Presentation on theme: "Unity Philippians 2:1-11. Christ prayed for it "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that."— Presentation transcript:
Christ prayed for it "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23) Paul addresses it in the epistles
Exalts Christ – founded on him alone. 21st Century church needs a rigorous unity. Proclaims the gospel – shows we’re his disciples. Christ exalting, gospel proclaiming unity
The Philippian problem When unity is lost over secondary issues the gospel is undermined. false teaching (3:1-4) disagreement between 2 women (4:2) A primary & a secondary issue Devil is subtle, he often attacks through secondary issues driven by personal preferences.
Unity: Christ exalting, gospel proclaiming 1. Founded upon Christ our salvation 2. Characterised by our purpose 3. Maintained through our humility
1. Founded upon Christ our salvation i.Unity with Christ ii. Comfort from Christ’s love "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)
1. Founded upon Christ our salvation i.Unity with Christ ii. Comfort from Christ’s love iii. Fellowship of the spirit iv. Tenderness and compassion Don’t add to it or take away from it
Characterised by our purpose Four overlapping characteristics of true unity i. United in mind: Lit. thinking the same - unanimity in spirit & purpose ii. United in love: Love creates that oneness of soul, outlook & purpose. iii. United in spirit: Lit. being one in soul iv. United in purpose. Lit ‘intent on one purpose’ or ‘thinking one thing’.
There’s room for disagreement in true unity: ‘Unlikely that any two believers would be able to agree entirely but if genuinely united in spirit (or any of the others) they will not allow inconsequential differences to divide them or hinder the gospel progress.’ “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.” (Phil 1:27-28)
Maintained through our humility i. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit “Discord and division are inevitable when people focus on their agendas to the exclusion of others in the church. Often such a narrow focus arises out of genuine passion for an important ministry. But disregard of fellow believers, no matter how unintentional, is a mark of loveless, sinful indifference that produces pride, jealousy, contention, strife and the other enemies of spiritual unity.” (Mac Arthur) Three instructions:
ii. In humility (lowliness of mind) consider others better than yourself Word speaks of the mind & slaves iii. Don’t just look to your own interest but also for others
Our example: 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! (Phil 2:5-8)
Unity: Christ exalting, gospel proclaiming Christ must be at the centre The foundation The example The message Strive to keep & strengthen the unity within the church Must not allow small differences to keep us from a broader church unity
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:9-11)