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Christian Unity

Philippians 2:1-11, Psalm 133:1-3, Andrew Love, November 11, 2018

Sermon Notes:


  • Paul is giving a classic statement on unity
    • Phil 2
    • Eph 4
  • Paul is very thankful for the believers (1:3-4)
    • The people are in unity
    • There is hardly a word of correction
    • There are many commendations
  • However, there is the concern over unity
    • There is a problem with two women
    • He addresses this matter in Philippians
    • v2 - Paul wanted his joy to be complete - he wanted them to be completely united
    • Quote from John MacArthur
  • Unity is so important (and was Paul's desire)
    • Rom 15:5-6
    • 1 Cor 1:10
    • 2 Cor 13:11
    • Eph 4:3-6
  • Unity often needs to be brought to the Church
    • It is a needed message for the Church as the devil will always seek to disrupt God's people
    • Consider Jesus' prayer
    • We are really united this has a huge impact on the world around us
  • Overview
    • Meaning of Unity
    • Motives of Unity
    • Marks of Unity

Meaning of Unity

  • The world defines unity as the brotherhood of man
    • The world expects this of the Church
    • This philosophy will never work as it does not deal with the fundamental issues that disunite
  • What is unity?
    • Biblical truth tells us why man hates man - because of sin
    • It tells us how we can be united with one another - only if we are united with God
    • The heart of the Bible is the message of reconciliation at the cross
    • We find peace with God and one another
  • If you are reconciled to one another, you still have to work hard to preserve unity
    • Paul is writing to a doctrinally sound church
    • 4:1 - there is no heresy in this church, it is a joy and crown
    • 4:15 - this is an exemplary church
    • Yet there are dangers of disunity
  • We may be doctrinally sound yet disunity can come
    • Examples
    • The devil attacks where the church is active
  • Unity is about your relationship with God
    • If you are right with God - you are right with others

Motives of Unity

  • v1 - Consolation of Christ, comfort of love, fellowship of the Spirit, affection & mercy
    • Not an 'if' of doubt but a since, a because, a therefore
  • Consolation of Christ
    • Consider the promises of Christ
    • Consider the consolations and encouragements of Christ
    • Paul addresses the issue tenderly
  • Comfort of love
    • If Christ has loved us so, we should love others the same
    • Examples
  • Fellowship of the Spirit
    • 1 Cor 6 - our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit
    • We ought not to grieve the Holy Spirit
  • Affection and mercy
    • The Holy Spirit has worked in us sympathy and affection for each other
    • God wants us to bear for, feel for and carry the load for each other
  • Recap
    • It all goes back to our relationship with God
  • A fifth motive - to fulfill Paul's joy

Marks of Unity

  • Like-minded
    • The Bible speaks of unity - pulling together
    • We are on the same team and must pull together
    • We are able to speak our mind and work out our differences - but not in a way the divides or puts others down
    • Example of a choir singing from the same song sheet
    • We have a common standard - the Bible
    • Let us remain mature
  • The same love
    • We do not stop loving one another
    • Respond in grace and love
  • Being of one accord
    • We read of the early church being of one accord - in prayer, of one soul, totally united
    • One soul
  • One mind
    • Being of one purpose
    • Example of tuning a piano
    • We are to be tuned to Jesus Christ
    • We are to have the mind of Christ (v5)
      • We need to be humble like Jesus Christ
  • Unity can be restored
    • Examples
    • Pray for each other

Closing Remarks

About Andrew Love: Pastor at Tabor Church

Sermon Passage:

Philippians 2:1-11

1If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (KJV)

Psalm 133:1-3

1Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (KJV)

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