Week 4 – Forgiveness

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his
love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy
complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do
nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2:1-4

In these verses, Paul tells us what our love for one another looks like in practice. Before we go
too much further, we need to consider what this love really is, because it has nothing to do with
our emotions or feelings, after all how can an emotion be commanded? The English language
Lacks the vocabulary to make distinctions between different kinds of love. For example, the love a
person has for a spouse is of a different sort than the love they might have for a child, a sibling,
their country or for pizza. Greek, the original language of the New Testament, on the other hand,
has five different words that reflect five different kinds of love, and the one used in all of these
verses is the word agape, which is a godly and totally selfless love that puts the other first in all
things. It has nothing to do with feelings, but rather involves a conscious decision to put others
first.

Notice Paul’s emphasis on “being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of
one mind.” This is what our love for others should be like. Going further, he says, “. Do nothing
out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not
looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Can you see the
concepts of selflessness and humility at work here? Our love for one another must be selfless in
its nature, because it is the exact opposite of “selfish ambition” and “vain conceit”. Our love for
one another needs to be like the love that Jesus showed for us; He is our role model. Paul went
on to describe our new attitude in the rest of this passé:

Read Philippians 2:5-11 now and note
that after He humbled Himself and completed His mission on earth in perfect obedience to the
Father, He was rewarded with glory and honor.

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