Philippians 4:2
I urge Euodia and Syntyche to agree in the Lord.
Sermons
Disagreements of ChristiansE. Foster.Philippians 4:2
Euodias and Syntyche, or the Troublesome TongueF. Hastings.Philippians 4:2
Love and StrifeR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 4:2
Private DifferencesJ. Lyth, D. DPhilippians 4:2
Seek PeaceJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 4:2
Strife Among Christians Often the Result of MistakePhilippians 4:2
Strife Among Christians RuinousM. O. Mackay.Philippians 4:2
The Method of PeacemakingC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 4:2
Union in ChristR. Cecil, M. A.Philippians 4:2
What is Needed by DissentientsR. W. Dale, LL. D.Philippians 4:2
Christian LoveJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
Christian LoveJames Hamilton, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
Christian StabilityC. Hodge, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
Christian SteadfastnessWeekly PulpitPhilippians 4:1-3
Dearly Beloved and Longed ForJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
Love the Gauge of ManhoodH. W. Beecher.Philippians 4:1-3
Ministerial QualificationsJ. Hall, D. D., A. Maclaren, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
Paul an Example of Ministerial Solicitude and AffectionR. P. Buddicom, M. A.Philippians 4:1-3
Stand FastC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 4:1-3
Stand FastC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 4:1-3
Steadfastness in the LordR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 4:1-3
The Bright Side of a Minister's LifeT. De Witt Talmage, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
The Minister's Joy and CrownR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 4:1-3
The Pastor's Joy and CrownJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
The Professional MinisterT. Guthrie, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
The Secret of SteadfastnessS. S. ChroniclePhilippians 4:1-3
The Watchword for Today, Stand FastC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 4:1-3
Unity of Service At PhilippiH. Quick.Philippians 4:1-3
Genuine ChurchismD. Thomas Philippians 4:1-6
Various ExhortationsR. Finlayson Philippians 4:1-7
The Life of Joy and PeaceR.M. Edgar Philippians 4:1-9
A Touching Personal AppealT. Croskery Philippians 4:2, 3
The Healing of DissensionsV. Hutton Philippians 4:2, 3
I exhort Euodias, and I exhort Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

I. WOMEN HELD A LEADING PLACE IN THE CHRISTIAN SOCIETY OF PHILIPPI.

1. It was to women that the apostle first preached the gospel in that Roman town. (Acts 16.) They were the first converts to Christianity in Europe.

2. It was women who first gave hospitable reception to the apostle in a town which never ceased to show him substantial kindness.

3. It was probably owing to the prominence of Christian women at Philippi that the apostle became such a debtor to the most liberal of all the Churches. Their sympathetic natures would initiate and sustain projects of Christian generosity.

II. THE TWO WOMEN HERE ADDRESSED WERE EVIDENTLY INFLUENTIAL MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH.

1. They were ladies of rank, who disiplayed an active zeal for the cause of Christ. Their names appear in the ancient inscriptions. The women of Macedonia held a high social place in that age. These good women helped the apostle in Christian labors, "Inasmuch as they labored with me in the gospel." As women were not allowed to preach (1 Timothy 2:12), it is evident that their service was of a more private kind, either in instructing, the young or, more probably, in instructing female converts who were not accessible to members of the other sex. The order of deaconesses evidently arose out of some necessity of this sort.

2. They had differences of a sort calculated to mar their influence and to shake the faith of converts. The differences were less probably in the way of religious opinion than of methods of religious work. Perhaps a difference of temperament may have put them out of sympathy with each other, and a spirit of rivalry may have led to unseemly dissensions the Church.

3. There is an urgency in the apostolic appeal which displays an anxiety on their account. He says, "I exhort Euodias, and I exhort Syntyche," as if he regarded them both as equally open to censure. He thus addresses his appeal to each individually. He counsels them to find in the Lord the true center of their unity. Let them think as the Lord thinks, do as the Lord does, and submit to his supreme guidance in the sphere of their Christian labors.

4. He appeals to his true yokefellow - whoever he or she may have been - to use his influence to effect a reconciliation between the two ladies. "Yea, I ask thee to assist them, inasmuch us they labored with me in the gospel." There is no more important, though delicate, service than to promote a better understanding between two Christian people whose paths have disagreeably crossed each other.

