CONTENTMENT AND JOY
Chapter CONTEXT from MHCC:
The apostle proceeds in this chapter where he left off in the last, further exhortations to several duties, to be like-minded, and lowly-minded, which he presses from the example of Christ (v. 1-11), to be diligent and serious in the Christian course (v. 12, 13), and to adorn their Christian profession by several suitable graces (v. 14-18). He then concludes with particular notice and commendation of two good ministers, Timothy and Epaphroditus, whom he designed to send to them (v. 19-30).
Our text for today really needs to be read in conjunction with Philippians 1:19-30. It is here that Paul sets forth the argument that, for the believer, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Paul also explains how our True Believers’ lives are a reflection of what they set our minds on. He stresses the importance of rejoicing and joy and connects faith to concepts such as glory.
Here in our text (v.1), Paul uses four (4) “if statements” to describe True Believers (paraphrased):
- if you are encouraged (consoled) in Christ
- if you are comforted by Christ’s love
- if you enjoy fellowship with the Holy Spirit
- if you are concerned more for the welfare of others (than self-serving)
Then in (v.2), Paul again lays out (four)4 points:
- being of the same mind (Biblically)
- having the same love for fellow saints
- being together in the Spirit
- being intent on one purpose (Gospel)
Paul makes a definitive statement about his faith and the Christian faith in general when he says here in v.2, (AMP) make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same [a]love [toward one another], knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose [and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel—the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ]. The note under “having the same love” reads: The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for another.
So is this concept of Biblical contentment and joy through fellowship and unity with like-minded believers and God something unique to Paul. Y’all know how much I harp on CONTEXT and THE WHOLE COUNSEL of GOD, so the answer is of course not. If fact my Master’s thesis was on this subject using 1 John 1:3-4 as the main text.
For all those who say all they need is the “Good Book” maybe they need to read more carefully.