You may have authentic faith if… you imitate Christ’s humility and look out for others’ interests (Philippians 2:1–4).
Welcome to Day Five of our series of “You may have authentic faith if …” Today, I will talk about unity. The meaning of unity is the state of being united or joined as a whole. Jesus developed the church so that like-minded people can come together in worship and fellowship with one another. One of the most important things in unity is to imitate Jesus’ humility.
LACK OF UNITY
In verse one, Paul discusses their lack of unity within the church and with each other. How he knew about their lack of unity from the reports he heard from Epaphroditus who came to see him in prison. Paul asked them four questions they need to honestly answer that to show their lack thereof:
- Do you have encouragement from belonging to Christ: The biblical meaning of encouragement is not only to give comfort, but it also involves exhortation (warnings), urging, strengthening, and appealing.
- Comfort from His love: With God’s love on our hearts we will comfort other believers, will produce spiritual unity.
- Fellowship together in the Spirit: It is the result of the Spirit’s eternally complete ministry. It also refers to the fellowship that comes from the Holy Spirit.
- Tenderness and compassion: Another of the Spirit’s ministries is to produce within believers a concern and love for one another in God’s family. Believers are expected to be caring and compassionate towards each other.
If you have authentic faith, then you will show all four of the essential or quality traits of unity. As Paul noted, the members of the Philippian church lacked any of these qualities especially unity. A change of their attitude towards each other, so they could start showing the unity that Jesus is looking for within the church.
In verse two, Paul’s desire for them is to show spiritual unity. He gave them three ways to start changing and showing unity that gives glory to God:
- Start being like-minded or agreeing wholeheartedly with each other.
- Have the same God-kind of love for one another.
- Being in one Spirit, working together with one mind and purpose.
YOU ARE WARNED!
In verses three and four, Paul completes the warnings that he gave the church at Philippi and to us as the body of Christ:
- Do not be selfish or do nothing out of selfish ambition: Go to 1 John 2:16 he describes and pride of life from the world and not God. Each of these will draw a person into vain conceit, a root cause of their selfish ambition.
- Be humble thinking of others better than yourself: Humility before God and man is a virtue all believers should strive for. People that have a prideful spirit, lack humility with God. Jesus told the religious leaders, “those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).
- Don’t look after your own interests, but take interest in others: We all have a bad habit on concentrating on own interest. Make the change and take interest in others, especially when it comes to the household of faith. Develop deep and loving bonds with others in the body of Christ. Romans 12:10, “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
Therefore, Paul reminds us about people in the world that live to rob others of their joy. He also mentions that our main focus in showing our authentic faith should be on unity between each other, having one mind, and the same love for one another. Amen!
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I approve of this message!
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