than yourselves.
It is for Christ's name that the Philippians and Paul suffer (1:13), and this, indeed, has been granted to them by God. What a privilege to suffer for the sake of my glorious Savior! Good news: All who call on the name of God, those who desire to live a godly live, will be persecuted/ suffer for His sake (2 Tim 3:12)
The Philippians also find themselves crying out with Paul: "Whether to live or die, I know not which is best; To live in Thee is bliss to me, To die is endless rest."
The Philippians' sorrows are soothed by Christ, and because of this common bond they share with Paul (1c), the apostle is enabled to make the request: "Make my joy full."
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.