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