Scripture Reference Philippians 4 : 1-3
“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
How can we stand firm in the Lord? According to what Paul says in this letter we need to remember that we are not only citizens of heaven we must also keep our focus on heaven. “Stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!” refers back to what the apostle said in chapter 3.
Now remember that the operative word in the above text is to “stand firm in the Lord”. This too reflects back on our focus. We will be focused on the Lord and subsequently on heaven if we are remaining in the Lord. Now some of us might be wondering how we as Christians can possibly not remain the Lord.
The reality is we, as new creations always have the option to be led by the flesh or to be led by the Spirit, Rom. 8:5-14. The lost sinner has only the option to be led by the flesh, however the prevenient grace of God can be and very well could be active in the life of a sinner in such a way as to convict and to steer the lost toward embracing the truth in Christ Jesus.
You who are saved and reborn have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in you, but you can choose to harden your heart or refuse to listen to God’s leading in your life. This reality bears out in the lives of many believers who struggle almost daily with a sense of defeat.
Paul gives a practical application of the kind of ongoing issues any believer can experience in the above text when he speaks to the conflict between two sisters in Christ. These were reliable, trustworthy women of spiritual integrity who were allowing conflict to drive a wedge between them.
First Paul says that he pleads with them “to be of the same mind in the Lord.” Being of the same mind refers to unity. Unity is a work of the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ. We can try to work unity up through various methods but to experience true unity we need the empowering, enabling, and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Unity is inherent within the Trinity, or Triune Godhead. Jesus’ prayer for the Church was that God would make us one, John 17 : 20-23.
After Paul makes his personal appeal for unity he encourages the other believers to “help these women”. Listen we have an obligation to our Lord and Savior to be peacemakers wherever we go and especially in the Body of Christ! Therefore, where there are divisions in the Church sow peace or unity! How? Through the enabling of the Holy Spirit! Pray first! Look for opportunities to encourage peace. Focus on that which is good and abstain from supporting a divisive or a contentious spirit. If that is brought to you turn away from it and instead speak words of blessing and peace. Overcome evil with good!