Moving into Part 3 of our hybrid Philippians series, Pastor Chris continues with chapter 1 and into the beginning verses of chapter 2. Paul after getting right to the heart of the letter last week, dives deeper into how we as Christians are to live and interact in our community with one another. He says, “Conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” (Phil 1:27; 2:2-3)
Sometimes we can get this false sense of the early church and their lack of struggles or issues around their communities. We do read about some incredible things that God does in and through them but they are still filled with young Christians and sinners learning about what it means of live like Christ. There are problems. One of them in the church of Philipi is unity. Struggling to think of others better than themselves. Sounds pretty similar with us now even hundreds of years later.
Living in unity is hard. It is not an easy thing to do. There are people that have all sorts of different backgrounds, world views, convictions, and agents coming together. This gets messy very quickly. And Paul is writing them to help them grow spiritually and personally in the manner that Christ wants all of us to live. When we live in unity we live and example that the world so desperately needs. There is not much unity in our culture today. Everyone fighting and clawing to gain and advantage for themselves. But this is not the way in which Christ called us to live.
Paul breaks out into an Early Church hymn right in the middle of his letter. He is saying to them, “Hey, remember this song that we sang together at church? The one about Jesus giving up of Himself, so much so that He gave His life for you and me? Remember that one? Live like that. Live like Christ lived.” Jesus Christ chose to live a life of othering being more important than Himself. And it ultimately cost Him His life. And you and I benefited from His gift and sacrifice. Therefore we are to live in the same manner. Counter culture to the world around us, putting others before us.
What would it look like this week to strive towards unity in your family, community, church, sphere of influence?
How Can We Be Praying For You?