Unity Through Humility

We need to be Christians above all. Martin Luther said: “I pray you leave my name alone. Do not call yourselves Lutherans, but Christians.” John Wesley said: “I wish the name Methodist might never be mentioned again, but lost in eternal oblivion.” Charle … More

Divisions

The Apostle Paul said: “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Cor. 1:12-13). In chapter one we learned how circumstances can rob us of our joy. Now we are going to be reminded of how people can rob us of our joy. When Epaphroditus came to Rome to visit Paul he apparently brought some bad news of a possible division in the church at Philippi. Paul does not explain exactly what is happening but in a gracious way he is saying, “your disagreements reveal that there is a spiritual problem in your fellowship (vv. 1-6). This problem is not going to be solved by rules and regulations but it will only be solved when your hearts are right with Christ and with each other." Divisions are usually caused by selfishness and pride.

There is a difference between unity and uniformity. God’s love in people’s hearts produces spiritual unity in their lives. The secret to joy in spite of people is found in verse three and is accomplished through a submissive mind. “Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better (more important) than themselves.” Many people live only to make an impression on others or to please themselves. Selfish ambition can ruin a church. On the other hand humility before God and man is a virtue every child of God needs to strive for. Jesus is our example, it was He who served others and not others who served him (vv. 7-11). He was always on call serving fishermen, harlots, tax collectors, the sick, etc. “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

Application

The true test of a humble servant is not how much I am willing to take in terms of suffering, but how much I am willing to give in terms of sacrifice. The question is how much of self am I willing to place on the cross?

Philippians 2:1-08 (English Standard Version)

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. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

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