May All Divisions Cease

Philippians 2:1–2

In this lab, John Piper reminds us that Jesus did not die so that we could merely tolerate one another. He died so that we would cherish one another.

Some questions to ask as you read and study Philippians 2:1–2:

  1. Do you value unity among the family of Christ? How does that express itself?
  2. Why might Paul include “complete my joy” instead of just going straight to the commands in Philippians 2:1–2?
  3. Reflect on the glorious realities of Philippians 2:1. How can these motivate you to pursue greater oneness with the body of Christ?

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Principle for Bible Reading

Look for Sequences in Lists

Often, when we see lists in the Bible, like the list of benefits found in Christ in Philippians 2:1, we might assume that there isn’t any connection between the items on the list (and there may not be). But by assuming that no sequence exists, we may pass over insights we might have found had we paused and asked whether any relationship existed between the items.

The first step for identifying whether a sequence exists consists in defining each item on the list. Knowing how each item differs from the rest helps us observe any patterns or progressions. After defining the terms, ask whether the items on the list progress or can be categorized in some way.