Summary: Part 4 of a series on Philippians focusing on the formula for unity.
The Joy of Unity
A. The Glass Beaker
1. A professor was demonstrating the durability of tempered glass.
a) Holding a beaker by the neck the professor pounded a nail into a piece of wood.
b) Much to the surprise of everyone in the class that beaker did not break or chip.
c) The external glass on the beaker was tempered to the point that is could drive a nail into the wood.
2. Weakness in the Beaker
a) The professor then placed the beaker on a stand with the bottom of the beaker exposed.
b) The professor then took a small, yet dense, marble of steel and dropped it into the bottom of the beaker.
c) The bottom of the beaker shattered.
B. A Unified Church
1. There is no greater entity in the world than a unified church.
a) Well equipped to fend off outside attacks.
b) Filled with peace and harmony on the inside.
2. There is nothing more frustrating than a divided and splintered church.
a) Most local churches are destroyed from within.
b) A small force of strife and division will kill a church quicker than any large amount of outward persecution.
3. Most churches do well protecting themselves from outward.
a) Far too many neglect to take care of internal strife.
b) In Philippians 2:1-4, Paul teaches us about the joy of unity.
c) Paul brings forth five keys to a joyful and united church.
II. The Joy of Unity
A. Consolation in Christ (2:1a)
1. The word consolation in this verse means, to be encouraged and comforted.
a) In Christ the Sufferer, we find great love – Psalm 22
b) In Christ the Shepherd, we find great comfort – Psalm 23
c) In Christ the Sovereign, we find encouragement – Psalm 24
d) In Christ the Savior, we find hope – 1 Timothy 1:1
2. Notice the Key is “In Christ”
a) In Christ implied being baptized into His death – Galatians 3:27-28
b) In Christ implies walking in His light – 1 John 1:7
c) In Christ implies having his mind – Philippians 2:5
d) In Christ implies He dominates us – John 3:30
e) What comfort and encouragement we have when we are truly in Christ and He is in us.
B. Communion of the Spirit (2:1b)
a) Walk in the Spirit (5:16) – Our actions
b) Led by the Spirit (5:18) – Our direction (Psalm 119:105)
c) Produce the Fruit of the Spirit (5:22-23) – Our attitude
d) Live in the Spirit (5:25) – Or manner of life
2. We share all things in Christ.
a) In fellowship with Christ, through obedience to the word – John 15:14
c) Demonstrated through our actions toward God – Acts 2:42
d) Demonstrated through our action toward one another – Acts 2:44-45
C. Compassion (2:1c)
1. The meaning of compassion
a) The Greek term that is translated compassion or affection literally refers to the organs of the intestines.
b) It is the root word of our English word spleen.
c) The ancient Greeks considered the intestine to be the center of emotion.
d) It carries with it the idea of being moved from deep within.
2. This compassion is at the heart of unity and joy.
a) It is that which motivates us to reach outwardly – Luke 10:33-34
b) It is that which allow prompts us to look inwardly at ourselves – 2 Corinthians 13:5
3. Christians cannot be Christ-like without exhibiting true compassion.
a) When attempting to maintain unit in the church, we must be compassionate and merciful.
b) President Reagan said in regard to an incident with Iran (compensation for victims of Flight 290), “I don’t ever find compassion a bad precedent.”
D. Cooperation (2:2)
1. There are three keys to cooperation found in this verse.
2. Being Like-Minded
a) All people having the mind of Jesus – Philippians 2:5
b) Romans 12:16 – “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.”
c) All putting our minds on the things that are above – Colossians 3:1-2
3. Having the Same Love
a) Love for God – Mark 12:30
b) Love Man – Mark 12:31
c) Love for the Word – Psalm 119:97
d) Love for the Church – Ephesians 5:25
e) Love for the Lost – Luke 19:10
f) Love for brethren – 1 Peter 2:17, 4:8
4. Being of One Accord
a) Having the same goals – Philippians 3:12-14