Summary: Knowing persecution can cause an attitude of insecurity, cliques and disharmony, Paul calls for the church to be in one accord, harmony, and humility, following the example of Christ himself.
A. Thus Far in Series of Philippians
Last week, we saw that just as Paul was being persecuted from a false tongue, so the Philippian congregation was being persecuted the same way.
Paul’s advice to the church was to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
In these 2 verses, he gave 3 Charges: 1- Stand firm in One Spirit, 2- Stand as ONE, and to 3- Stand Firm knowing that God will prevail.
Verses 27-28 setup chapter 2:
Our Tongue should prove our heart – our ATTITUDE – is different BECAUSE WE BELONG TO CHRIST.
Paul wanted unity so they could carry on the ministry of the gospel & to stand firm knowing that God Was In Control.
And he shows that the only way for the body of Christ to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of Christ was to HAVE THE ATTITUDE OF CHRIST!
Verse 1 – Shows 4 Results from “Being United With Christ”
Verse 2 – Shows 4 “Goals for Harmony” in the Church
Verses 3-5 – Calls for a Humble Spirit – An Attitude such as Christ!
READ FULL PASSAGE
I. RESULTS FROM BEING ‘UNITED WITH CHRIST’ (Verse 1)
READ VERSE 1
a. “if” – Paul is NOT stating doubt but rather a strong affirmation.
The key thought here is not a question of IF but rather the result from being united with Christ.
Better wording: “SINCE YOU ARE UNITED WITH CHRIST” – WHAT?
4 RESULTS From “Being United With Christ”
1. “ENCOURAGEMENT” - When Jesus was talking to His disciples preparing them for His leaving, He used the same word in describing the Holy Spirit.
John 14:16 (NIV)
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor (Comforter) to be with you forever--
Word translated in the Greek is the same word Paul used here. It’s describes ‘one coming along side urgently’ (do NOT expand)
Being UNITED WITH CHRIST brings the ENCOURAGEMENT of knowing another is coming ALONG YOUR SIDE URGENTLY!
2. “COMFORT FROM HIS LOVE” – Does Christ’s work on the cross bring you comfort?
1 John 4:16 (NIV)
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
Does your comfort in Christ allow you to give that same comfort to another? (if we don’t live in love, then GOD IS NOT in us)
3. “FELLOWSHIP IN SPIRIT” – We saw the gift of the H.S. to bring a helper along one’s side. But for what PURPOSE is the H.S.?
1st Individually – A deposit until the Lord Jesus comes to claim His church.
Ephesians 1:13b-14 (NIV)
13 …Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession”
His job is to prepare you for presentation! To help you realize perfection!
John 14:26 (NIV)
26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
2nd As A Church - ALL Believers are also UNITED by that Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:13 (NIV)
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body…
1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV)
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
APPL: God created the church, Jesus paid for the church, and the H.S. ADMINISTERS AND PROTECTS the church – INTO ONE BODY!
4. “TENDERNESS & COMPASSION” –
a. ‘tenderness’ refers to sensitivity of others’ needs.
b. ‘compassion’ refers to sympathy toward another with a desire to help.
Acts 4:32 (NIV)
32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.
SUMMARY: What are the Results of ‘BEING WITH CHRIST’?
Being with Christ brings “Encouragement, Comfort, fellowship, compassion”
But as AWESOME as that is – on our own we are so VULNERABLE. Standing up to the conniving ways of Satan can really catch us off guard.
Storms still can be so alone and so long. Persecutions, struggles that seem to make no sense and go so long on our own can really BE SO ALONE!
Paul, knowing the church was struggling from persecution now teaches the importance of “HARMONY IN THE CHURCH” and now suggests 4 GOALS FOR HARMONY in the church.
II. GOALS FOR HARMONY in the Church (Verse 2)
READ VERSE 2
1. “being like-minded”
Does that mean that being in the church means you will never disagree?