This is a time of incredible disunity in our country.  Isn’t it amazing how God works out the preaching of His Word to address what is happening in our lives?

Last week we talked about the importance of unity and we gave you four reasons to be unified.

4 reasons why we should be unified.

  1. We are part of the same body of Christ as believers.
  2. We are supposed to love each other the way that God loves us.
  3. We have the same indwelling Holy Spirit as believers.
  4. We are supposed to show compassion and mercy to one another.

Unity versus Uniformity.

Now, please do not confuse unity with uniformity.  They are two different things.

“One of the best ways to promote unity in the church is to allow for the freedom of diversity…Uniformity can destroy the life of the church.”  Warren Weirsbe

Unity is the result of God, whereas uniformity is the result of man.

Unity does not eliminate individuality.

When we force uniformity in a local church it creates legalism.

Today, let’s look at the results of unity.

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,  (2)  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  (3)  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  (4)  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  Philippians 2:1-4

Paul gives us at least 3 different results of being unified in this text.

 

1. We will have the same mind when we are unified. (v.2)

(2)  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

 This does not mean that we will think exactly same way.  It does mean that we will have the same purpose.  The result of unity is that we will want to accomplish a common purpose.  What is that purpose in the local church?  The purpose is the proclamation of the Gospel.

In chapter 1 the Gospel is mentioned 5 times in 4 verses.

For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Philippians 1:5

Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.  Philippians 1:7

But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;  Philippians 1:12

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;  Philippians 1:27

We are to be more passionate about the Gospel than anything else.  We must stay focused.

Our mission here at Canton Baptist is to reach, teach, and minister.  This is the purpose for which we exist.  When we are divided on our purpose we are divided as a church.  We must set aside our differences and agree on our purpose.

2.  We will have the same love when we are unified.

(2)  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

We will love each other in spite of our differences.  This love is based on our will.  The word for love here is agape.  It is a love where we will love the other person even though we are very different from each other.  We must agree on the primary issues for unity even when we do not divide over secondary issues.

Primary issues are doctrinal, moral, and ethical issues.  If a church began to teach wrong doctrine, or had leadership that was immoral, it would cause us to divide and it would be right at some point to divide on that issue.  There are so many issues beyond that which we should not divide over.

Agape love is where we choose with our will to love each other despite the fact that we disagree on secondary issues.

3.  We will have the same accord.

(2)  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

The word accord deals with attitude.  Selfishness and pride are attitudes that destroy unity.  This is the source of so many divisions between people.

Do you remember the old acrostic from your Sunday School days?
J- Jesus

O- Others

Y- You

When you get this order correct in your life, it will not hinder joy!  A selfish person thinks that they are always right, wants their own way, and fights with others to get what they want.

(3)  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  (4)  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Philippians 2:3-4

A unified church is full of people who are thinking about others more than themselves.  A divided church will never reach their community for Christ.

Here are some application questions:

  • Are you unified in purpose around the Gospel?
  • Are you making the choice to love?
  • Do you have an attitude that helps promote unity?

You can not have unity with God or with other believers if you have not accepted Christ as Your Savior.  Do you know what will happen to you when you die?  Will you spend eternity with God?  Click here for more information!