The Secrets of Unity (Philippians 2:1-4) Part 1

Sunday, July 31st, 2016
Sermon Series: Philippians

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The Secrets of Unity

The Passionate Apostolic Plea for Unity

from Philippians 2:1-4—part one

A man and his wife were out on the town. Seeing flashing red and blue lights in his rear view mirror, he pulls to the side of the road. A minute after coming to a stop, a police officer approaches the car. The husband asks, “What’s the problem, officer?”

The officer says, “Sir, you were going 75 mph in a 55 mph zone. I’m afraid I’m going to give you a ticket.” The man says, “No sir, I was only going a little over 60,” but his wife says, “Oh Harry, you were going at least 80.” (At this point, the husband gives his wife a dirty look.)

The officer says, “I’m also going to give you a ticket for your broken taillight.” The husband says, “Broken taillight? I didn’t know anything about a broken taillight!”

The wife chimes in, “Oh Harry, you’ve known about that taillight for weeks.” (He burns a hole in her with his eyes.)

The officer then says, “I’m also going to give you a citation for not wearing your seatbelt,” to which the husband replies, “Oh, I just took it off when you were walking up to the car.”

His wife then says, “Oh Harry, you never wear your seat belt!” The husband then turns to his wife and yells, “For cryin’ out loud, can’t you just be quiet?!”

The officer turns to the woman and asks, “Ma’am, does your husband talk to you this way all the time?” to which the wife says, “No officer, only when he’s drunk.”

Would you agree–a clear case of disunity. One of the greatest drains on our lives is the drain of division–that nagging awareness you’re at odds with someone. Disunity has literally eaten away my heart like acid on metal. Yet in Psalm 133:1 to 2 God says through David, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious oil upon the head.” David says unity is delightful, pleasant and precious.

Today as we pick up our study of Philippians, now arriving at chapter 2, Paul begins a powerful plea for unity. The Philippians were battling with disunity, so Paul pleads for an end to their divisiveness head on in chapter 2. As we begin, make certain you’re not confused about unity. Paul is not talking about uniformity–uniformity comes from uniform, or what you look like on the outside. No, unity comes from character, from internals, from the Word and the Spirit.

Paul isn’t commanding the Philippians to dress alike. You’ve seen it, the family reunion where everyone wears the same T-shirt. Or the mom who sews sailor outfits for all the kids—“ahoy”. Or the church that styles the same–everyone dresses alike, prays with the same expressions (“Yes, Lord–mmmm, Amen.”), everyone has the same political views, they’re all the same race, everyone went to college or farms or builds or geeks out over Star Wars or the latest Call of Duty game.

No–unity is not the pursuit of being the same. Unity is not uniformity. Biblical unity is pursuing the same person and the same truth. Unity is not looking the same, but looking at the same God. Unity is not first the process of pleasing others–it is first the process of pleasing God. Unity is different people pursuing Christ together. Unity is unique people following God’s Word as written. Unity is differing roles, yet pursuing oneness.

Why must genuine believers work at unity and love unity? Christ-followers are to give up their rights, privileges and freedoms for unity–why? Because unity is a part of God’s perfect, vast, Triune nature. There is unity in the Godhead. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are in perfect unity–even though they’re three different persons, they are one God.

Whenever there’s disunity, we dishonor God’s character. Whenever there is disunity, we malign God’s person. When we allow disunity, we distort a proper understanding of the God who is three but one. When we stop making unity a passionate priority, we stop bringing glory to God. Our Lord made this really clear in His prayer in John 17:11b, “’Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.’”

Then in verses 21 through 23, “’that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one. 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me.’”

Unity is a major issue–because God is one, we’re to be one. Unity starts with the Trinity–three equal, different, eternal persons who function in different roles, yet are one. When a marriage or a church function together as one, even though spouses or people are really different, that is a powerful testimony to the reality of our Triune God. People take notice when genuine unity is on display.

Non-Christians can’t enjoy internal, heart-driven unity because unity is sourced in the very nature of God Himself. And our Lord, through the apostle Paul, commands us to make unity a top priority in Ephesians 4:3, “being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Diligent is to hurry, to make a priority, to work to exhaustion.

