In the last several posts we have seen Paul’s relationship with the church at Philippi and the joy that it brought him. In this short post we are going to see how Christ enables this relationship and how he can enable ours. Giving ourselves to theology and disciplines are a vital part of living out our faith. But just as vital is an affection for God that overflows into affection for God’s people. Check out verse seven and eight.
Philippians 1:7-8 Indeed, it is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus
Love For Jesus Equals Affection For People
Paul isn’t simply being overly emotional or sentimental. He isn’t exaggerating to prove a point. Paul even goes so far as to say “For God is my witness…” He wants this church to know that is affection is 100% genuine. In verse 7 he says “I have you in my heart.” He genuinely delights in his friends at Philippi. So much so that in chapter 2:17 he says…
Philippians 2:17 But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrificial service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.
Paul modeled this by willingly giving himself for this church. The church modeled this towards Paul by sacrificing to provide for his financial needs and standing with him while he was suffering. Paul and the Philippians demonstrate what it means to sacrificially love each other and in verse 8 Paul again reminds us of the source of this affection.
…how deeply I miss all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus
Love For People Equals Sacrificial Action
Sacrificial affection flows from the heart of Jesus through his body the church! The word for AFFECTION here is literally translated as bowels or intestines. It’s a metaphor for the innermost part of your being. In Greek culture it was used to describe the more violent passions, such as anger or love. But in Hebrew culture it was used to describe the place of tender affections such as kindness, benevolence, or compassion.1 The point is, this affection is as much physical as it is mental. This is a love that moves the entire inner being. This is the love of Jesus shining through Paul.