Posted by: Mark | December 3, 2010

Philippians 2.1-2 – 3 Questions

The next section of Philippians in my bible is chapter 2.1-11. However, this passage is so rich I am going to split it up into 3 sections. The first one is 2.1-2.

Take some time to read and re-read the following section from Philippians and ask yourself the questions that follow:

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Philippians 2.1-2

  1. The first three questions here seem to be rhetorical and answered with a yes, or at least that is the way it seems to me. But the third is a challenge on the back of the first three. Assuming I understand the massive encouragement and blessings there are in belonging to Christ, the comfort I can have from His love and the fellowship together I have with other Christians because of the Spirit living in all of us, is my heart tender and compassionate? Does my heart burn with the fuel of the resources that God has given me? Does my heart reflect God’s grace in my life? Is my heart tender and compassionate towards what God has a tender and compassionate heart for?
  2. In the translation above (NLT) there is the phrase loving one another. However, this is translated, “having the same love” or something similar in most other translations I have read. (*see the note below for more). Do I have the same love as the rest of the church? Is it the love we are supposed to have? Is my main love in life the glory of God and the fame of His name? Is the main love of my life God? Am I united with the body of Christ in that this mind, love, passion and purpose is what is the over all summary of and reason for my life?
  3. Assuming my mind, love, passion and purpose is correct, am I working together with others to realize it? Do I have my priorities in line with my goals.

*A couple of times lately I have come across passages in the NLT that don’t seem the same to other translations. They are not necessarily wrong but have added something to help the understanding. This is normal for translations like the NLT which are translated more for readability and understandability rather than accuracy. These translations carry the belief of their translators. This is why it is good to read several translations when studying a section of scripture. However, the way the NLT has translated this, while maybe missing the point of this passage (although I am not qualified to say they have or have not missed it) very much fits with other passages of the bible. Therefore, if you like this translation this was my question based on the NLT rendering of this verse:

  • Paul asks us to agree with one another and love one another. Do I love others with the same strength of the love in the question – “Any comfort from His love?”. How does the love I have for my brothers and sisters in the worldwide church compare with the love that Christ has for me? How does the love I have for my brothers and sisters in my local church compare with the love that Christ has for me?

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