The Joy of Unity in Christ
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Delivered By
Cole Newton
Delivered On
August 19, 2018
Central Passage
Philippians 2: 1-5



Philippians 2:1-2 | So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Philippians 2:3 | Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.


Paul’s letter to the Philippians was written to a church experiencing opposition to the gospel from an apostle who was imprisoned for proclaiming the gospel. Yet despite these difficult circumstances, the most repeated message throughout Philippians is to rejoice in Christ. Because Paul was responding to a gift that the Philippians sent him through Epaphroditus, the letter reads like a large ‘thank you’ note, filled with friendly and fatherly exhortations to continue strong in the faith.

Thus far in the letter, we have studied Paul’s greeting and prayer for the Philippians. We observed how deep were the apostle’s affections for the Philippians that he would thank God for them each time he thought about them. He also reassured them regarding his imprisonment. He happily reported that God was using his imprisonment for the further spread of the gospel, and he heartily believed that God would deliver him, whether in life or in death.

Last week, at the close of chapter one, Paul issued his first explicit command to the Philippians, urging them to behave as citizens worthy of the gospel. Especially in light of the great conflict of the kingdom of God’s advancing and their present suffering, the unity of the Philippian church was of dire importance. Chapter two begins by immediately continuing to address the necessity of unity, pleading for the Philippians to be of one mind.


Read Philippians 2:1-5 and discuss the following.

  1. Which verses stood out most to you as you read Philippians 2:1-5 this week? Why? What do these verses teach you about who God is?
  2. Why does Paul begin each phrase of verse 1 with the word if?
  3. Why is being like-minded so crucial to unity within the church?
  4. How does selfish ambition damage church unity? How does humility strengthen it?


Because all Scripture profits us through teaching, reproving, correcting, and training us, reflect upon the studied text, and ask yourself the following questions about the present text.

  • What has God taught you about Himself?
  • What sin is God convicting or reproving you of?
  • How is God correcting you?
  • How is God training and equipping you for righteousness?