HAVING THE SAME LOVE
Now we come to Philippians chapter two. The first verse says, "If there be therefore any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions" (Gk.). It took me more than thirty years to understand this verse. Verse 2 indicates that in saying all this, the Apostle Paul was begging the saints in Philippi to make his joy full. Paul seemed to be saying, "Please make my joy full. Do you have a tender heart? Do you have compassion toward me? Your strife and rivalry have made me sorrowful. If you do have tender mercies, if you have encouragement and trust, if you have some comfort of love toward me, if you have any fellowship of spirit with me, please make my joy full."
Verse 2 says, "Fulfill ye my joy, that ye think the same thing, having the same love, one in soul, thinking the one thing" (Gk.). In this verse Paul was beseeching the Philippians to think the same thing and to have the same love. We should not have special friendships, but have the same love toward one another. In his latter years, the Apostle Paul, who was soon to be poured out to the Lord as a drink offering, was asking the Philippians to make his joy full by having the same love toward everyone. If Paul had heard that the Philippians had the same love, he would have been very happy. But because they had a different love for various people, he was sorrowful, for that kind of love caused them to lose the oneness and to be out of the fellowship of the gospel.
ONE IN SOUL
Verse 2 also speaks of being one in soul. To be one in soul means to be one in our affection, love, thought, and decisions. Such oneness is very practical. If we want to experience Christ, we need to be one in soul. If we are not one in our affections, thoughts, and decisions, we are not one in soul. As long as we are not one in soul, we are not in the fellowship of the gospel.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)