Joy · New Testament · Philippians · Unity

Philippian Bits – 2:2

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.

2:2   complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

In our last post, we saw that Paul appealed to the Philippians by way of positive request to encourage each other, to find strength in the Son, Father and Holy Spirit. The verse cut off prior to providing the end result that Paul desires for the Philippian church. I would go so far as to say Paul wants what is contained in this verse for all bodies of believers.

Unity. Such a small word but so divisive, for everyone seems to have a concept of unity that fits into “their” vision, “their” plans, “their” desires. Leaders speak of unity in order to maintain focus and direction of a bodies efforts, and I am sure there are good intentions in implementing a “vision”.

I have experienced this call for unity in my past with a certain church, using the call for unity in forcing the body to study one topic during class time on Sunday. Of course, if the class isn’t presently studying a topic, this would be of no concern. If the class is in the middle of an extended study, in the spirit of unity, discussion on the direction would be beneficial.

An order from on high is not beneficial. An order from on high, that is from appointed church leadership, providing direction by decree for believers, does not exhibit the type of unity that I believer Paul is seeking amongst church folk. I think of this situation as an effort to create uniformity, in place of unity.

Unity is described in a positive sense as

Having the same mind

Mind in this phrase refers to cherishing the same views, or to be harmonious.

Having the same love

This love is the agape love, a self sacrificing love, resident in the believer, needing to be stirred up and exercised in our daily decisions with those who are following the Lord.

Being in full accord

Full accord. United in Spirit. This phrase is not describing a uniformity of schedules or programs, but of souls being knit together in purpose, like minded in their opinions. To strip this one purpose to a basic understanding, lets consider the one opinion a believer needs in order to even be within the Body.

Jesus Christ is Lord. One opinion, that if we understood the implications in relation to authority within the church, may provide a pathway to the elusive unity Paul seeks for the church’s good.

Of one mind

This “one mind” is the same Greek word Paul used when requesting the “same mind”. Is he requesting something different or is he emphasizing the same desire? Personally, I think Paul is emphasizing the same concept as same mind, but let’s consider. The “same mind” speaks of a likeness or similarity of multiple independent “minds”, whereas, “one mind” speaks of a single entity, a single mind. As mentioned above, this single mind must refer to the Lord Jesus. His commands, opinions, exhortations, guidance, example and actions must be the one mind we are encouraged to emulate, to have when we are relating to our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Each of these descriptions of unity come from a positive perspective, speaking of an inner unity, a spirit of harmony and of peace amongst believers. Paul was seeking a foundational unity for all in the church, in order for various ministries and service that may flow from individuals had a basis in unity, and not a forced uniformity.

Of course Paul will have, in our next verse, negative descriptions of working towards this unity he seeks for the church, but for now, let us seek to find the same mind, that One mind we all need.

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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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