Summary: Christ is the perfect example to his church of unity, love, and humility.
Complete My Joy
Today’s text is Philippians chapter 2:1-11. Turn there in your Bibles if you would.
As you are turning there I would like to ask the question: what makes a good church? One person responds to that question this way:
In a good church:
All the lazy folks will get up,
And all the sleeping folks will wake up,
And all the discouraged folks will cheer up, And all gossiping folks will shut up,
And all the dishonest folks will ‘fess up,
And all the estranged folks will make up,
And all the disgusted folks will sweeten up,
And all the lukewarm folks will fire up,
And all the dry bones will shape up,
And all the sanctified folks will show up,
And all the leading folks will pay up,
And all the true soldiers will stand up,
According to this person, a good church will wake up, pray up, sing up, teach up, stay up, and never give up, back up, or shut up until the cause of Christ is built up.
That’s a humorous way of describing a good church. And you know, if we asked 10 different people that same question we are likely to get 10 different responses. And I want to answer the question, ‘what makes a good church?’ from our text this morning. And you might say, ‘Pastor, the last time I checked, the word “church” isn’t in Philippians 2:1-11.’ And you’d be right. But Paul here is addressing the individuals of the church at Philippi. And as we will see he is going to give them instruction on how to be Christ-like. Now a good church is a Christ-like church. And in order for a church to be Christ-like, it has to be filled with Christ-like people. And so I want us to see from our text this morning that a Christ-like body of believers will be unified, loving, and humble. A Christ-like body of believers will be unified, loving, and humble. Follow along as I read Philippians chapter 2:1-11.
[Read Philippians 2:1-11]
Here we have the Apostle Paul giving instruction as to how to have the same mind as Christ. He’s telling the Philippians how to be Christ-like. And he tells them several things. First, Paul encouraged unity within the body.
[Paul encouraged unity within the body.]
Look again at verses 1-2.
In other words, ‘If all of these things are true; if Christ has come alongside you, and is your comfort and your reason for comforting others in love, and if you have fellowship with God by the Spirit of God, and if you have true genuine affection for the body and for me [me being Paul]; if these things are true, then complete my joy by being of the same mind.’
You see Paul’s personal joy was linked to whether or not the believers in Philippi were unified. He exhorts them to ‘be of the same mind’ and to be ‘in full accord and of one mind.’ And the two phrases convey similar ideas but they do have different nuances. The phrase ‘be of the same mind’ simply means to ‘think in the same way’. And to be ‘in full accord and of one mind’ conveys the idea of being ‘intent on the same purpose.’ So we get the idea here that we are not just talking about looking like we’re one on the outside. It’s an inward state of mind. We are focused around one purpose and that is the unity of the body for the sake of the gospel.