So by whatever [appeal to you there is in our mutual dwelling in Christ, by whatever] strengthening and consoling and encouraging [our relationship] in Him [affords], by whatever persuasive incentive there is in love, by whatever participation in the [Holy] Spirit [we share], and by whatever depth of affection and compassionate sympathy,
[L Therefore,] ·Does your life in Christ give you strength? [L If there is any encouragement in Christ…] ·Does his love comfort you? [L …if any comfort from (his) love…] ·Do we share together in the Spirit? [L …if any fellowship/sharing of the Spirit…] ·Do you have mercy and kindness? [L …if any mercy/affection and kindness/compassion…]
1 He exhorteth them above all things, 3 to humility, 6 and that by the example of Christ. 19 He promiseth to send Timothy shortly unto them, 26 and excuseth the long tarrying of Epaphroditus. If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any compassion and mercy,
Now if your experience of Christ’s encouragement and love means anything to you, if you have known something of the fellowship of his Spirit, and all that it means in kindness and deep sympathy, do make my best hope for you come true! Live together in harmony, live together in love, as though you had only one mind and one spirit between you. Never act from motives of rivalry or personal vanity, but in humility think more of each other than you do of yourselves. None of you should think only of his own affairs, but should learn to see things from other people’s point of view.
Is there any such thing as Christians cheering each other up? Do you love me enough to want to help me? Does it mean anything to you that we are brothers in the Lord, sharing the same Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic at all?
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
If, therefore, there is any idud (encouragement) in Moshiach, if any nechamah (comfort) of ahavah (love), if any deveykus (attachment to G-d) in the Messianic chavrusashaft (association) of the Ruach Hakodesh, if any warmth of affection and rachamanut (compassion, mercy),
If you find any comfort from being in the Anointed, if His love brings you some encouragement, if you experience true companionship with the Spirit, if His tenderness and mercy fill your heart; then, brothers and sisters,