“Unity by Humility”
High Point Baptist Church
Php 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Php 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Paul was already joyful about the Philippians. If anything could bring his glass of joy to the brim, it would be that they had unity in love for one another. Unity without Christ is impossible to achieve, much less maintain. But with Christ, all things are possible. Note Paul’s repetition of the word “any” in verse one. “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy…” (ESV, emphasis mine). Paul is using understatement to make his point that there is no excuse for not having unity, because, if we have even the tiniest amount of any of these things, we will have unity. Now, of course, if we have Christ, we have all of Christ, not part of Him. God did not give a portion of His Son, He gave us all of His Son (John 3:16). Therefore, we should have unity. If we don’t, the problem is not with God, but with us. Do we have unity in our church? If not, why not? If not, what do we need to do to have unity?
If we do not have the unity Paul speaks of in verse two, it is likely because we think too much of ourselves and too little of others. Selfishness and pride are like holes in our cup. No matter how much of Christ is poured in, our church will never be filled with unity as long as we do not humble ourselves and put the needs of others ahead of our own. In verses 3-4, Paul tells us what we must do to have the unity he describes in verse two. Let’s plug the holes that leak our unity. Each of us can be the reason we have unity in our church, or the reason we don’t. Which are you?
In verses 1-2, Paul expressed his desire for unity in the church. In verses 3-4, he shared how to have that unity. Now, in verses 5-8, he gives us the greatest example of humility, Jesus Christ Himself. What do these verses say about who Jesus is? What do they say about what He did? How high is Jesus? How far did He humble Himself? Are we greater than Jesus? What does it say about us if we refuse to humble ourselves? Is there something going on in your life right now for which you need to humble yourself? Do you feel yourself resisting? What would Jesus have you do? Jesus never emphasized how much better He was than us. Instead, He humbled Himself by being made in our likeness, serving us, and dying for us. How can we follow His example?
If you are worried about humbling yourself: what you might lose, what it might cost you, consider how it turned out for Jesus in verses 9-11. Has anyone ever humbled themselves as far as He did? Will anyone ever be exalted more than He is? He did not do it for Himself but for us. He lost nothing but gained a blood-bought crowd whom He has saved from eternal condemnation. Let’s give Him the honor He is due with our praises, our obedience, and our complete trust in Him. Let’s follow His example and humble ourselves. Let’s trust Him that we have nothing to lose by humbling ourselves but everything to gain.