Philippians 2:1-11 (audio file)
“Unity through Humility”
Intro: We are in the book of Philippians. We have seen so far that the apostle Paul: greets the believers in Pilippi, shares of his gratefulness for them and their partnership, lets them know the source of his confidence that God who begins the work, will complete it for His glory, he lets them know that god is furthering the Gospel through the hardship in his life, and encouraging people through his witness, that his joy was rooted in the desire to see Christ glorified, either in his life or his death. Last week we saw Paul change the subject of his letter from himself, to instructions for the church. He was pleading for them to live like citizens of the Gospel, that when they did that they would be able to strive side for the faith of the Gospel, so that when they face opposition, the world will bear witness to the power of the gospel displayed in a unified Church.
Today’s passage is super important for where Paul is headed after this section. He is more than just giving a bunch of tidbits for us, each this he says is building up to something, so as he is pleading for unity last week, he is going to tell us today what will be required of us to achieve unity, and next week we will look at what that unity will produce.
Our unity is founded in Jesus Christ and enabled through humility.
1.Our unity is founded in Jesus Christ
a. if then statement links v.1 to what was said before.
b. our unity is tied to our understanding of the Gospel.
c. God is about drawing a people to himself, our identity is a plural one, not individualistic.
- Unity is enabled enabled through humility.
a.Same mind in v. 2 is tied to the mind in v. 5
b. humility is defined by counting others better than yourselves. This is not an ability judgement, but a deference towards others….performance does not determine significance.
What humility is not…. Saying untruths about yourself, trying to make ourselves look humble in others eyes.
Examples of failure……
- Our unity with Christ is only possible through Jesus’ humility.
a. Paul’s example of humility. 1:21-23
- Jesus gives us an example of humility. v. 6
- through his humbling of himself, we too can place other’s needs above our own.
- This passage is bookended with the Gospel. It must be the beginning and the end of our unity.