Summary: If the Church is to servive we must be of one mind.
Philippians 2:1-3 March 2, 2008
In Dwight Pentecost’s commentary on the book of Philippians he refers to an occurrence of a church split in Dallas Texas. The church split was so bad that it involved a legal suit of one side of the church against the other over who had the right of owner ship of the church property. The case went all the way to the State Supreme Court. It was dismissed on the grounds that the State Supreme Court was not going to deal with inner church issues but they would have to be dealt with by the denominational church governing body. The matter was finally settled with one side being given the ownership rights to the property. During this period of time a local news paper reporter did some investigating on the cause of this church split. He discovered that it all started during a church dinner. Apparently one of the church elders was offended when the portion of food given to him was not as large as the young person next to him. This whole church split started because someone was offended over such a petty thing.
Before we get to our text in Philippians 2 let’s look back at chapter 1 verse 27
27 Only olet your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, pwith one mind qstriving together for the faith of the gospel,
As we start reading our text we will see that Paul is referring back to verse 27 when he starts out with the word therefore. He is about to elaborate on this idea of conduct worthy of the Gospel.
2 Therefore if there is any 1consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any aaffection and mercy, 2 bfulfill my joy cby being like-minded, having the same love, being of done accord, of one mind. 3 eLet nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but fin lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 gLet each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of hothers.
Therefore if there is any consolation (or encouragement) in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy
Paul is not questioning whether or not there are any of these things in Christ he is saying that because there are these things, consolation in Christ, comfort of love, fellowship of the Spirit, and affection and mercy we should fulfill his joy. Anyone who knows Christ experiences all of these things, so the first question we need to ask is what is his joy? Let’s look at how Paul describes his joy in 1Thess. 2:19-20 19 For kwhat is our hope, or joy, or lcrown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the mpresence of our Lord Jesus Christ nat His coming? 20For you are our glory and joy.
We see from this verse that Paul’s joy is that he will deliver to Christ a body of believers worthy of the King. He is not interested in telling as many people as he can about Christ so that he can offer numbers to God. His joy is in being a faithful teacher so that he can be proud of what he has done. Do not mistake this for vanity. He is proud of “you.” He is not looking for self gain his joy is in seeing the Church presented to Christ.
I once worked with a youth group that would not listen to a thing a said. When I first came to the church they, the youth, told me how they had got rid of their last youth pastor and I wouldn’t last long. These kids where the rudest group of youth I has ever met. They talked during Bible study, they would not show up for any ministry opportunities, and they were terrible in public. In order to try and get them working together I decided to start a youth choir. This was about the time that the song “I Can Only Imagine” came out and that was what we started learning. I am no music leader in the first place, but trying to get them to practice was like pulling teeth. In order to encourage them I scheduled a time for them to sing the song during a Sunday morning service. They still goofed of and played around. I could not even get them to show up for practice, so I started spending our entire class time on Sunday nights practicing with them. The day finally came and I was very nervous. To tell you the truth it wouldn’t have surprised me if they all snuck out the back door, or if they just sat there and stared at me when the music started. When they began to sing I was shocked. They were good. They were worshiping. I was so proud. Not of what I had done, but of what they were doing for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is the joy Paul is speaking about.