2 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Paul says- I’m in prison- help me out- let me have some joy- do these two things
Have a unity in how you view and see the world- have an elevated view of others
Paul knew that for this fledgling church to grow- to be together- they were going to have to get these 2 things right if they were going to make it
It rings true for us today as a church also-
You’ve got to understand this- this letter was written to a church- so the application to us is a as a church also- we have to have a like mind and a others mind if we’re going to live out the word of the Lord to us-
See heres- the part people don’t get- What did paul have to gain from this? He’s in prison- he’s more than likely never going to see them again- his only gain? Preparing a church for Christs return- it would bring Paul Joy if the Philippian church could think the same and act the same
What is it that Paul is describing?
, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Like minded- to exercise the mind, that is, entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by implication to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction)
The root of this word is actually connected to unconscious breathing-
The breathing that you’ve all been doing all day that you don’t think about – it just happens
That’s the type of likemindedness that Paul is advocating- you’re so in the same mind that its unconscious you know the agreement in faith that you have in each other- its unconscious
2 Cor 13:11 Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Crystal and I have been married for 17 years- we know what each other likes and doesn’t like
Over the years- we’ve learned it- so we don’t even need to talk about it- we just know
We need that in church! Not to argue and be divisive! Know God and each other so well that
Same love- Psalm 97:10 You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.
A cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7. 2. The world. John 3:16. 3. Justice. Psalm 11:7, Psalm 37:28. 4. The righteous. Psalm 146:8 5. Christians. I John 4:10-11 I John 4:15-16; John 16:27. 6. Non-Christians., Romans 5:8. 7. Those who love Him. Deuteronomy 7:9. 8. Those who obey His commands. Deuteronomy 7:9 9. Those who pursue godliness. Proverbs 15:9. 10. Those who fear Him. Psalm 103:11
One accord– co spirited- be harmonious or have agreement with
1 cor1:10Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, butthat you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
God’s design for the local church is that we would walk in agreement with one another as we live out life and do church
Now- that’s not to say that what we do isn’t up for discussion, but it means that after the discussion is over- we need to be in harmony with one another
Here’s what happens- inevitably when something happens in any organization- whether it be big or small- when a change comes people agree or disagree
Those who agree do it, those who disagree don’t come to the table, they go and try to find someone who is disgruntled like them
This causes disunity and division
Romans 16:17 [ Avoid Divisive Persons ] Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them
Galatians 5:20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[a] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Dissensions are listed with murder- remember that
There’s that word again- One mind
You know- there are quite a bit of divisions in Christianity- and some of them are tolerable because they are issues of preference- worship style, polity style, issues of how we do what we do
But the truth is that there are some people who believe stuff that is purely not biblical
There is a correct answer sometimes- and we are called by God to be of the same mind
One of the things I loved about the military- most of it wasn’t up for discussion- this is how we do it. Why we do it that way, not important- just do it
Rubbing charcoal on my face- fresh out of college- why? Shut your face and rub it on
This idea of lowly mindedness is the idea that thinking of others before yourself is a way to honor God
Folks- this is counter cultural- we come together to think of other people and the common interest instead of ourselves
Now- there is a dichotomy that exists in my life- as an American- I believe in individualism and individual rights- but within the church- we think collectively
Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Here’s a problem- often times when I as the pastor make a decision or put forth a direction- people assume its personal preference- and frankly sometimes it is
But usually- its because of how it affects OTHERS that I do it. I’m looking at the BIG picture!
Its not because its how I like it- its because of how it will affect EVERYONE ( I want hip-hop)
Many people don’t think this way- they think- how does it affect ME?
The bible says we shouldn’t have any selfish ambition
no selfish ambition– no selfish ambition is also listed in Gal 5
selfish ambition is caring more about how it affects you most of all- not caring about others- KJV calls this strife- its divisive
but its more than that- its having a heart that attempts to elevate myself over other people at the expense of people it’s a plan to make sure that you win, you look good, you get your needs met
At my old job- people would send an email and cc everyone when they could have came to my cubicle. Or come to a meeting, knowing information and not share it with me so I’d look dumb
Its working all about the SELF-
no conceit- KJV calls this ‘vainglory’ and that’s really what it is- when we say someone is ‘conceited’ we are saying that they are all about themselves- don’t care about anyone else
Starts when you get here- why cant I park in the parking lot, why is the foyer so full, why did no one greet me, why can’t I find a seat, why are these chairs so close together, who chose these songs, why can’t they sing my songs?, why do they have to always ask for my money, how long is this guy going to preach, why we got to hold hands?, why don’t they have better coffee?, can’t they get someone to volunteer to fix this thing?, why they always asking me to serve?, I got some ideas of how they should do this—- it’s the ALL ABOUT ME church-
Church is not about YOU- its about OTHERs-
Galatians 5:26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Conceit is excessive pride in oneself- “I am so awesome” “I never do wrong”
Conceit fills you with grandiose thoughts in your head at the expense of others!
NO- conceit isn’t of God! Gal 5:25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
We’re supposed to be lifting others up
1 Thessalonians 5:11Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
looking at the interests of others
I get it- its hard to think about others- its hard to think about others interests but its what we are called to do
This is part of what God is trying to work out in us here on earth- preparing us for heaven
We have got to learn to get along- to live life with other people we wouldn’t usually hang with
You’re going to spend eternity with these people- you should get to know them
Romans 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
This should be our pursuit- this is how we should live
Acts 20:35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
There are, and will continue to be people who need help among us- we can’t give up on them
So yeah- there you have it- We’re supposed to act the same and think the same
Have the same mind and a mind that thinks about others
I know I’ve said this before- but how can you be a Christian, and not go to church and expect to walk these verse out? There’s a cosmic accountability that we have together in Church
We’re going to have disagreements and issues that come up and things we have to work through we as a church should be attempting to be on the same page and action
But do you know who is required to act and think the same?
Phil 2:1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
Clarke- It is extremely difficult to give the force of these expressions; they contain a torrent of most affecting eloquence, the apostle pouring out his whole heart to a people whom with all his heart he loved, and who were worthy of the love even of an apostle.
Paul says if you’ve felt or believe any of these four things- you MUST be likeminded and others minded-
If you have “any” that means the slightest bit of appreciation of who Jesus is and what he has done- you should be working on having the same mind and thinking about others-
See- when you truly appreciate someone- you can’t help but be affected by it-
Paul says- man! Do you even appreciate what Jesus did for you? Are you even Saved bro?
I get it- some of you in here are just trying to figure out Jesus- if he has forgiven you- get with it!
Love (felt the comfort of love)
Living in Christian community- you should be feeling the love at some point- and if you have? You’re on the hook to be working towards unity and living for others-
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.
There are some extremely loving people in this church. People that would give you the shirt off your back- Some of you have experienced that! Love in action- rent, car, food, handshake, gift, a word, a hug, all of that-
Don’t be a taker Paul is saying! You can’t lie to yourself and come into the church and experience all the love that it has to offer and not turn around and give it back to others!
Some people- they just want to come in and take the love that the church has- but you’re supposed to give it back!
Fellowship (spirit filled relationships and experiences) this is why fellowship is so important this is the place where you experience the love of God!
There are friends that I have in this room that I would die for. Literally. Those relationships have been built over the years-
If I don’t live out the charge of these verses- the admonishment to be in unity and think of others- I’m trampling on the spirit filled relationships I’ve built here
I’m not talking about having a cup of coffee in the AMC- it can happen there- but I’m talking about these relationships that are built through the trials and tribulations of living life together
1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God
Affection and mercy (experiential love)
If someone has forgiven you- you’ve got to work towards unity and others minded
Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you