Summary: sermon on Christain unity
You all remember the show that had Mr. Professor on it or was it Mr. Wizard, I don’t know. Anyway one of those shows had this guy on it who took a glass beaker with which had a small neck, and then it came down and enlarged to about seven inches or so below the neck. The guy took this beaker and began to use it as a hammer, driving this nail into a board. It was amazing that the glass did not break at all as he pounded in the nail.
The glass was so tempered that the beaker would not break. The man then took a small steel marble of bearing about the size of a pea and holding it at the neck of the beaker dropped it inside. When it hit the bottom the glass shattered.
This is kind of like the Church of the Lord Jesus. When perfectly united and tempered together in love it can with stand the heaviest of blows for the outside. But just a small force from the inside can wreck havoc on it. Most local churches are destroyed not from without but from within.
And this as we shall see was a concern of Paul’s toward the Philippian church. And it is still a concern of any pastor who loves his church. The church must be unified. The unity of the believer is as we shall see of the utmost importance.
Let’s turn to our verse today as we look at Christian Unity. Philippians chapter 2 verse 1-4;
"Therefore if there is any con-sol-a-tion in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."
Here Paul address the need for Christian unity. If you look at the passage you will notice three graces which God gives to us that will work towards that unity. Verse 2 basically speaks of the oneness of the believers in Christ. Verse 3 speaks of the lowliness which the believer is to have if there are any hopes of unity. And verse 4 speaks of the helpfulness which believers are to have toward one another.
We need to realize that the church of Christ is to be firs of all theocratic. Which is to say that we are to be run by God. Christ is head of the church, and we are all under Christ. Second of all the church to be socialist in nature. Now growing up as we did in the cold war we tend to view socialism as an evil thing, when actually that is what Christ as in mind for the church.
Socialism basically states that all work together for the good of the whole. And that is how it is to be in the church. We are all part of the body of Christ, and as parts of that we should work toward that good of that body. We should work toward that good of all, for the glory of Christ.
We see how in the secular world that concept does not work out to well because of greed, pride, those who are power hungry. And if you look at the church, that which prevent the church from attaining unity is basically those same things. In others words sin.
There are four things worth noting in this verse which I would like to point out to you.
The first is in this passage we can see Paul’s desire for unity. He really want these people to be unified for a common cause, that of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And he desires this unity for them because he loves them. And because he does love them he wants them to "fulfill his joy" by being united.
It is interesting to notice that Paul’s joy did depend on his own circumstances, but on the circumstances of others. Paul joy was found in seeing these people grow spiritually. His joy was in seeing them be unified for Christ, in working together for the gospel.
Think of our own lives. Think of how when something good happens to someone we love, we are filled with joy. Well that is how it is with Paul, he is filled with joy, at seeing something good happen to these people whom he loves. And that good thing is to see them unified for Christ.
We can notice from this book that the Paul had many joys toward the Philippian people. He was filled with joy when he prayed for them because of how much they loved Paul, he was filled with joy because of the peoples support of Paul, yet with the joy he felt toward them he still felt something was missing.