The Gospel-Shaped Life: Together in Deep Spiritual Unity
April 22, 2018 Speaker: Brian Wilbur Series: Philippians
Topic: Gospel-Shaped Life Passage: Philippians 2:1–2
THE GOSPEL-SHAPED LIFE: TOGETHER IN DEEP SPIRITUAL UNITY
An Exposition of Philippians 2:1-2
By Pastor Brian Wilbur
Date: April 22, 2018
Series: Philippians: Gospel Partnership on Mission in the World
Note: Scripture quotations are from The ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version), copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Unity is one of the highly prized things in our world, though it often remains elusive. Unity is sought after and cultivated, and yet it seems that there are always cracks in the foundation and the thing that we would like to see unified is actually moving the other way – disintegrating, separating, and falling apart. We want the individual pieces to be brought together and enjoy “a more perfect union” (to borrow a phrase from the U. S. Constitution), but the reality is that the individual pieces can be very stubborn, resistant to union, and intent on going their own way.
Why is it that people cherish this hard-to-come-by experience called unity? There are at least three reasons. First, unity brings effectiveness to our work. Whether the different parts of a machine or the different departments within an organization or the different players on a team, if the parts are working together in a unified and coordination fashion, then the parts will achieve greater output than if they are always at odds with one another or functioning in isolation.
Second, unity brings power to a cause. Whether it is a political cause, military cause or social cause, the proponents of the cause need a lot of people working together for the same purpose. When the masses are mobilized for the same cause, look out – there might be a revolution in the making! Unity’s effectiveness and power is implied in the well-known statement, “United we stand, divided we fall.” Disunity renders us ineffective and weak.
A third reason we cherish unity is because unity brings peace and joy. Who really wants to be fighting against others all the time? The Proverbs tell us, “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is / than a fattened ox and hatred with it” (Proverbs 15:17). Generally speaking, people prefer to live with others in partnership and peace, and not have to manage drama and friction all day long. Of course, preferring the peace of unity doesn’t mean that we actually excel at being peaceable peacemakers. Sin has a way of undermining our lofty ideals!
That said, it is critically important to understand that unity, in and of itself, is not necessarily good. Don’t let anyone dupe you into thinking that unity is always good or that “unity at all costs” should be our rule. The Bible gives us a number of examples of human beings being unified in evil. It doesn’t matter if these folks were waving their unity banners or solidarity flags, because God was not pleased with them.
In Genesis 11, “the whole earth had one language and the same words” (Genesis 11:1) and the people were unified in arrogance and idolatry. They decided to “build… a tower with its tops in the heavens” and “make a name for [themselves]” (Genesis 11:4), as if they could achieve true greatness on their own apart from God. The Lord God was not amused, and He visited the builders of Babel City with judgment, and the judgment was a direct strike against their idolatrous unity.
“And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”” (Genesis 11:6-7)
The divine judgment brought disunity and dispersion among the like-minded sinners.
The Book of Acts gives us several examples of unity in wickedness. Let me mention two. You may have heard of Ananias and Sapphira. In Acts 5, we are told that this husband and wife “agreed together” (Acts 5:9) to lie to the church about the size of a financial gift. The members of the early church were quite generous one to another, and some of the wealthier members would sell property and give the proceeds to the church community in order to care for members in need. Well, Ananias and Sapphira decided to get in on the action, and they sold a piece of property. But instead of giving the full proceeds to the church, they kept back a part for themselves. The problem isn’t that they gave this much or that much, the problem is that they were deceptive in their communication about the gift: they gave the impression that they were giving the full proceeds, when in fact they were giving less. They wanted to be thought more generous than they actually were. Unity in wrongdoing doesn’t pay, and God struck them both dead for their grievous sin.
