Summary: True unity comes only through Christ

United in Christ

Philippians 2:1-11

April 12, 1998

Sunrise Service

I. Unity in Spirit and Purpose

A. Benefits of believers

1. Encouragement: We have encouragement because we are united with christ, our relationship with God is therefore restored and renewed, it is Christ who encourages us to pursue the gospel with passion and energy, it is Christ that makes us complete, He grants us favor with the Father, this is indeed an encourager for life

2. Comfort: We receive comfort from his love, it is the love of Christ that brings meaning to life and allows us to really live, it is this love that allows us to love others, it is the love that makes us complete, love that died for us - source of true comfort, Jesus gives us comfort,

3. Fellowship: We receive fellowship with the Spirit, we have a special blessing and relationship with God through the Spirit, it is the Spirit that enables us to live the Christian life, it is the Spirit that cleanses the carnal nature, it is the Spirit that bestows gifts on every believer

4. Tenderness & Compassion: Christ has shown both tenderness and compassion to us, through His coming to earth, living as a human being, His death on the cross and the resurrection, it is this compassion that becomes the basis for our ministry and mercy toward others

B. Completeion of Joy

Paul writes that his joy will be made complete, it is not just his joy but also the joy of Jesus that will be complete, we are striving for service to Chirts and strong relationship with Him, when Jesus joy is complete ours will also be complete

1. Be like minded: First step is to be like minded, we have to have our focus on the same things, we must be aimed in the samed direction, we must agree on specific doctrinal areas, we do not always have to agree everything, that will not happen - we must then agree to disagree and allow Christ to be Lord

2. Be of the same love: The church is founded on the love of Christ, each believer is rooted in this love, thus we have Christ in common and His love moves us along, if we have this love in common - we should then love one another, end of the petty arguements and disagreements, love becomes the key to end the troubles in our church and in our lives, it was love that ended the power of sin in human existence, love still breaks the bond of sin, shame and guilt

3. One in Spirit: We have so much in common there must also be a similar spirit, we have to look for the same aspects of the Christian life, there needs to be a spirit of anticipation and expectancy, God is going to work in this place, God will work in our community, our loved ones and our lives as well, we must be one in spirit, it is our united hope

4. One in Purpose: We have to have a common purpose and a common set of goals for the church, we must set the call of christ first and foremost, it is this call that sets us apart from the rest of the world, we are following where Christ leads us to go and He is in control, our pupose needs to be in Jesus key message of Luke - the Son of Man came to seek and save the Lost, if we have other purposes they are wrong

II. Humility of Heart

A. The fundemental attitude

1. Do not be selfish: We are called to be selfless, Christ came to serve not be served and He gave Himself up as a ransom for many, this was the most selfless act in history, Christ gave up His position and His place in heaven to become human, He did what no one else could do, He bridged the gap between God and humanity, His selfless act is the motivation for our behavior, our love for Him becomes driving force of our lives, it becomes the central fact of all existence

2. Consider others first: When we are selfish and act in selfish ways we place others in the background, when we sya things that hurt others in lessens their humanity, we degrade them, when we fail to care for other people it lessens their humanity, when we use other people to get what we want or need we lessen their humanity, Jesus completed our humanity by being fully and totally in service to others, Jesus even in being crucified prayed for His executioners

B. The foundational action

1. Take care of ourselves: Paul states that we are to take care of our responsibilites - care for ourselves & our families, we are to be competent in those responsibilities, we are to care for those whom God has entrusted into our care

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