Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:1-4
“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, having the same love, being in full accord, and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:1,2)
The instructions we are given in this chapter are impossible to do apart from our vital union with Christ. The first verse gives us the basis and power to do what God is asking us to do. If Christ is not in us, we will never have the power, ability and determination to follow the instructions in the opening verses of chapter 2.
Look carefully at the first verse — “If there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy.” Central to the Christian faith is the doctrine of the mystical union we have in Christ. Christ is said to be in us and we are in Him. He lives His life in and through us — “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Do you see what this verse is saying? Christ is not just in me, He LIVES in me. Now I can live my life by His life.
Because we have Christ indwelling in us, we can be comforted by His love. We can participate in the work of His Spirit. And we can experience His affection and sympathy. This, in turn, means that we have His power available to us — to love others with His love, to participate with the Spirit, and to have affection and sympathy towards others. Unless we recognize Christ’s presence and power in us and rely upon Him, we cannot do the things we are being asked to do in the verses that follow.
Lord Jesus, I am so thankful that You live in me. You give me the power to love others and to participate in the work of Your Spirit. Let me learn how to appropriate Your presence more and more each day so that I can fulfill Your will for my life.
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