Summary: "Be united in spirit” is used to describe souls that beat together, in tune with Christ and with each other. This word is made up of two words "sun" (together with) and psuchos (soul, self, inner life, or the seat of the feelings, desires,affections). So
Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together ---Vesta Kelly
Philippians 2:1-4 (March 2) Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (vs. 5-11 on Easter)
Our song “One” that we hold hands and sing each Sunday during this sermon series is derived from this passage. As you sing these words they are likely being imprinted upon your heart, and are bonding you to one another.
“Being of one mind / having the same love / Being of one accord / having the same heart”
I wonder is that song meaningful to you? Why is that?
What is it about unity that produces those feelings of warmth and joy when we experience it?
This morning I would like to explore that a bit, as well as examine how we might become more and more united as a church family.
As I pondered the results of brothers and sisters being united, I came up with a couple of results that show up here and in other scripture passages:
Unity leads to God being glorified. (which is brought out in verse 10-11). It is His intention for us to be unified. I believe that when we feel that warm sense of joy, what we are actually feeling is the “pleasure of God.”
It results in the family being built up and strengthened. Unity is like cords of a rope being intertwined and braided, which makes it stronger with each additional braid of cord.
It proves to the world that we belong to Christ.
"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." (John 13:35).
The apostle Paul has a pastor’s heart for the church in Philippi. He asks them to make his joy complete by doing a number of things. Boiled down, he is asking them to be united in all things. Lets look closer at this passage and at what he is asking the Philippians (and us) to do.
The first thing Paul asks them to be is to “be of the same mind.”
"Thinking the one thing." Like clocks that strike at the same moment.
It is also “being in one accord” (Acts 5:12) which means to be in musical harmony (different chords, but in harmony)
1 Cor 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
He asks them to “Maintain the same love” (love of Christ, love for Christ) and to “Be united in spirit” –
This is used to describe souls that beat together, in tune with Christ and with each other. This word is made up of two words "sun" (together with) and psuchos (soul, self, inner life, or the seat of the feelings, desires,affections). So the word refers to being united in spirit or harmonious.
Thus Paul desired the Philippians to be united in their affections - one in Christ in all desires!
What, may I ask, holds our affections? What is that we desire?
And then Paul asks them to be “Intent on one purpose” or to agree on what they live for.
Uniting around a central purpose or vision is essential for a reduction in conflict.
When we are pulling our own way, seeking our own agenda, wanting what we want instead of what God wants, we fracture the family of God and tear it in pieces.
Of course, the opposite is true. When we are all rowing the boat in the same direction, we get there quicker!
Jesus is the One we serve and His purposes for our church are to worship Him with joyful enthusiasm, grow in knowledge of Christ, and to share our faith and love with others.
Where we tend to fracture is that we have different ideas of what those three goals look like.
Max Lucado, in his book In the Grip of Grace tells the story of the family of God in the form of a parable. He writes, “God has enlisted us in his navy and placed us on his ship. The boat has one purpose — to carry us safely to the other shore. This is no cruise ship. . . . We aren’t called to a life of leisure, we are called to a life of service. Each of us has a different task. Some, concerned with those who are drowning, are snatching people from the water. Others are occupied with the enemy, so they man the cannons of prayer and worship. Still others devote themselves to the crew, feeding and training the crew members. Though different, we are the same. Each can tell of a personal encounter with the captain, for each has received a personal call. He found us among the shanties of the seaport and invited us to follow him. Our faith was born at the sight of his fondness, and so we went. We each followed him across the gangplank of his grace onto the same boat. There is one captain and one destination. Though the battle is fierce, the boat is safe, for our captain is God. The ship will not sink. For that, there is no concern.