Unity: The Willingness to Change Our Mind

Nov 7, 2021    Jim Grushon
Today we look at Philippians 2 in the context of Paul's writing and his appeal to this church for unity based on likemindedness. We will first discuss how division can be caused by our study habits and precautions should be taken to prevent it. We will also examine Paul's concern for church unity at Philippi. And finally, we will examine what we must do to prevent division, i.e., the mind we must have to glorify God and produce unity in the bond of peace.

I. Topical vs. Contextual Study Methods
A. Scripture must be viewed inside the context it is written.
B. The differing contexts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and Joh.
C. The context of Acts vs. Romans-2 Thessalonians.
D. Topical studies must be kept in context.
E. Word studies can be very productive.

II. Paul's Concern for Philippi
A. Philippians 1,9-11 : why would Paul encourage them to abound in love and pursue the things that are excellent?
B. The local church is not about us, it is about glorifying Christ through the unity of our minds.
C. Philippians 1.27: God's church will never glorify Him with strife, selfishness, pride, and dissension.

III. Paul's Solution to Maintain the Body
A. Philippians 2.1-2: Be of the same mind, have the same love, be in full accord, regard one another with respect.
B. Philippians 2.3-4: We must eliminate harsh attitudes and humbly look at our brothers and sisters.
1. Unity requires humility.
2. We must learn to listen. James 1.19.
C. Philippians 2.5-8: Unity is not based on perfect understanding
1. It is accomplished through pursuing the attitude of the Savior.
2. Jesus gave all of Himself so that we might have everything.

IV. Conclusion
A. Our mind led us away from God.
B. Our mind must turn us back to God.
C. God's purpose is fulfilled when we unity together to love and service for each other.

Thinking Through Today's Lesson

1. Why is it always important to keep the context in mind when studying a bible passage?

2. Why did Paul encourage the Philippians to abound in love & pursue excellent things?

3. What is Paul's solution to maintain unity in the body?

4. Upon what is unity based?

5. Why did Jesus give all of himself? How can this help us in our pursuit of unity?