Then in Acts 7 we learn about the church’s first martyr, an honorable Christian man named Stephen. Stephen preached a sermon to the Jewish religious leaders and reproved them for their ungodly rebellion against God, and these religious leaders were unified in rage against Stephen: “… they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him” (Acts 7:57). These raging leaders operated together in unified fashion and rushed at Stephen and stoned him to death. One of the religious leaders present was “a young man named Saul” who “approved of [Stephen’s] execution” (Acts 7:58, 8:1). This is noteworthy because this Saul, then unified with the religious leaders against Christ and His Church, is the same man known to us as the apostle Paul, who wrote this wonderful heartfelt letter of koinonia love to the Philippians. Unity wasn’t a new thing to Paul: Paul had known unity as an unconverted Jew who opposed Christ, but after his conversion he discovered a deeper unity as a member of Christ’s church.
These examples show us that unity is not inherently virtuous. Many people are unified in shameful things, some are unified in heresies, others are unified in trivial things, and still others are unified in the fading glories of our present world. We have a higher calling, namely, to be unified in the excellent things of God’s everlasting kingdom!
Unity with Christ and His people is so important, that it entails an act of disunity or separation against that which is worldly and sinful. The Bible says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14). The Bible calls us to discipline professing Christians who indulge in grievous sin and refuse to repent: “Purge the evil person from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:13) Further, Jesus tells us to expect division from the world on account of Him: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.” (Matthew 10:34-36) Jesus isn’t talking about needless division, but necessary division that takes place because some people put Jesus first and others don’t (see Matthew 10:37-39). And the people who put Jesus first, as we all ought to do, the people who put Jesus first cannot be cushy with those who don’t. We must seek first God’s kingdom, and this means that others will be left behind.
So, we must practice disunity toward evildoers. But within the sanctified church of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have an unmistakable and glorious calling to be unified one with another in deep spiritual unity. This call to unity is writ large in Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
THE SCRIPTURAL TEXT
Although this sermon will focus on Philippians 2:1-2, I want to read Philippians 1:27–2:4 so that we can appreciate the cohesive line of thought that runs through these eight verses. God’s holy Word says:
27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
2 1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
OVERVIEW OF THE PASSAGE
Our Lord Jesus cares deeply about church unity. In John 17 He prayed that all believers would “be one” as a reflection of the perfect unity that exists in the Godhead between the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. (John 17:20-21) The apostle Paul expresses this vision for unity in the passage before us: “one spirit” (1:27), “one mind” (1:27), “striving side by side” (1:27), “the same mind” (2:2), “the same love” (2:2), “full accord” (2:2), and “one mind” (2:2). Do you see a theme here?
In chapter 1, verse 27, Paul said that he wanted to know that the Philippians were living a gospel-worthy life. Whether by seeing the Philippians with his own eyes, or by hearing a report about them from others, Paul wanted to know that they were “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.” How do you think Paul would react if he heard that the Philippians were actually living as a unified, fearless, and graced army of suffering soldiers who were battling faithfully for the cause of the gospel? He would have great joy, right?
Now at the beginning of chapter 2 Paul says “So,” which immediately takes us back to chapter 1. In other words: In light of my desire to see you “standing firm in one spirit” and “striving side by side,” in light of that desire I want you to “complete my joy” (2:2). Do you see this connection? I want to see you unified together in the gospel (1:27) – therefore, O Philippians, give me my heart’s desire (2:2)! “So… complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
Now you may have noticed that I skipped over the rest of verse 1, and this is because verse 1 adds a new and very important element into the discussion. While verse 27 of chapter 1 is echoed in verse 2 of chapter 2, verse 1 moves the instruction forward and sets forth something that is foundational to unity.
Here then is how I intend to walk through this passage:
- First, we will look at verse 1 as the foundation of church unity.
- Second, we will look at the beginning of verse 2 as a motivation for church unity.
- Third, we will look at the rest of verse 2 as a description of church unity.
THE FOUNDATION OF CHURCH UNITY
God-Centered, Gospel-Centered Unity
To the first point, then, what is the foundation of church unity? What stands at the center of our life together as a church community? What is the defining factor that brings us together and keeps us together? The answer is: the gospel! We have seen this gospel-centrality over and over again as we journeyed through Philippians 1.
- Paul rejoices that the Philippians are partners in the gospel (v. 5).
- Paul rejoices that gospel mission is moving forward and Christ is becoming more widely known (v. 12-18).
