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)
3A. THE UNITY THAT GIVES US JOY (2:1-11)
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
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?
INVITE MEN FORWARD TO SERVE COMMUNION
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)