Psalm 118:19-29; Jeremiah 33:1-9; Philippians 2:12-18 (read online ⧉)
Through Jeremiah, God is promising restoration of Jerusalem. This is not “just” spiritual restoration, but physical restoration, as well. As we read the passage, it would seem that God is going to do this regardless of the state of the hearts of the people. However, there is a very strong implication that their restoration and salvation occur with their repentance. While God does the work of restoration, they need to unbend their hearts and mind, repenting of the wickedness that caused God to turn his eyes away from his beloved.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul notes that the Philippians have their own tasks to do. Paul tells the Philippians to obediently submit to God, who is actively working in them in regard to their salvation. The similarity between the Philippians and the Israelites shouldn’t be ignored. Both groups often reflect our own nature and character. As such, they both (as do many people in the Scriptures) act as a mirror suitable for self-reflection.
Paul tells the Philippians that they are to be “of one mind”, not arguing with one another. Paul is alluding to the murmuring that the people of Israel did, which got them into so much trouble with God, from the Red Sea to entering the Promised Land. Paul wants the Philippians to not be those people who become so obsessed with “their way” that they forego the right ways of God and thereby setting aside their salvation by not cooperating with God (and each other) who is working in them and their progressive sanctification.
1. Why does Paul concern himself with the Philippians being of one mind?
2. Why do you think being “of one mind” affects one’s salvation?
3. If it was you, how would you address the Philippians? How about the Israelites (as in Jeremiah)? In both cases, think of ways to say it as if they did not believe in God or Jesus.