- Paul desires the Philippians to live a life that is “worthy of the gospel of Christ” (v. 27).
- Christian conduct that is worthy of Christ’s gospel includes “striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (v. 27).
The gospel is at the center of the spiritual fellowship that we share with one another. The gospel is our rule of life. The gospel defines our mission: we want the gospel to gain traction in new places and transform more lives, and we want our fellow Christians to live and grow in the grace of the gospel.
Of course, it is easy to throw the word “gospel” around and yet not know what we are talking about. So we need to be clear that the gospel, which means good news, is the good news of what God has done for us through the atoning death and glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. As sinful human creatures, we are totally incapable of saving ourselves. We cannot save ourselves by our attempts at good behavior or religious devotion. We cannot deliver ourselves from God’s judgment and bring ourselves into a right relation with God. We need God Himself to come down from heaven and rescue us from the peril of our sin and remove His righteous wrath against us, and this is what He has done through Jesus.
When we say that the gospel is at the center of our life together as a church community, we mean that God Himself is at the center of our life. For the gospel is simply God’s character-in-action. For example, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Love is an attribute of God’s character. The gospel is this character demonstrated in action: God displayed His love for us by “[sending] his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). In great love, Jesus died so that the divine wrath would be satisfied and so as a result the blessing of divine favor would be poured out in life-giving power on everyone who believes (see 1 John 4:9-10).
The Logical Connection Between Verse 1 and Verse 2
As we consider Philippians 2:1, who is standing at the center of our life together? God Himself – specifically, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy” (underline added). Though it may be difficult to nail down a precise meaning for each of these phrases, the basic idea is clear: verse 1 describes God’s work in His people through the gospel of Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. And God’s work in His people (which is described in verse 1) is foundational to the experience of church unity (which is described in verse 2).
Paul doesn’t expect the verse 2 reality of “same mind,” “same love,” “full accord” and “one mind” to happen unless the verse 1 reality of spiritual encouragement, comfort, participation, affection and sympathy are happening first. Do you see this connection?
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind….” (underline added)
Do you think that we, South Paris Baptist Church, have arrived at the perfection of church unity? Do you think that we have this same mind, this same love, this full accord, and this one mind that Paul calls for – do you think that we have attained these to the maximum possible measure? Surely not! Surely there remain gaps of various kinds, and half-measures, and under-connected members, and continual threats from inside and out. Surely we are capable of making “progress … in the faith” (1:25) and living the gospel-worthy life in a more thorough and consistent manner. Such progress includes growing in “the unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:13), pressing further into unity of mind, heart, and soul (of Philippians 2:2), and becoming more obedient to the instruction that we be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
As we consider our need for progress in Christian unity, we must reflect on the logic of verses 1-2: we will never enjoy the blessing of genuine church unity (v. 2) unless we first of all enjoy the blessing of genuine Christian experience (v. 1). In other words, we must make sure that we are pursuing church unity on the basis of God’s work in His people through Christ’s gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit.
An Overview of Verse 1
Do you see what is going on here in verse 1? Christ stands in the midst of His people. He is our life, our comfort, our encouragement. G. Walter Hansen helpfully points out that while the Philippians were experiencing suffering and conflict on account of their faith (see Philippians 1:28-30), here they are reminded that they have the grace to also experience “encouragement in Christ” in the midst of their difficulties. Divine grace, peace, and love flow from the Father, through Christ, to His church. Christ is also the One who bestows the Spirit upon His people, and so the Spirit of Christ stands alongside Christ as the powerful Creator and Sustainer of the church’s fellowship. The Spirit of God makes the truth of God experientially real to the people of God. God’s truth is true regardless of our experience. But it is the privilege of God’s people to savingly experience that truth and be transformed by it, and it is the Spirit of God and of Christ who applies the gospel to our hearts and transforms our lives as well as our relationships. Speaking of relationships, note well that this work of God in verse 1 is not merely between God and the individual believer, but between God and the community of believers. Paul is speaking to the whole congregation here and asking them to remember and behold God’s work in their midst. The encouragement and the comfort have been deposited in the church community: it is their shared experience and is reflected in their conversations and relationships with one another.
