For this series in Philippians, I am going to limit each post to one verse, and hopefully produce a short, succinct read for my friends who follow.
1:30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
Fellowship. A sharing of experience. Paul described his arena of conflict as the same as the Philippians.
Let me explain.
The word conflict is associated with the Greek word for a place of assembly, or a place of contest. This is enlightening, for we, as believers must recognize that we are all on display as we seek to follow Him and battle against those who are our opponents, and more importantly, inlight of the context of this passage, to be unified in our struggle as a body of believers, to be worthy of the gospel of Christ (Phil 1:27)
How often has the contest went sour, when we exercise our rights in order to get our way, simply for prides sake. I may have told the story previously, but it is a clear example of lack of unity in my mind.
One of the first churches I was honored to attend, had a business meeting to discuss the new roofing they needed to have installed. By the end of the meeting, no decision had been made, people were at odds with one another, things were said out of anger or frustration and a gossip mill started.
The color of shingles! This is so insignificant, and yet the church communicated to many, at least to me as a young believer, that unity was not exercised in the body of Christ. Now don’t get me wrong, this church was uniform in their doctrinal beliefs, for sure! But to what gain is that if a stranger comes in and sees animosity, jealousy, self will and gossip? No joy, no unity, no single mind (attitude) of unity!
In that instance, I was saddened to see no fellowship, or sharing of a conflict being experienced by the body.
A few years later, after we moved away, we found that the church had to close it’s doors, and the land is now the extended parking lot of a gas and service repair station. The roof that was so important became a pile of trash for the construction crew to clean up.
So sad. Lets not be petty, but caring for others, giving up our desires for the sake of Christ and his children.
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