1. Even in good churches and good Christian families you often find folks who have differences with each other; such was the case with the church at Philippi
2. How does Paul approach the task of trying to make peace between Euodia and Syntyche?
a. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are supposed to be peacemakers - Matthew 5:9
b. Let us learn what we can about the art of making peace
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 impossible
b. The peacemaker's advice and counsel will be open to suspicion
4. 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.
A. IN THE CASE OF PAUL
1. Note the use of the verb implore (KJV, beseech)
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, etc.
c. 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 equally
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 your advice will not tainted with any accusation of bias
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 - Philippians 1:27; 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 an 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 - Philippians 2:2-5
C. 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.
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!
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 - Revelation 3; 13; 17; 20; 21; 22
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 learning more about the art of making peace, we may be useful to the Lord when called upon to bring divided people together!
-- Don Treadway, January 2009 --