If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (Phil 2:1-9)
The greatest desire God has is to seek and save that which was lost. The second, is to see his people fulfill the royal law... "Love thy neighbor as thyself." Outside of "loving the Lord with all thine heart and mind", there is no greater commandment then to love thy neighbor as yourself. All the law and prophets hang on these two commandments.
In this study we will look at the solemn call to serve each other in love. This very attitude was one of the main reasons that the early church had such a move of God. They had the Holy Ghost and they loved each other with one accord! When there were needs, they were met. When a brother had a fault, they helped raise him up!
IF THERE BE ANY...
Living for God sometimes includes heavy tribulation and trials. And it is during these times God gives us comfort either directly from Him or through a brother in the Lord. (2 Cor 1:3-4)
Love is the bond that comforts, shows mercy, brings true fellowship and unity! Fellowshipping at a brother’s house without love is not necessarily unity. Unity is "doing" and "showing" the true love of Christ. To carry and comfort our brothers burdens.
As our scripture reading (top) teaches, if there be any comfort of love and fellowship of the spirit, we must have the proper thinking towards our brother. Let’s look at some things mentioned above...
"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;"
This is a warning by Paul that we should "endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit" by not striving with one another or seeking vain glory. Strife usually stems from different points of view on how to do things in God's kingdom. Though one may be right more than the other, we should avoid striving over it. Vain glory is fed when we seek to be praised for our efforts or knowledge. Many times strife is a result of vain glory (pride).
"but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."
Humility is the most powerful form of servant hood. One forgets his own desires to help others. To esteem someone else is to truly put on the mind of Christ.
"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
When someone has the mind of Christ, he is always concerned (looking) about other people’s needs. This scripture is not about coveting your brother’s material things, but caring what your brother needs. Looking on the things of others means that if you see a brother needs a coat, you go and buy him one!
THE MIND OF CHRIST
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:"
Everyone wants to know how to get the mind of Christ; well I am going to tell you how! Follow along...
"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:"
Jesus Christ understood who he was! He didn't think it sin (robbery) to be equal with God. We are to understand that we are joint heirs with Christ. We are his children!! It is okay to know that you are God's child; just as long as we don't think more highly of ourselves than we should be.
"But made himself of no reputation,"
Here's the hard part! Though he was equal with God almighty, Jesus did not seek to become famous, well known or receive any vain glory! He could of cared less! When Jesus did some miracles, he sometimes told some people to not go and tell them who did it. Jesus never sought glory for his flesh... but as God, he wanted men to worship him.
"and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:"
In his humility he became a servant. He came to SERVE others and looked on the emotional, mental and spiritual things of others. He didn't esteem his own needs. He was not selfish!
"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
Jesus Christ had the greatest love of all... He died for you and me! But, do you see where the proof of his love came from... his obedience unto death! He didn't talk about it, he did it!
A WORTHLESS SACRIFICE
Paul made some very profound statements in 1 Cor 13. But I want to look at something concerning sacrifice. We read...
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (love), it profiteth me nothing. (1 Cor 13:3)
Do you hear what I hear? How can somebody be willing to give their body to be burned and it profit them NOTHING? You would think if someone was willing to be burned to death for me, that it was a mark of love? But not always true! It can be done without love. How can they do that?
Easy... They had an ulterior motive to why they would give so much. The praise of men (pride of life) is a powerful attitude. It makes people do things that normal people wouldn't do! Somewhere a person either wants vain glory or attention or just wants to be in control.
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:"
When we have the mind of Jesus and serve our brothers with love, there is a reward; it is that, we will meet a brother’s need. That is JOY! That is the reward! Not to mention God will reward us in heaven.
Love is not an always an emotional feeling or even having a brother over for supper. Love goes deeper than that. It reaches to his soul and weeps when he weeps! Laughs when he laughs! Carries a burden when he can't fight anymore.
Love intercedes on the behalf of a brother in trouble! It cloths him when he is poor!
Jesus made a statement that is so true...
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)