"Therefore if you have any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, then make my joy complete by being of one mind, having the same love, being united in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."
Paul, The Apostle of Grace
Paul understood for the church in Philippi to fulfill their purpose of shining like stars of the universe by shining the light of God's love and grace into the city of Philippi they would need to be unified. They would need to be of one mind, one love, and one purpose.
Foundational to being unified was for the family of grace in Philippi to be educated and encouraged by understanding their identity in Christ (we looked at this in the previous post) and to be established in the love of Christ.
In his letter to the Phillippian believers, Paul seeks to build unity among them by reminding them of the comfort of Christ's love and his affection and compassion toward them.
Unity among the Philippian church family would spring from the encouragement they received from being in Christ and from his love, which comforted them.
Christ's love does comfort us. His love relaxes us, puts us at peace.
His comforting love sets us free.
It sets us free from fearing judgment.
It sets us free from wondering if our sins are forgiven.
It sets us free from worrying if we can lose our salvation.
It is comforting to know that we are loved unconditionally by Jesus.
It is comforting to know that in his great love for us, he laid down his life to pay the death penalty for our sins. There is no greater love than this.
It is comforting to know that because of Christ's loving sacrifice for all of our sins, all of our sins are fully forgiven forever.
It is comforting to know that because of Christ's love for us demonstrated in his death, that God no longer is counting our sins against us and remembers them no more.
It is comforting to know that because of his love for us, demonstrated in his death and resurrection, that we are completely righteous before God, at peace with God, and eternal possessors of eternal life.
It is comforting to know that not only did Jesus lovingly pay our sin penalty through his death, but that he rose again, ascended to heaven, and now his Spirit permanently lives in us to shed abroad in our hearts how wide, long, high, and deep is his love for us.
It is comforting to know we are loved unconditionally by Jesus on our good and bad days, through our ups and downs, and in our messes and success.
For the church in Philippi to fulfill their purpose of shining the light of God's love into the city of Philippi, Paul knew they must have a revelation of the love of Christ for them and be reminded of it.
If you have never come to understand the deep love of Jesus for you, I pray the Spirit of Jesus in you gives you a personal revelation of his love.
If you have forgotten about how much Jesus loves you, I pray you will be reminded of his great love for you.
I pray you are comforted by his love.