Discovering Joy Despite My Circumstances
Part 4: Building Joy on Unity
Sunday, May 28, 2017

Recall a time where you were on a team; what were/are the things you enjoyed about that experience?

Paul reveals how we can build joy into our lives upon unity

Philippians 2:1-11
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”

Reasons for unity (v.1)

Experience of Christ’s life

  • When we experience Christ’s life (being united with Christ), we must share it with our fellow followers

Example of Christ’s love

  • “Comfort” indicates a spoken word of encouragement
  • Follower of Christ who is expressing the attitude of unity will be looking for people to encourage

Encouragement of Christ’s body (church)

  • The Holy Spirit dwells in each follower-common denominator of God’s family

Expression of Christ’s compassion

  • Followers are to have the inward (tenderness) and outward (compassion) love and concern for each other

Requirements for unity

Harmony (v.2)

  • “Like minded”: to have “one mind” agreement in doctrine and creed; embrace the same “truth”
  • “One in heart”: to have the same love which is showing God’s Love to each other
  • “One in spirit”: soul brothers and sisters

Humility (v.3)

  • Personal responsibility for the unity of the body (church)
  • Warning against a competitive, selfish spirit

Helpfulness (v.4)

  • Practical help for others (being a blessing)

Role model for unity is Jesus Christ (vv. 5-8) 

Jesus embodied all 3 requirements for unity by:

  1. Relinquishing his place
  2. Refusing his prerogative
  3. Renouncing his privileges
  4. Restricting his presence
  5. Realizing his purpose

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