Philippians 2:1-4 – Unity Through the Gospel

Philippians 2:1-4 gives us this vision. It places the gospel before us as a unifying force that leads us to look out for the needs of others in the community of Jesus.

We must recognize what we’re uniting for. Sometimes we forget. If a community is to be united, it must have something worth uniting for. Most of us are looking for a cause and for a community. The church offers us both in the same package. It is a community that comes together for the cause of the gospel. We are to keep the gospel truth that Jesus is Lord and the gospel mission to proclaim the Lordship of Christ in the forefront of our thoughts. The gospel is the banner we rally behind. We must keep it front and center. The gifts of the gospel — exhortation from Christ, comfort from the love of the Father, fellowship from the Spirit — motivate us to line up behind the gospel.

The ally of unity is humility, which begins with the proper assessment of ourselves as creatures dependent on the Creator. Both James 4:10 and 1 Peter 5:6 tell us to humble ourselves before God. How can we exalt ourselves over another when we are dependent on Another for our very next breath? Humility was viewed as a weakness in the Graeco-Roman world, as it is in our world. In the kingdom of God, it’s a virtue.

Such humility, then, enables us to do the seemingly impossible: consider others better than ourselves.

Some verses in scripture, even in this passage, are difficult to interpret. Verses 3 and 4 are not. We may wish they were difficult to interpret, but they are not. Our problem is that it is all too obvious what they say. Consider others better than yourselves. Look out for the interests of others. Can you imagine what would happen in a community whose members thought and lived this way? People say sometimes that they “feel the Spirit.” If someone walked into a community that, in the manner of Philippians 2:3-4, loved each other and everyone that entered into its midst, she’d be able to feel the love that the Spirit created. It would be palpable. And irresistible. And if a whole lot of people feel that kind of love, what would that mean for the advance of the gospel? We can only imagine.

I ask: Why not this community? Why not this church? Why not you?

Understanding the gifts of the gospel — exhortation in Christ, the comfort of the Father, the fellowship of the Spirit — leads us to unify behind the gospel. If we understand God’s love for us and keep the gospel front and center, selfish ambition and vain conceit are held in check, humility and love and community win the day — and the gospel advances.

Scott Grant

Heart Preparation
Read Philippians 2:1-4 and consider these questions: Who is hard to consider more important than yourself? Whose interests is it hard to consider in addition to your own? So how do the implications of the gospel in verse one provide the motivation to change these sinful attitudes and behaviors?

Song for this Week
Ever Be by Bethel Music


Posted on: March 12, 2015 - 10:00PM

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