First Corinthians 1:10 adds, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” To glorify God, we are to function as one in our church–work together as one in our ministries, in our community groups, with our leadership, and one in our marriages.

And there are more reasons why unity is crucial. Disunity among God’s people deeply grieves the Lord. You’re supporting Satan if you encourage disunity, since fracturing the Church is one of Satan’s major objectives. A bickering church is a spiritually weak church. How can non-Christians be convinced Christ reconciles us to God if we are not reconciled to each other? Disunity turns a church in on itself, devouring time on self instead of shining forth the light of truth to a dark world.

Think of unity as a hundred unique marbles in a bag–once unity is lost, the bag rips open. It’s chaos. We desperately need the Spirit and His Word to hold us together in unity. This is a great time to study unity since I am not aware of any disunity. But because each of us struggle with the flesh, our sinful bents, our self-will and pride and because we battle an enemy who’d love to divide us, we must be on alert 24/7 and be ready to preserve unity.

Unity is a passion of mine–I have seen disunity destroy churches, ruin marriages, and damage elderships. You must know, the pain of those events has warped me. I’m a different person because of the savagery of disunity. Though I love differences in the church, I love them–I fear disunity. I hate spiritual apathy, but I fear disunity! Whenever I smell the beginnings of disunity in leadership, I am on the phone or in the face that very day, within 24 hours, doing all I can under God’s grace to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

In your marriage, in your ministry, with your church, my prayer for you is to diligently preserve unity. I pray the Spirit will warp you, so you’ll fear disunity and love oneness with different people, whether a spouse or fellow Christians. I’ve been praying you become heart-sensitive to unity because you’ve grown in love with the oneness of our Triune God. You want to show Him off by living one with your spouse, even though he’s an insensitive husband or she’s an emotional wife.

I pray you’d be so in love with God’s oneness you’ll pursue living unified with Christians even though they’re sometimes difficult people. Now in chapter 2, Paul passionately commands this body to pursue unity because this great church was divided. It was so bad, two women are actually called out in chapter 4—Paul singled them out like me saying, “Barbara, Betty–you two get along!”

Even though the book of Philippians celebrates rejoicing, the theme of this little letter is unity. Even before Paul commands unity directly in chapter 2, he’s been calling for unity indirectly in chapter 1. Do you remember? He greets them, pours out his affections for them, then prays for their love to mature in verses 1 to 11.

In 12 to 18, Paul discusses his current situation, modeling unity by declaring he doesn’t care about those slandering him, as long as Christ is exalted. In 18 to 21, he talks about his future by saying whether he lives or dies, God will be magnified since his life is Christ and death is gain. Finally in 22 to 30, Paul calls the Philippian Christians to function as one as they focused on their purpose.

But currently, this great church was not unified. So, Paul had a holy dissatisfaction about them. Paul longed for them to be shaken out of their pious complacency. Epaphroditus brought news of Philippi to Paul while Paul is under house arrest in Rome–so Paul knew they were struggling. The church at Philippi was theologically sound, devoted, loving, zealous, committed, prayerful and generous–but they were battling with disunity and it was brought about by just a few, possibly even just two.

Identifying and confronting the contentious is crucial, because they can fracture a church with disunity. So what does Paul say to the Philippians and to each of you? As you read verses 1 to 4 with me, notice Paul isn’t critical, nor does he demand improvement. Paul’s response is wiser and deeper–he points to our privileges in Christ. He exposes our salvation from Christ. He appeals to the riches of grace, urging the obedience of faith–meaning dependent obedience motivated by what God has done for them in Christ.

Philippians 2:1 through 4, “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

It will require two Sundays to expose all that’s here in verses 1 to 4. But as we do, pray with me. Father, change us, so we love unity and fear disunity. Cause us to see how even our comments, conversations, attitudes, and relationships either build unity or shred it. Cause us to bring You glory by displaying Your oneness. And make us to be thankful for the unity we have enjoyed. In Christ’s name, Amen. Right off, Paul reminds us . . .

#1  Christians have the MEANS to be unified

Paul reminds the Philippians they have God’s resources to live in unity. Paul is clear about this in Philippians 2:1. As I read verse one, notice the four if’s. “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion.”

