God’s Design of Unity

Philippians 2: 1-5

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…”

Paul was writing to Christians, who as Roman citizens, had superiority, numerous benefits and opportunity compared to non-citizens around them. This naturally led to divisions within their culture and among members of the body. The same is truein our culture where we can find divisions in politics, sports,religious beliefs, food, status, and money. Interestingly, we also have divisions within the church in regard preferences inworship, relationships with brothers and sisters, doctrine, and teaching by leaders.

Discussion question:

Why is it easy to allow preferences to separate us from our Unity?

When is it hard to look into the interest of others?

Often our tendency is to care about ourselves. Here’s some statistics: the average person spends about 4 hours a day looking at themselves in the mirror. Women look at themselves 35 times a day which is equal to 12,400 times a year. Men look at themselves 27 times a day which is equal to 9,000 times a year.

However, our Unity is based on who we are – a family united with Christ because of his death, burial, and resurrection. To avoid misplacing our identity we must focus on something outside ourselves where humility serves as the vehicle leading us to Unity.

Discussion question:

How is humility the source of finding Unity?

What would it take to value others above yourself?

Optional Readings:

Philippians 2: 1- 18 – Jesus’ example of humility.

1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 Definition of love.

Colossians 3:14 – Love leads to perfect unity.