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Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:1-4
What Unity Looks Like
1. Phil. 2:1-2: Because of our spiritual blessings in Christ (1:1), Paul urges saints to fill up his joy by being united with the same mind (purposes and motives), harmonious treatment, and relations (2:2).
2. Necessary traits that enable and enhance our unity, Phil. 2:3-5. What unity in Christ looks like in real life.
I. BASIC REQUIREMENTS OF UNITY IN CHRIST MUST EXIST.
A. Unity is in Christ (not ourselves), John 17:20-23.
1. The truth of Christ is the basis of our unity with God and one another, not the words of men.
-The blessing of unity is scriptural, reasonable, and attainable.
B. Unity Results from Our Fellowship with Christ, 1 Cor. 1:9-10.
1. This unity is commanded and described.
2. Agreement with God – Agreement with each other (1 John 1:3).
C. We Are Called to Live with the Attitudes that Protect Our Unity with Peaceful Bonds, Eph. 4:1-3.
II. UNITY LOOKS LIKE HUMILITY IN HEART AND TREATMENT OF EACH OTHER, Phil. 2:3.
A. Evil Motives Delay, Diminish, and Destroy Unity.
1. Selfish ambition (faction, asv): “denotes ambition, self-seeking, rivalry, self-will being an underlying idea in the word; hence denotes party-making…derived from erithos, a hireling; hence the meaning of seeking to win followers” (Vine, II:68).
a. Ex. Lining up supporters, power-plays, factions (3 John 9).
b. Fruit of envy and produces strife, Phil. 1:15-16 (James 3:14).
c. Refuse factious after first and second warning, Titus 3:10-11.
2. Conceit (vainglory, asv): “groundless self-esteem, empty pride…adj., glory without reason, conceited…eager for empty glory” (Thayer, 343)
a. Caused by and companion of selfish pride.
b. Warning of potential danger, Gal. 5:26, 14-15.
B. Humility is a Sense of Our Smallness When Compared to Others (unselfishness), 1 Sam. 15:17 (9:21).
1. “Equality and oneness in Christ involves a relationship in which all are looked up to and no one is looked down upon.”
2. Humility serves and unites, 1 Pet. 5:5.
C. We are Humble When We Hold Others as More Important than Ourselves.
1. Examples: Jesus, Matt. 20:28; Husbands, Eph. 5:25.
2. For us to receive each other, Mark 9:33-37.
3. Yield to each other before serving ourselves, Eph. 5:21 (Acts 4:32, 34-35); cf. Jesus, John 13:14-17.
1. Unity is not easy, but possible, Eph. 4:1-3. Requires constant attention (not assumption).
2. Unity among God’s people is a tremendous blessing, Psalm 133:1:
a. To each other (the church), Eccl. 4:9-12 (Eph. 4:13-16).
b. To the world, John 17:21.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted August 25, 2021