In English, there is one if, but in Greek there are multiple if’s. These if’s are first class condition if’s, meaning if this condition is true, and it is, then. As a result, the if’s here are better translated since. “Therefore [since] there is encouragement in Christ, [since] there is consolation of love, [since] there is fellowship of the Spirit, [since] . . . affection and compassion.”

Paul is telling the Philippians they have the means to be unified. They have the resources in Christ, and because of that, it should motivate them toward unity. Let’s say you went to a Christian college, you came to know Christ there, grew in the Word, met your future spouse there and received training for future ministry there. At your graduation, when you hear, “If you have been encouraged here at Whatsamatta U, if you are grateful for the relationships and the training, then be sure to support Whatsamatta U with your prayers and finances.”

No one misunderstands the assumption if these things are true, and they are, then here is your responsibility. Paul is doing the same—you have been blessed in this manner. Therefore here are your responsibilities. Paul begins verse 1 with therefore, tying this command back to Philippians 1:27—“Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” You Philippians–stand in one spirit with one mind, striving together.

Do I have the resources for unity? Paul says, “Yes, you do!” You’ve been enabled to be unified. What are the means?

First  THE CAPITAL OF BEING UNITED WITH CHRIST

If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ”–since Christ saved you, forgave you, loved you and secured you, if He’d do all this for you; you who are rebellious sinners, who were fighting God and hurting others. Then assumed, will you not now fight for unity? Once you’re in Christ, you have everything.

Read Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” And 2 Peter 1:3, “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” Being in Christ is having all Christ has–you have it all. Christ saved you and sanctified you–you have it all.

So is there any encouragement in Christ? The Greek word encouragement means an intimate exhortation. Paul says, “Let Christ speak to you in the hush of your own heart. Respond to what Christ has done for you–all the capital you have in Christ.” Response is a sign of life–no response to stimuli means death. Paul calls them to react to the truth of being in Christ. That reaction will prove you’re in Christ and create unity.

Second  EXPERIENCING THE COMFORT OF GOD’S LOVE

Look at verse 1b, “if there is any consolation of love”–had the Philippians not felt the grip of Christ’s love for them? Not only in His sacrificial death on their behalf, but in sustaining them through the darkest difficulties. The Greek consolation means speaking closely with someone. There is an intimate persuasiveness of love–Paul says if love has any power by its tenderness to stir your hearts, then listen.

If Christ has loved you, if I have loved you, then respond in unity. I may fail to love, a spouse or a child or a parent will fail to love, but Christ never fails to love you perfectly, fully, and continually. Have you experienced the comfort of God’s love? It is His love which compels us to love others in unity, even with difficult people.

Third  KNOWING THE COMPANIONSHIP OF THE SPIRIT

Look at verse 1c, “if there is any fellowship of the Spirit”–every genuine Christian is indwelt with the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9b, “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” We are bound to Christ through the gift of the Spirit. The same Holy Spirit who indwelt Jesus Christ also indwells your heart.

It is this same Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, who dwells in the hearts of all your fellow-believers. We are one with all true believers in the fellowship of the Spirit. The Greek word for fellowship means participation, partnership and sharing. We are partnered with the Spirit and all those who have the Spirit are partnered together.

The Holy Spirit is the unifying principle in the local church. The Spirit alone brings order out of chaos and preserves harmony in the body of Christ. Unless the Holy Spirit rules, it is confusion, disorder or mere excitement. Listen, there is more power of the Spirit manifested in a unified church than in a church all speaking in tongues. True partnership of the Spirit results in unity.

Fourth  ENJOYING THE COMPASSION OF CHRIST

Look at verse 1d, “if any affection and compassion”–our Master is gentle and humble. He possesses meekness and gentleness–so much so, Jesus doesn’t even break off a bruised reed or extinguish a smoldering wick. As His child, He doesn’t toss you away when you’re bent or messed up, nor get rid of you when you’re difficult.

Working with a hammer and nails in a third world country, a friend was about to toss a bent nail away, but the response was, “Don’t do that, we don’t throw those away. We hammer them straight and reuse them. They’re too valuable to toss.” If you’re one of those bent nails, messed up and hurt–Christ doesn’t toss you away either.

