Four Ways to Maintain Unity

Philippians 2.3-4 tells us four ways unity is maintained or achieved within the spiritual family. Our task will be to move in a forward progression through these verses and then as we conclude, we’ll move back through them in reverse. I’ll make some very personal applications that will challenge you and close with some suggestions on how you can carry through.

I. Philippians 2.3a – Do Nothing from Selfish Ambition:

  1. 2.3a – Do nothing from selfish ambition.
    1. This is referring to self seeking pursuits. See 1.17, 1.15.
    2. Galatians 5.20b-21a – it’s nothing more than a work of the flesh: enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy.
    3. 1 Corinthians 1.10 – Unity comes when believers think alike.
  2. The exhortations in Philippians 2 and 1 Corinthians 1 go far beyond doctrine.
    1. What is in view is an attitude, mindset, or disposition.
    2. See Romans 8.4-5; 12.3; 15.5.
  3. The flesh produces selfishness, which leads to jealousy; strife; conflict; loss of unity.

II. Philippians 2.3b – Do Nothing from Conceit.

  1. 2.3b – or conceit. This is a state of mind that seeks personal glory.
  2. The exhortation here is to remove it. We must eliminate the need for self promotion.

III. Philippians 2.3c – Be Humble.

  1. 2.3c- in humility count others more significant than yourselves. It’s where unity begins.
  2. “Humility” was the word was used to describe the mentality of a slave.
  3. How do we count others as more significant? Paul looked at his heart – 1 Corinthians 15.9; 1 Timothy 1.15-16

IV. Philippians 2.4a- Look Not only to Your Own Interests:

  1. 2.4a – Let each of you look not only to his own interests,…
    1. “Look” is talking about our aim or goal.
    2. It is important for us to get involved in the lives of others and their cause.

For Application:

  1. James 3.13-18 – what does wisdom look like? It is free from selfish ambition; bitter jealousy; and boasting. What is James telling us here?
  2. Philippians 2.4 – “Interests” is a filler word. YLT: “each not to your own look.”
    1. An application of You shall love your neighbor as yourself, Matthew 22.39.
    2. How can you make the good of others the focus of your life?
  3. Philippians 2.3 – where does the humility in this verse come from? The cross.

Conclusion

  1. 2.5 – Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus.
  2. He died to give you life: 2.6-8

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