“Participation in the Spirit” is that rich life of koinonia fellowship that is shared by all Christians: we participate together in the life and fellowship of God. As a result of God’s work among us, now we have “affection and sympathy” toward one another, a genuine love for other believers. The Bible teaches that a genuine love for other believers is basic to the disposition of a true Christian. The apostle John wrote: “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.” (1 John 3:14) Affection means that our heart goes out to our brothers and sisters: we care for them with a warmth of spirit. Sympathy means that we enter into their experience with emotion: others have joy, and we rejoice along with them; others have sorrow, and we grieve along with them; others have need, and we pray along with them.
Brothers and sisters, this is the work that God does in His people when He saves them through the gospel of Christ and transforms them by the power of His Spirit. Have you tasted this good and gracious work of God in your life? Have you tasted this good and gracious work of God in your church family? If so, then take to heart the clarity of Paul’s logic: if there is any true experience of grace from Christ and His Spirit in South Paris Baptist Church, then we must take that experience of grace and let it have its full effect in our relationships with one another, pressing on together toward unity of mind, heart, and soul.
An Appeal to the Unconverted
Certainly Paul was confident that the overwhelming majority of the congregation in Philippi consisted of true believers who were well-acquainted with God’s good work in their midst. We may also be confident that many of us at 1 Park Street this morning are true disciples who know the gospel’s power in our lives. However, it is entirely possible that you are here this morning – you might be old or you might be young, you might have been in church your whole life or you might be in church for the first time – but you are here this morning and quite frankly you are a stranger to the work of God in His people. You are a stranger to Christ and His Spirit. You are a stranger to the fellowship of love within the church family. And this morning, you’re on the outside looking in – you’re on the outside of God’s salvation and comforting graces, and consequently you are on the path that leads to condemnation. Could it be, however, that you have come to service this morning not for the purpose of remaining outside, but so that you might look in and be drawn in by the mercies of Christ?
Do not be deceived: moral principles won’t save you, resolves to do better won’t save you, changing around a few habits won’t save you, attending church services won’t save you, hanging out with some real Christians won’t save you, and downloading Bible knowledge won’t save you. Christ alone is able to save you! Will you come to Him?
“Jesus is tenderly calling you home—
Calling today, calling today,
Why from the sunshine of love will you roam
Farther and farther away?
“Jesus is calling the weary to rest—
Calling today, calling today,
Bring Him your burden and you shall be blest;
He will not turn you away.
“Jesus is waiting, oh, come to Him now—
Waiting today, waiting today,
Come with your sins, at His feet lowly bow;
Come, and no longer delay.
“Jesus is pleading, oh, list to His voice:
Hear Him today, hear Him today,
They who believe on His name shall rejoice;
Quickly arise and away.
A MOTIVATION FOR CHURCH UNITY
After setting forth the work of God through Christ and His Spirit as the foundation of church unity, Paul then gives a motivation for church unity at the beginning of verse 2: “complete my joy.” This is certainly not the only motivation that would be energizing the Philippians, but it is an important motivation nonetheless. In fact, mutual joy-giving is envisioned here. Paul has already told us that he is seeking their joy: “I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith” (Philippians 1:25). At the same time, Paul desires to receive joy from them – not flattery, not money, not perks, but joy! Joy on account of their being a unified church family: “complete my joy by being of the same mind…” If they are walking together in the Lord, then Paul will be full of joy! In a roundabout way, this functions as a motivating force for the Philippians: they love Paul, they are indebted to him for his spiritual labors, and they have a partnership with him in which they pray for him and support his work. So, of course they want to bring joy to their beloved apostle! Happy is that church family whose members freely love their leaders in response to the evident love that their leaders have for them, and therefore delight to increase the joy of their leaders by living excellent Christian lives. You cannot turn “complete my joy” into a formula or rule. It only works where love abounds!
