If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love,
if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
The second half of the sentence is found in verse two. Together, these two verses give us a conditional responsibility. “Fulfil ye my joy.” Paul desired for the family of God to be unified in its love for each other and its service to God. There are two interesting words in verse one, if and therefore. If is a word that establishes the condition. It is used in the sense of forasmuch or since. Therefore ties together the final thoughts of chapter one to what is being discussed in the beginning of chapter two. A casual reading will inform us that the unity of the family of God is the subject matter. Because of what God has given us, we strive together for the faith of the gospel. God is glorified when the church is unified. Here is what He has given us.
- Consolation — alleviation of misery or distress of the mind
No one who has ever accepted Christ as their Savior could say that He has not given them consolation.
Consolation speaks to what we have in God the Son.
Everyone in the world wants to be loved. Man’s love has limitations but God loves with an everlasting love. Comfort of love speaks to what we have in God the Father.
We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He is our proof that what God has promised is real and will come to pass. No matter what we experience in this life, the Holy Ghost reminds us who we are and what God has done for us. Fellowship speaks to what we have in God the Holy Spirit.
Bowels and mercies is a phrase used to describe the deep seated compassion that identifies with another’s distress. We are all children of God because someone had compassion on us, loved us, and showed us the importance of trusting Christ. This Hebrew phrase used by Paul speaks to what we have in God’s people.
It is clear. God has truly done great things for us. Because of all He has done, and because of all He has given to us, we need to love each other and serve Him together. This world needs to see the family of God exactly for what it is – A FAMILY. “Fulfil ye my joy”