"THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS"
The Art Of Making Peace (Ph 4:1-3)
1. Even in "good" churches you often find brethren who have differences
with each other; such was the case with the church at Philippi
2. As Paul continues with various exhortations to the Christian life, at
this point in his epistle he addresses his comments concerning a rift
that apparently existed among two members at Philippi (Ph 4:1-3)
3. How Paul approaches the sensitive task of trying to make peace between
Euodia and Syntyche provides several lessons in the use of tact
a. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to be known as "peacemakers"
b. From Paul, then, let us learn what we can about
"The Art Of Making Peace"
[The first lesson, gleaned from verse one, is...]
I. THE PEACEMAKER MUST LOVE THOSE ON BOTH SIDES (v1)
A. PAUL STARTS OUT BY EXPRESSING HIS LOVE...
1. Note the terms used by Paul...
a. "my brothers"
b. "beloved and longed for"
c. "my joy and crown"
2. Truly Paul loved the people at Philippi!
B. PEACEMAKERS MUST DO THE SAME...
1. They must have sincere love for those on both sides of an issue
2. They must be able and willing to express their love, as did Paul
3. Otherwise, they cannot be useful arbitrators in making peace
a. Loving one side, and not the other, makes impartial judgments
b. The peacemaker's advice and counsel will be open to suspicion
[With mutual love for those on both sides, the peacemaker is in a
position to render a fair evaluation of the problem and the solution.
Next, we see that...]
II. THE PEACEMAKER SHOULD TREAT BOTH SIDES TENDERLY AND EQUALLY (v2)
A. IN THE CASE OF PAUL...
1. Note the use of the verb "implore" (KJV, "beseech") - parakaleo
a. To call to one's side, call for, summon
b. To address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done
in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction,
-- Rather than command, Paul chooses to plead with them
2. Note the repeated and equal use of the verb "implore"
a. "I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche"
b. Rather than take sides, Paul treats them both tenderly and
B. THERE IS A NEED FOR SUCH PEACEMAKERS TODAY...
1. Individuals who will use tenderness and fairness in treating
those in a dispute
2. Again, remaining impartial, so the counsel will not tainted with
any accusation of bias
[The next insight we can glean from Paul in "The Art Of Making Peace"
III. THE PEACEMAKER MUST SEEK FOR ONENESS OF MIND (v2)
A. NOTE PAUL'S OBJECTIVE...
1. That Euodia and Syntyche "be of the same mind in the Lord"
2. A concern of Paul already expressed in this epistle, that there
be - Ph 1:27; Ph 2:2
3. But now applied especially to these two ladies
B. IN MAKING PEACE, THERE MUST BE ONENESS OF MIND...
1. In many "peace agreements", the participants have not truly
reached a oneness of mind, only a compromise
2. Such "agreements" are often only temporary, destroyed when the
remaining differences eventually resurface
3. For Christians, seeking to "be of the same mind in the Lord"
becomes easy if we all strive to have "the mind of Christ"
- Ph 2:2-5
[Not content with only a "cessation of hostilities", the peacemaker
seeks to go much further, dealing with the divisiveness of mind that is
the true cause of the problem.
Note also, that...]
IV. THE PEACEMAKER MUST USE ASSISTANCE WHEN AVAILABLE (v3)
A. PAUL WAS NOT TOO PROUD TO CALL FOR HELP...
1. He sought out the assistance of "Syzygus"
a. Literally, "yoke-fellow, true companion"
b. Possibly his true name, which if so, he was being called upon
by Paul to live up to his name!
2. Paul wanted this individual to help these ladies out
B. PEACEMAKERS WILL GLADLY USE THE HELP OTHERS CAN GIVE...
1. Humble, they do not feel like they have to do it all
2. Aware of others who may be in a position to provide counsel or
other means of help, they will glad utilize them
3. Their goal is to make peace, not a reputation for themselves!
[Finally, we can glean from Paul that...]
V. THE PEACEMAKER MUST SEE THE GOOD AND GIVE CREDIT WHEN DUE (v3)
A. PAUL DID NOT LOSE SIGHT OF WHOSE THESE WOMEN WERE...
1. They had labored with Paul in the gospel
2. They had labored with Clement
3. They had labored with Paul's other fellow-workers as well (who
though unmentioned by name, had their names in the "Book of Life" -
cf. Rev 3:5; Rev 13:8; Rev 17:8; Rev 20:12; Rev 20:15; Rev 21:27; Rev 22:19)
B. SO PEACEMAKERS MUST REMEMBER THE GOOD IN THOSE WITH
WHOM THEY DEAL...
1. It is so easy to forget that those having problems likely have
much good to their credit
2. Recognizing this and giving credit where it is due increases the
likelihood that one's advice will be heeded
1. In a world that is as divided as ours, there is a grave need for those
who can serve as faithful and effective "peacemakers"
2. Hopefully, by considering and applying "The Art Of Making Peace" as
exemplified by the apostle Paul in this passage, we may be useful to
the Lord when called upon to bring divided people together!
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