A CALL TO AND DESCRIPTION OF CHURCH UNITY
That said, the main focus of verse 2 is a call to and description of church unity. On the basis of the transformation that has taken place in their lives “in Christ” and “in the Spirit,” Paul wants the Philippians to grow together in deep spiritual unity with one another: “complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
The call to unity is clear and unmistakable. This deep spiritual unity operates at three levels: the mind (which is mentioned twice: “same mind,” “one mind”), the heart (in reference to “the same love”), and the soul (in reference to “full accord,” which literally means ‘united in soul’).
Unity of Mind
Mind means mindset, outlook, perspective. It involves doctrine but it is more all-encompassing. It is a world-view: how we see the world and every part of it, in light of God’s revelation in Holy Scripture. How do we see the church, how do we see our brothers and sisters, how do we see suffering, how do we see our opponents? Most importantly, how do we see God? To have “the same mind,” to have “one mind,” doesn’t mean that we have identical thoughts about every single detail of every single thing. To have “the same mind” doesn’t mean that we hold the same views about secondary or peripheral issues. What it does mean is that we have deep agreement on what the most important things are, and we are moving together in the same basic direction. It is the same things that matter most to each of us.
What is this common perspective that we share? We regard Christ as supremely worthy and we want Him to be honored in our life. We submit to the authority of God’s Word and seek to be transformed by it. We cherish Christ’s gospel as the center of our fellowship. We share the same purpose: “striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.” We labor to advance the gospel to more people in more places, and we recognize that suffering is one of the choice things that God often uses to further our mission. And besides the missional value of suffering, suffering is, in fact, part of our calling to walk with Jesus and be conformed to the pattern of His life. We also labor to advance our fellow Christians in the gospel. In fact, we consider it one of the greatest possible privileges to minister to others “for [their] progress and joy in the faith.” All of us are committed to living out our citizenship in God’s kingdom in a way that is “worthy of the gospel of Christ.” We want to understand the gospel more fully and apply it more faithfully to every aspect of our life. We do all of this together, recognizing that the church is God’s family: we are brothers and sisters one to another, and our calling is to live accordingly and function harmoniously as one people. Finally, to anticipate Philippians 2:3-8, we know that humility is a key part of the “one mind” that we are supposed to have. We are not here to serve ourselves, but rather to serve Christ and His people.
If we are going to cultivate unity of mind, then we must spend significant time learning together and conversing with each other and ministering together. The ministering together is important, by the way, because it is one thing to have an intellectual conversation about a theoretical matter that doesn’t pertain to anyone, and it is another thing to reflect theologically on a practical concern that relates to someone you care about.
Unity of Heart
Love means your affectional heartbeat – the heartfelt “affection and sympathy” (Philippians 1:2) and “good will” (Philippians 1:15) and yearning (Philippians 1:8) and longing (Philippians 4:1) that you have for others. Paul rejoices in his friends in Philippi (Philippians 1:3-5). Paul “[yearns] for [them] all with the affection of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:8). Paul prays for their well-being (Philippians 1:9-11). In Philippians 4, Paul refers to the Philippians as “my beloved” and tells them that he loves them and longs for then (Philippians 4:1). Above that, Paul loves Jesus more than anyone or anything else and he looks forward to that day when he will “be with Christ, for that is far better” (Philippians 1:23). Likewise, all of us are to have the highest love for Christ and be lovingly devoted to our fellow Christians. If we are going to cultivate unity of heartfelt love, then we must spend time together with a view toward serving each other (2:4). Paul prays “that [our] love [would] abound more and more” (Philippians 1:9), Paul tells us that the reality of “comfort from love” is at work among us (Philippians 2:1), and now we’ve got to exercise that love in practical action. Love, like a muscle, gets strengthened by use.
Unity of Soul
Full accord means ‘united in soul’ and it means that our souls are truly knit together as a community. It means that our relational connection is deep and strong: we cannot imagine not doing life together, because we are so invested in one another and our lives are intertwined in the most profound ways by the Spirit of God, and we care for one another through generous sharing and serving.
