Monday, October 31, 2011

Oh! How He Loves Us!

Oh! How He Loves Us!

"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 (ESV)

Paul describes the reward, or the conseqence, of being in Christ:

ENCOURAGEMENT: paraklesis (imploration, hortation, solace); from parakaleo (to call near, invite, invoke); from para (near) and kaleo (to call aloud)

COMFORT: paramythion (concrete consolation); from paramythia (abstract consolation); from paramytheomai (to relate near, encourage, console); from para (near) and mythos (a tale, a story of fiction, "myth")

PARTICIPATION: koinonia (partnership, participation, intercourse, benefaction); from koinonos (a sharer, an associate); from koinos (common, shared by all or several, profane)

AFFECTION: splanchnon (the intestine, figurative for pity or sympathy); from splen (the spleen)

SYMPATHY: oiktirmos (pity); from oikteiro (to exercise pity); from oiktos (pity)

Being in Christ means thinking in His mind, acting in His love. Earlier, Paul exhorted the church to stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, without fear even in the midst of suffering. (Philippians 1:27-30)

Faith in the gospel means complete trust and dependence upon the sacrificial work of Christ on our behalf, redeeming us from the doom demanded by our sin, presenting us to God as holy, adopted children in Christ.

The work of Christ in redeeming us is overwhelmingly one of grace, involving God Himself coming near to individual humans, calling to their heart, comforting them with words of forgiveness and new life, sharing His own Spirit with them, filling them inwardly with His affection and compassion for us.

Oh! How He loves us!

Image courtesy of sanja gjenero