"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others".There is nothing worse than a Christian or a Church that is inward focused
1. Inward focused people only care about themselves.
2. They only help others if it's going to benefit themselves.
3. They are only focused on me...if you listen to them talk it's me, me, me....
4. They become boring after a while.
Paul says in verse3, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others".
The word encourages us to not only think about ourselves but to consider others in our decisions. Not only inward but also outward focused.
When you are also outward focused;
1. You care if a brother or sister is in need and you offer your help.
2. If a brother or sister need's a ride to church you may even go out of your way to make sure they make it to church.
3. If someone is sick you pray but also offer your help.
4. You go out of your way to make visitors comfortable in the church.
5. You care that other's need's are being met not only yours.
1. We are encouraged to meet others needs when we are united with Christ because that's the primary focus of the gospel. So Paul says in verse 1, "If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ".
*Matt. 28:19 "make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to be observing all [things], as many as I commanded you*.
2. We can truly love others when we are comforted by Christ's love. Paul says:."if any comfort from his love".
- In the light of this we start understanding that we may not be that lovable but he loved us enough to put His life on the line and die. "We love Him because He first loved us"
3. Tenderness and compassion towards others only comes as we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
Paul says, "if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, (2)then make my joy complete by being like-minded"
- Having fellowship with the Holy Spirit breed's tenderness and compassion and call sort's of other good stuff like the ones found in *Galatians 5:22-26, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, a quiet mind, kind acts, well-doing, faith, Gentle behavior, control over desires: against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have put to death on the cross the flesh with its passions and its evil desires. If we are living by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us be guided. Let us not be full of self-glory, making one another angry, having envy of one another".
4. Our joy is complete in Christ when we are the body of Christ. Each one doing their function with only one purpose in mind. verse 2, "then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose".