Summary: HARMONY OF FELLOWSHIP AND INNER PEACE REQUIRE TOTAL COMMITMENT
HARMONY OF FELLOWSHIP AND INNER PEACE REQUIRE TOTAL
I. (:1-5) HARMONY OF FELLOWSHIP REQUIRES OUR TOTAL
COMMITMENT TO ONE ANOTHER WITH A SPIRIT OF:
- AND PATIENCE
A. (:1) Steadfastness -- We Must be Totally Committed to Stand Firm in the Lord
1. Encouragement to Stand Firm in the Lord
a. Based on our Common Pursuit --
pressing forward together to know Christ
"Therefore" -- looking back at chap. 3
b. Based on our Preciousness (to the Apostle Paul and hopefully to one another)
"whom I long to see"
"my joy and crown" -- cf. 1 Thess. 2:19
the award an athlete would receive for winning a race
Motyer: "We have a long way to go before we are feeling the emotions of Christ towards each other as Paul was -- we who so easily dismiss from our reckoning those whom God has accepted and reconciled, and who so lightly offend those for whom Christ died. If we felt for each other as Paul did, we should soon recognize the scandal of division."
2. Exhortation to "Stand Firm in the Lord"
Barclay: "The word which Pual uses for stand fast (stekete) is the word which would be used for a soldier standing fast in the shock of battle, with the enemy surging down upon him."
B. (:2-3) Harmony -- We Must be Totally Committed to Harmony of Fellowship in the Lord
Requires commitment on the part of all parties involved:
1. Euodia -- "I urge Euodia"
2. Syntyche -- "and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord"
Walvoord: "A common faith in Christ and a common desire to serve Him do not.necessarily adjust personal differences and do not always unite everyone in a course of action. The road to smoothing out these differences is found when Christians achieve
’the same mind in the Lord.’ When this is realized, differences in minor details of doctrine and in practical matters can be adjusted. But too often human pride, the stubbornness of the flesh, and personal ambition for prominence get in the way. Paul’s
exhortation emphasizes that Christians who are really yielded to the Lord should be able to resolve their differences. Even though they may not all be of precisely the same opinion, they should be able to find a meeting place in the mind of the Lord."
3. Supporting cast -- "Indeed, true comrade, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement
also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life."
C. (:4) Joy -- We Must be Totally Committed to Rejoicing Always in the Lord
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!"
D. (:5) Patience -- We Must be Totally Committed to Demonstrating Patience With One Another
1. Exhortation -- "Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men."
Here Paul expands his emphasis on harmony (be at peace with others as far as it is possible on our part) to include all men -- even those outside the body
of the church.
Gromacki: "The term ’moderation’ (epieikes) means gentleness, reasonableness, magnanimity, forbearance, good will, and a friendly disposition. A magnanimous
person bears trouble calmly and rejects revengeful meanness."
2. Encouragement -- "The Lord is near."
Paul not asking them to do the impossible. Patience is possible because the return of the Lord is imminent.
Walvoord: (takes a different emphasis) "Our judgment of others is tempered by the fact that God will need to judge us, and consciousness of our own failures and limitations tends to make us more patient with others who may fall short."
Gromacki: (takes a different emphasis) "Be alert to the divine presence… refers to the omnipresence of Christ."
II. (:6-7) INNER PEACE REQUIRES OUR TOTAL COMMITMENT TO
DEPEND ON THE AMAZING RESOURCES OF GOD
A. (:6a) Formula for Certain Defeat = Anxiety
"Be anxious for nothing"
B. (:6b) Formula for Certain Victory = Life of Inner Peace
1. Target = Cast all your cares upon God
"let your requests be made known to God"
a. "by prayer"
b. "and supplication"
3. Tone = "with thanksgiving"
C. (:7) Assurance of Victory When We Depend on the Amazing Resources of God
1. Key Resource Here = "the peace of God"
2. Inscrutability of God’s Amazing Resources --
"which surpasses all comprehension" -- cf. Eph. 3:20
Barclay: "That does not mean that the peace of God is such a mystery that man’s mind, cannot understand it, although that also is true. It means that the peace of God is so precious that man’s mind with all its skill and all its knowledge and all its understanding, can never contrive it or find it or produce it. It is utterly and entirely beyond man’s ability to obtain by himself. This peace can never be of man’s contriving;