Summary: Sermon based on Phil. 2:1-11 - Emphasizes the importance of unity within the Body of Christ.

“THE JOY OF UNITY” Phil. 2:1-11

FBCF – 8/9/20

Jon Daniels

INTRO – Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.

Today, we are going to talk about sticking together. We are going to talk about the joy of unity as we continue our “Joy in the Journey” series from the book of Philippians.

Let’s be clear: We are talking about unity, not uniformity. Uniformity is the result of pressure from the outside. True spiritual unity comes from within. It’s a matter of the heart, a heart that has been changed by Jesus Christ.

Has YOUR heart been changed by Jesus? If not, why not now? (Share Gospel)

EXPLANATION – Open Bibles to Phil. 2:1-11

The 1st 26 verses of chapter 1 are personal words from Paul about himself & his feelings & experiences w/ the Philippians believers. In 1:27, he shifts his focus from himself to them. He begins to address some issues that had arisen in the church that threatened to do damage to the church & their witness for Christ, & that’s serious business! They were facing some conflict inside the church due to some ladies who were fussing w/ each other, & some opposition outside the church, due to the threat of false teachers & due to the Philippians unwillingness to worship the emperor. Both the internal conflict & the external opposition & persecution are serious issues that must be addressed. And one of the main reasons that they need to be addressed is b/c they have the potential to do serious damage to the UNITY of the church.

Verse 27 in the NIV reads, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.” Paul challenged the Church to remember that “whatever happens,” they needed to stay in close fellowship w/ the Lord & in close fellowship w/ one another – “…in one spirit, w/ one mind striving side by side…”

When we move to Ch. 2, we see Paul beginning to masterfully & lovingly guide his brothers & sister in Christ toward the necessary ingredients for healing the internal wounds that were festering in the Church. He lets them know that if they are going to make progress in dealing w/ this conflict, they had to be unified in mind, love, & soul, & must humbly place the interests of their fellow believers above their own interests. He connects the outside conflict w/ the inside conflict w/ the word “therefore” which starts the new paragraph in ch. 2. You don’t that actual word there in v. 1, but the word “So” can be translated “therefore.”

- Bible study rule: When you see word “therefore” ask, “What’s the ‘therefore’ there for?’”

- Here, it’s there b/c Paul is saying to them, “You are in this battle w/ me against the opponents outside the Church, & we are still in it. Therefore, you need to make sure that you’re in unity w/ one another inside the Church. We’ve got enough to deal w/ outside the Church – Let’s make sure we are getting it right inside the Church!”

APPLICATION – Unity within the Church gives us great joy & glorifies God.

I love how 2:1-4 reads in The Message: “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if His love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”

When you see the word “if” in v. 1, you can translate it “since” or “because.” Paul is saying, “Since God has worked in your life & has given you the encouragement & comfort & fellowship in the Spirit & tender, compassionate hearts…” – In other words, since you’ve experienced God’s GRACE in your life, then respond by being in unity w/ each other in the Body of Christ.

As we look at these 4 verses, we see 4 key components to experience the joy of unity w/ our brothers & sisters in Christ:


This doesn’t necessarily mean being in total agreement w/ each other on every subject. We all know that there can be disagreements in the church.

- Reminds me of a story of Navy captain in the South Pacific. Saw smoke rising from a hut on an uncharted island. When they got to the shore, met by a shipwreck survivor. “I’m so glad you’re here. I’ve been alone on this island for more than 5 yrs.” Captain – “Well, if you’re alone on this island, why do I see 3 huts?” “I live in one & go to church in the other.” “What’s the 3rd one?” “Oh, that’s where I USED to go to church!”

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