This sermon was based on Philippians 1:27-2:11.
27Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
Christ’s Example of Humility
1So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Being United (with our fellow brothers and sisters)
- It’s easy to be united with someone who has the same interests as you. We’re naturally drawn to people who we agree with, who are like us, have the same experience and interests as us. When we just hang out with those people what happens in church is little cliques can form.
- Lydia, The Jailor and a Slave Girl may not have had much in common but they had one thing in common: The gospel and how it radically changed their lives. The key is being United in the gospel. It unites us on a far deeper level than football or politics or anything else can
- Paul tells us the first way we live lives worthy of the gospel is by being united with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
- We often think disunity in churches is caused by people having different opinions about things. It’s not. Moises Silva (in his commentary on Philippians) says this: ‘The true obstacle to unity (within churches) is not the presence of legitimate differences of opinion but self-centredness.’ Self-centredness is what causes disunity. Humility (the opposite of self-centredness) is what brings unity.
- Selfish – lacking consideration of others. Chiefly concerned with our own personal profit or pleasure.
Ambition – having a strong desire to do or achieve something.
Vain – having an excessively high opinion of your appearance, abilities or worth.
Conceit – having excessive pride in yourself.
- When was the last time you did something that wasn’t motivated by selfish ambition or vain conceit? That you didn’t get anything out of and didn’t look good for doing it? This is what Paul is calling us to do. When this attitude grows in church it becomes a beautiful place to be. People look in and think “I want to be part of that.”