5. The importance of the case is roundest from the leading place that the apostle assigns to the two ladies, besides "Clement and other my fellow-workers, whoso names are written in the book of life." They held a distinguished place beside these laborers. If Clement was the well-known author of the Epistle to the Corinthians, they are distinguished by association with his venerable name. If the apostle's other fellow-workers are unnamed, they are named in the book of life. This suggestive phrase implies that

(1) salvation is an individual thing, for individual names have their record on high;

(2) that their salvation is an event already fore-ordained; and

(3) therefore absolutely certain. - T.C.







I beseech Euodias and I beseech Syntyche that they be of the same mind in the Lord
1. Two women connected with the Church were at enmity. They were estimable women and active in Christian work; but they differed and scandal ensued.

2. The cause of the quarrel may have been —

(1)Some important point of doctrine;

(2)A trifling difference of opinion; or

(3)Some slight act or careless word.The feminine nature was sensitive, offence was taken, disadvantageous things were whispered of each other; then it became a topic of common conversation, and two parties may have been formed.

3. The apostle in his efforts to check the evil wisely abstained from entering into detail. He knew there were two sides to the question. Hence he entreats them to give up their dissention of their own accord from the love of Christ. Euodias "fragrance" and Syntyche "a talker," may have settled their differences; but they stand as permanent examples of the pettiness of mere bickering, and of the danger that arises from uncontrolled use of the tongue. A man or woman can make the whole of life burdensome to some one else by a malicious tongue,

I. TAKE A FEW INSTANCES OR THE HARM DONE.

1. Socially. A woman may drop a word concerning a neighbour, hinting that she is extravagant or self-indulgent, and she is noticed, shunned, chilled, embittered. Or a workman can drop a hint concerning another whom he dislikes, suggesting that he "does not know his own," or that he is liable to get into much company, or that his work is flimsy, and the man may lose his place and his family their bread.

2. Domestically. Some little article is misplaced on a Sabbath morning, a sharp word is uttered and the family made miserable for the rest of the day.

3. Ecclesiastically. A trifling act or word has often split up a Church, and a slanderous hint whispered about a minister's doctrine or practice which ruins him for life.

4. Religiously. Perhaps the venom of slander is more intense here than anywhere. Under the appearance of anxiety for truth and justice what injury is often done!

5. Internationally. A little thing can kindle a blaze among the nations. A few words by a wanton statesman may start it. Europe is full of explosive materials and the peaceable ever live in danger of having to suffer.

II. THERE IS A PERIOD WHEN A QUARREL CAN BE CHECKED, BUT WHEN ONCE STARTED WHO CAN SAY WHERE IT WILL END? In its earliest stages a fire can be quenched with a pint of water, but when it begins to spread who can set bounds to it? The sin of slander is like a maddened horse or a dry forest on fire. A thoughtless scandalous word goes from one to another gathering as it goes. A snowball rolled in snow gathers garbage and whatever may come in its way, becoming solid by rolling and lasting long after all other snow has melted. So when a gossiping tongue drops a hint a whole area of peace may be destroyed for long.

III. THOSE WHO ARE SO KEEN TO DETECT EVIL IN OTHERS ARE OFTEN THEMSELVES THE MOST GUILTY. The most worthy are often selected as the objects of bitter attacks, just as we find the best fruit is that at which the birds have been pecking.

IV. MOST SLANDER WOULD BE STARVED IF NO ONE FED IT, but so many are glad to hear of evil. There are those who seem to have no other business but to pick up and spread evil reports. They rejoice in a piece of scandal as a raven does in carrion.

V. THE CARELESS TONGUE OFTEN PUNISHES THE POSSESSOR. The tongue may run away with us like a mad horse, and who shall drag us from the dangerous precipice (Proverbs 13:13; Proverbs 21:23).

(F. Hastings.)

I.OFTEN OCCUR.

II.OCCASION MUCH EVIL.

III.REQUIRE GENTLE INTERFERENCE.

IV.ARE BEST SETTLED IN THE LORD.

(J. Lyth, D. D).

I. THE TRANSCENDENT IMPORTANCE OF THE GRACE OF LOVE.

1. It is the evidence of our standing fast in the Lord. God is love, and to be without love is to be without God. Serious differences among Christians display the lack of it. Where Christians are unanimous the Church is invincible; where divided the Church falls to pieces.

2. The law of love was laid down by Christ — "A new commandment give I unto you," etc. Complete attainment is perhaps scarcely attainable here; but a drop may be kindred to the ocean.

3. To the cultivation of this love the greatest importance is attached. "We know that we have passed from death unto life," etc. "By this shall ell men know that ye are My disciples," etc. The observers of the early disciples said, "How they love one another."

