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Summary: An extended outline of Philippians 2 on how unity can bring us joy, individually and corporately.

1A. Background of this book

1B. Paul is writing from jail

2B. Paul is encouraging the church to have his mindset in the midst of their discouraging circumstances

3B. Paul is directing the church to remain united despite inner conflicts.

4B. Paul’s main theme is Joy

1C. Joy is not circumstantial

2C. Joy is not based upon human relationships/personal achievements

3C. Joy is based upon my relationship with God through Christ

4C. Joy is the acknowledgement that God is control of my

circumstances and has his best interests in mind for me. Therefore, I can rejoice regardless what I am facing today.

2A. Brief Outline to Philippians

1B. Joy in living (1)

2B. Joy in serving (2)

3B. Joy in sharing (3)

4B. Joy in resting (4)


1B. There can be unity because of our identity (2:1)

1C. Encouragement in Christ

2C. Comfort (of God the Father) (cf 2 Cor 1:3-4)

3C. Fellowship of Spirit; Father 1 Jn 1:3; Son 1 Cor 1:9

4C. Affection

5C. Mercy – a desire to meet a need that develops in response to a certain


Application – so like believers. We belong to the family of God – where every dividing wall has been kicked down and destroyed (Ephesians 2). Therefore, our identity within the family of God allows us to have unity.

2B. There can be unity in the midst of diversity (2:2)

1C. Diversity of Gifts, ministries, and activities (1 Cor 12:4-6), but the one and same Spirit works all these things…” v. 11.

2C. v. 1 – Fellowship of Spirit

3C. Diversity of backgrounds

4C. Likeminded – set your minds on the same thing

5C. Same Love – implement the God – given love you have (cf 1:9 – the warning is not that they don’t have love, but the love they have may be eroded by the current inner conflicts)

6C. One accord – having their souls in harmony with Christ and each

7C. One mind - other.

Application: For the last three years we have had many changes, many different ways we have worshipped; differences in preaching and teaching; differences in facilities; but there is one thing that remains the same, our mission to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.

While our identity and even our diversity can promote unity…

3B. There can be no unity without Humility (2:3-11)

1C. The meaning of humility (3-4) – this is an ATTITUDE!

1D. Be equally accepting to the uniqueness of others (3)

2D. Be equally concerned for the needs of others (4)


• What person am I struggling to accept within the body of Christ? Ask God this week how you can serve that person, and act on that.

• Being equally accepting and concerned also means we are willing to speak the truth in love in order to bring healing and thus unit to the body?


But just knowing meanings of words isn’t enough to promote unity. We need models. We need examples who can show us how definitions are carried out in life. Paul understood this and gives us the greatest model of humility – the person of Jesus Christ.

2C. The model of humility (5-11)

1D. Lacks selfish ambitions (5-6)

2D. Remains focused on God’s mission (7-8)

3D. Allows God to pick the time/place of exaltation (9-11)


1. Jesus shows us the extent we need to go in self – sacrifice in order to preserve unity within the body – death to my agenda!

2. Is holding the position you have becoming more important than serving the people of God?

3. Do I need to lay aside ambitions that may be good, but are not Scriptural?

4. Jesus didn’t seek the approval of others by his service; he served to gain approval from his Father.

5. Staying focused on God’s mission in my life means, not buying into the game plan of others. Keep focused on the mission God has called you to.

6. Humility states, not my will, but Thy will be done, Father. What issue? What relationship? What promotion? What goal? Do you need to release to God and allow him to bring it about in his timing? When will you surrender that? What will you do to allow it to remain in God’s hands?

7. The Model of Humility in Jesus Christ frees me to serve others, knowing God has empowered me, and I can serve God, knowing He will reward me.

Pray, asking God to reveal how He wants us to preserve unity this day!

Close: Humble Thyself in the Sight of the Lord.

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