Summary: How great it is to live in Jesus in unity, and therefore strive to keep it!
Title: Spiritual Unity
Text: Philippians 2:1
Introduction: What is the greatest thing you can think of about this congregation of God’s people.
‒ We are a caring people toward the sick and hurting.
‒ We have a great care for young people and old alike.
∙ Right now however, the greatest thing about this church is the unity and harmony that exists among us.
**Why is that the case?
‒ The unified staff.
‒ People volunteering for work.
‒ Youth on the move.
**All of these statements are true, but what is the real heart of the matter. UNITY IS IN A VERY REAL SENSE UNITY BECAUSE OF OUR UNITY IN JESUS CHRIST!
**You might say, “Why preach on unity when it exists.
‒ Paul said, Ephesians 4:3 "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."
‒ We can’t keep what we don’t have.
‒ We must not be naive enough to think that Satan is not going to attempt to disrupt any unity we have.
**I Hope to do two things.
1. Help us to see how great it is to live in Jesus in unity, and therefore strive to keep it.
2. To help those of you who are not a committed part of this church to become committed to the cause of Jesus Christ.
1. Philippians 2:1-2 "If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ...”
A. Christ has the ability to give us strength. The word "encouragement" means "to give one courage."
1. He gives me courage through giving me a purpose to live.
‒ "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." Phil. 1:21
‒ (Remove the words "Christ" and "gain" and all you have is "For me to live is to die."
‒ We have a purpose to live in Him.
2. He gives me courage through His promise to take care of me.
‒ "I am with you always even to the end of the world."
3. He gives me courage through His promise to hear me.
‒ "And all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
4. He gives me courage through the promise not to condemn.
‒ "There is no therefore, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who
walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." --Romans 8:1 Repeat it!!
3. “...if any comfort from his love...”
A. This is comfort we receive from the love the comes from Christ. Who of us can describe, with any justice, the love that comes from Christ?
1. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that "He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be the righteousness of God in Him."
‒ That is, He took our place--we should have died for our sins.
‒ He also "became sin" He allowed the sins of the whole world to be on Him as a sacrifice.
2. In His love He became separated from His Father because of our sins.
‒ On the cross He cried, "My God, my God, why have you rejected me?"
‒ God left because He cannot be where sin is.
‒ He left His only Son for you and me.
3. “...if any fellowship with the Spirit...”
A. This phrase means "The fellowship that is produced by the Holy Spirit." How is it that the Spirit produces fellowship?
1. The word fellowship means "fellows in the same ship." It is a word of unity and togetherness.
‒ It is this trait that people see and want to be a part of what we have in Jesus.
‒ Jesus said, "By this shall all men know you are my disciples, if you have love one to another."
‒ It takes love that is produced by the Spirit to cause our fellowship with one another.
2. The Spirit who dwells in us gives us fellowship and unity.
‒ Romans 8:9 "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."
‒ Our unity is seated in the fact that in all Christians the Holy Spirit dwells.
‒ It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the word. 2 Peter 1:21 "For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
(Verse 20 tells us that he is referring to prophecies). Point is the Spirit gave us the word.
‒ It is the Holy Spirit by which we have unity. "By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body...." 1 Corinthians 12:13 (This passage is in the middle of a unity context.)