What is unity and what does it look like? What is its nature and essence? In Philippians 2.2a, Paul makes a very strong and personal appeal. The Philippian church could make my joy complete, by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord, and being of one mind. In today’s lesson, we will examine each one of these distinct qualities of congregational unity.
I. Philippians 2.2b – Be of the Same Mind:
- 2.2b – be of the same mind.
- NIV: That you be like minded. A key to unity is thinking alike.
- Same thought is found in 1 Corinthians 1.10 – have the same judgment. Unity comes when believers think alike.
- This goes beyond doctrine. What is in view is an attitude, mindset, or disposition. See Philippians 2.5; 3.15; 3.19.
- How do we get here?
- Romans 8.4-5 – Think with the Spirit.
- Romans 12.3 – Think with sober judgment.
- Romans 15.5 – Live in such harmony with one another…
- We have to get lifted out of self. Conflict is always the result of a sinful attitude.
- We have to put on the mind of Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 2.16 – We can have a mind for spiritual things.
- 2 Corinthians 13.11 – it’s a mark of spiritual maturity. See also Colossians 3.2.
- How do we get there? See Colossians 3.12-16.
II. Philippians 2.2c – Have the Same Love:
- 2.2c – having the same love… This means to love everyone the same.
- Romans 12.10 – love one another with brotherly affection…
- 1 John 3.17-18 – “Love begins when someone else’s needs are more important than my own.” Love acts in behalf of someone else’s needs.
- Again, attitude is in view. Conflict always arises over attitude.
III. Philippians 2.2d – Be in Full Accord:
- 2.2d – being in full accord… NASU: united in spirit. Greek: “one-souled.”
- Think soul-brother or soul-sister.
- This is two or more people knit together deeply down – in complete harmony of the soul. Passions, desire, and ambitions are all the same.
- Don’t be a spirit quencher – be an encourager.
IV. Philippians 2.2e – Be Of One Mind:
- 2.2e – be of one mind. NASU: be intent on one purpose. To “mind one thing.”
- What purpose? To be like Jesus. That’s what disciples do.
- This all begins with having the true estimate of oneself: Romans 12.1-3.
- Have you been transformed?