II. THE DISSENTION BETWEEN EUODIAS AND SYNTYCHE.

1. Its ground is not mentioned. Perhaps it was something altogether frivolous, for even mature Christians act sometimes like silly children. Perhaps, however, seeing that they were both active they differed about the best modes of carrying on the Lord's work. When people are doing a great work enthusiasm often engenders impatience, and words are uttered that are regretted afterwards.

2. Whatever the ground of their dissention, their wise friend Paul had only one advice to give, "Be of the same mind." This did not mean "have the same views." "In the Lord" suggests remembrance of the important matters on which they were agreed — how utterly unsuited quarrelling or coldness was for those who were united "in the Lord." Christians should agree to differ, and follow out their separate views lovingly and with mutual helpfulness. As there were at first Peter, John, Thomas, Martha, Mary, so there ever will be. Let us imitate the tolerance and catholicity of Christ.

3. Mark the mode of Paul's interference.(1) He makes not the slightest reference to the cause of dissention. In most cases reconciliation is more likely to be effected by letting the matter sleep and die.(2) From his apostleship and relations with the Philippians he might have been "much bold in Christ to enjoin them that which was convenient; yet for love's sake he rather beseeches them."(3) He beseeches them separately, and treats them with exactly the same consideration.(4) He calls in a common friend to help them to a reconciliation (ver. 3), a thoroughly discreet friend of both could do not a little to smooth the way. This is a form of delicate work, and is often shunned; yet none more likely to produce blessed results.

(R. Johnstone, LL. B.)

I. THE PEACE BREAKERS —

1. Have still their representatives.

2. Destroy their own happiness.

3. Disturb the Church.

II. THE PEACEMAKERS.

1. Christ, who gives us one mind and heart.

2. His servants, who gently beseech and point to Him.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

Johnny Morton, a keen burgher, and Andrew Gebbie, a decided anti-burgher in the great Presbyterian controversy, both lived in the same house at opposite ends; and it was the bargain that each should keep his own side of the house well thatched. When the dispute about the principle of their kirks grew hot, and especially the offensive clause of the oath, the two neighbours ceased to speak to each other. But one day they happened to be on the roof at the same time, each repairing the slope on his own side, and when they had worked up to the top, there they were face to face. They couldn't flee: so at last Andrew took off his cap, and, scratching his head, said, "Johnny, you and me I think have been very foolish to dispute as we ha'e done, concerning Christ's will about our kirks, until we had clean forgot His will about ourselves; and so we ha'e fought sae bitterly for what we ca' the truth, that it has ended in spite. Whatever's wrang, it's perfectly certain that it never can be right to be uncivil, unneighbourly, unkind, and in fac' tae hate ane anither. Na, na! that's the deevil's wark and no God's. Noo it strikes me, that may be it's wi' the kirk as wi' this house — ye're working on a'e side and me on t'ither; but if we only do our work weel we will meet at the tap at last. Gie's your han', auld neighbour!" And so they shook hands, and were the best of friends ever after.

(E. Foster.)

What two men want whose ill-temper and mutual distrust are daily becoming worse is a common friend whose hearty affection for both will utterly drive away their evil thoughts. There are people of that kind. Their face, their tone, their gestures, are all "conductors" of a mysterious but most Divine force that is not to be resisted.

(R. W. Dale, LL. D.)

One sure way of peacemaking is to let the fire of contention alone. Neither fan it, nor stir it, nor add fuel to it, but let it go out of itself.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The union of Christians to Christ their common Head, and the means of the influence which they derive from Him, one to another, may be illustrated by the loadstone; it not only attracts the particles of iron to itself by the magnetic virtue, it unites them one among another.

(R. Cecil, M. A.)

Quickly following upon the battle of Chancellorsville, a cry was raised by the rearguard of Stuart's cavalry, "The enemy is upon us." Shots began to be fired in all directions, and the whole army was soon in a panic of fright. The First and Third Virginia Regiments, no longer recognizing each other, charged upon each other mutually: while Stuart's mounted men, generally so brave and so steadfast, no longer obeyed the orders of their officers, and galloped off in great disorder. When at last quiet was restored, the number of wounded was seen to be sadly numerous.

(M. O. Mackay.)

During one of the wars between the English and French, two war vessels met in fearful encounter. It was too dark to distinguish friends from foes; but each supposed itself engaged with the common enemy. When the darkness lifted, both ships were seen flying the English flag. They saluted each other, and grieved sadly over their disastrous mistake.

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