The Bible (Scripture) was written down so that we would be able to learn from it. The Bible encourages us to persevere in faith, which gives us hope. One reason God gave us the Scriptures is to provide hope. Paul’s hope is that God would also give us unity so that we may glorify Him.
Paul has effectively used the Old Testament again and again to validate his teachings, as he just did in the previous verse referring to Psalm 69 speaking of Jesus’ willingness to endure the reproach of others. Here he explains one reason why the Old Testament was written and why these ancient texts were preserved: to give us hope. For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Hope is important when we are enduring reproach. Hope comes from being instructed, persevering, and being encouraged by the Scriptures, such as Psalm 69, that points us to Jesus’ example. By them we are taught and spurred on to be confident, putting our hope in God’s word. We are also given great examples of believers who trusted God in their lives and cared for one another. Abraham and Lot, Jonathan and David, and Timothy and Epaphroditus all clearly displayed an attitude of loving, and serving others. Paul asks that God also give the readers of this letter a unified mind with each other, founded on Christ Jesus. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus.
In being united, Paul says with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. When we live in harmony with other believers, we are enabled to glorify God. He created us to live at peace with one another. Believers are made to be unified through the Scriptures, which give us hope, encouragement, and instruction. With this unification, we as believers should with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God of course does not need us in order to be glorified. “Glory” in Scripture is used to describe an observed object having its true essence shine forth to the observers. For example, in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he mentions that the sun, earth, and moon each have “glory” but their glory differs because their essence differs (1 Corinthians 15:40-41). The heavens and all of creation continually declare the glory of God because all that is made reflects His image (Psalm 19). The amazing opportunity believers enjoy is to show the essence of God by showing God’s love towards us, when we copy Jesus’ example by loving others in our daily lives. If we serve as Jesus serves, we have the hope of pleasing God as Jesus pleased God (Philippians 2:9; 1 Peter 5:6).
4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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