Here are some short quotes to help us appreciate this high calling to unity of soul:
Ellicott explains one-minded soul unity as “living in one another, each sinking his individuality in the enthusiasm of a common love.”
Barnes comments that ‘unity of soul’ means “acting together as if but one soul actuated them.”
Gill speaks of “having the same affection, judgment, and will.”
Hansen notes that this soul unity “empowers [believers] to work together as one person.”
Let Us Pursue Unity of Mind, Heart, and Soul
Brothers and sisters, this is our calling: we are to have one life, we are to function “as one person,” indeed as the one body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, with all the members knit together in love and having one mind that is totally devoted to Christ and His gospel. Let us be faithful to pursue it!
How shall we cultivate this unity of heart, mind, and soul? By being together often – indeed, by being together often with the gospel of Christ and the words of Christ at the center of our consideration; and by being together often with a view toward exercising love and practical care for one another; and by being together in ministry, serving side by side to advance the interests of God’s kingdom.
Are you ‘all in’ to this deep spiritual unity that believers share? Maybe you prefer spectating and you want to know if getting in on the action really matters. Yes, it really matters. Church unity is commanded (Philippians 2:2). It is critical to effective mission (Philippians 1:27-30). It is part of our witness to the world (Philippians 1:27-28, 2:15; John 17:20-23). It brings joy to us – “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). And finally, if church unity would bring joy to the apostle Paul (Philippians 2:2) and Paul is a faithful servant and representative of the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:1, 1:8), then church unity would certainly bring joy to our Lord, who prayed that His people would abide together in deep spiritual unity (John 17:20-23). For all these reasons, let us be diligent to dwell together as a unified church family.
Let us pray.
 See Hansen, G. Walter. The Letter to the Philippians (Pillar New Testament Commentary). Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009: p. 107-108.
 See Hansen, G. Walter. The Letter to the Philippians (Pillar New Testament Commentary). Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009: p. 108-109. Hansen helpfully draws attention to the vertical and horizontal dimensions of Philippians 2:1 – in this case, vertical refers to God’s work toward the congregation, and horizontal refers to God’s work being expressed in congregants’ relationships with each other.
 Interestingly, James Boice highlights how the characteristics of Philippians 2:1 are the components of the church unity of Philippians 2:2. See Boice, James Montgomery. Philippians: An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000: p. 97-101.
 Fanny J. Crosby, “Jesus Is Calling.”
 HELPS Word-studies, accessed through biblehub.com, defines sympsyxos (translated “full accord” in Philippians 2:2) as “closely united in soul.”
 Strong’s Concordance, accessed through biblehub.com, defines agape (translated “love” in Philippians 2:2) as “love, benevolence, good will, esteem.” Note, however, that a different Greek word stands behind the Philippians 1:15 phrase “good will,” which I quoted as part of my effort to describe what love is.
 Obtained through http://biblehub.com/commentaries/philippians/2-2.htm.
 Obtained through http://biblehub.com/commentaries/philippians/2-2.htm.
 Obtained through http://biblehub.com/commentaries/philippians/2-2.htm.
 Hansen, G. Walter. The Letter to the Philippians (Pillar New Testament Commentary). Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009: Kindle Loc. 1882.
NOTE: My inclusion of a bibliography reflects my interaction with other teachers in the preparation of my sermon. While the main part of my preparation involves my direct interaction with the biblical text, I find it helpful to invite other “discussion partners” into my preparation process. My mention of these teachers (writers, speakers, etc.) does not imply any particular level of agreement with them, nor does it constitute an endorsement of their work. That said, I am appreciative of those – past and present – who are seeking to faithfully teach God’s Word, and I am happy to benefit from their labor.
Boice, James Montgomery. Philippians: An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000.
Calvin, John. Calvin’s Bible Commentaries: Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians. Translated by John King. Forgotten Books: 2007 (orig. 16th century).
Hansen, G. Walter. The Letter to the Philippians (Pillar New Testament Commentary). Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009.
Hellerman, Joseph H. Embracing Shared Ministry: Power and Status in the Early Church and Why It Matters Today. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2013.
Silva, Moisés. Philippians: Second Edition (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005.
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