He has intense affection and compassion toward you. The Greek affection is the word bowels–the intestines. We’d say guts–to the Greeks, feeling deeply is a gut feeling. In the New Testament, this word became used to describe the capacity to love. Paul says, “If you have the capacity to love, then make my joy full by living in unity.” Christ’s affection towards you is deep, gut-level affection. Therefore you are capable of having affection for others.

The Greek compassion is the word mercies. Our God is the 2 Corinthians 1:3, “Father of mercies.” And Romans 12:1, “by the mercies of God present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God.” Mercy here can also be translated pity. If God was merciful to you, if God took pity on you–then make my joy full by taking pity on others in unity.

You see, all these privileges bring responsibilities. The implied negative side to these privileges is the sin of ingratitude to God. What do you say to someone who is eager to receive all the blessings God offers, but is unwilling to offer Him anything in return? Think about what you already have in Christ—salvation now and forever, Christ’s unconditional love, and His compassionate care for us as His children.

Paul knows the Philippians are a loving church, so He gently reminds them of what they already have in Christ in order to exhort them to deal with their disunity. Verse 1, IF you’ve received all these blessings in Christ (and you have), THEN you are responsible to live for Christ, which will produce unity in a local church. Is this you?

Generally, verses 2 through 4 now call believers to bring joy to others, live in unity with others, and value others. Do you? Paul makes certain they understand how important unity is to God and how crucial unity is personally to himself in verse 2a, which gives us our second point.

#2  The Apostolic MANDATE for Unity

Since the Philippians have all the MEANS of unity in verse 1, Paul commands his beloved Philippians to pursue unity for his sake. Look at verse 2, “Make my joy complete by . . .” Not obvious in English, but this is the only command in the first four verses of chapter 2. Overlooked by most commentators, this is the strongest plea in these four verses.

Paul says, “Make my joy full–fill my cup with joy.” The Philippians love Paul–he’s their spiritual father! He brought them the Gospel at great personal cost. They have abundant life and eternal life humanly because of Paul. Like that friend who led you to Christ, or that first pastor who opened up the Word of God to you, or that discipler who was used of God to open your dead eyes.

Paul says in verse 2, “Make my joy complete” to His children in the faith. “Do you really wanna make me happy? You already do, but if you want to fill my cup of joy to overflowing, then live unified.” For some, it’s shocking for Paul to command the Philippians to make his joy complete by living unified. They are supposed to live for Christ, not Paul. Yet never forget believers, it is right and proper to reward a faithful servant of the Lord in this manner. It’s a legitimate goal of believers to honor their spiritual leaders by changing according to the Scriptures.

The New Testament makes it clear–churches are to love, honor, respect and appreciate their human leaders. First Thessalonians 5:12 and 13, “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.”

Hebrews 13:17, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” Churches should honor and respect their leaders—so with Paul being so intimate with Philippi and they continuing to love and support Paul even while he is under house arrest, he commands them to make his joy full.

Verse 2, the Greek word complete means supreme over-fullness, satisfied, bring in full measure. Complete is used in the New Testament like this (sorrow has filled your heart). Paul is commanding the Philippians to be completely unified so that joy will completely fill Paul’s heart. Paul can’t rest content while a spirit of faction exists in this beloved church.

Now look carefully at verse 2, in your most excellent NASB, or your ESV, and find one little word in verse 2—“make my joy complete by.” See it? By. So unique–the English word by is the Greek word ina, which is normally translated that, and denotes purpose. So a more clumsy but accurate translation would be this—“make my joy complete [that]” or better, “make my joy complete [for the purpose of].”

#3  The genuine MARKS of Unity

Since the Philippians have all the MEANS of unity in verse 1, Paul commands his beloved Philippians to pursue unity for his sake in verse 2a, to fill his cup of joy to overflowing, for the purpose of verse 2b, living unified. Look at verse 2, “by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.”

Paul does something amazing–he connects each phrase of verse 1 with each phrase of verse 2. Did you observe the connection? Compare verse 1 phrase-by-phrase with verse 2. As you do, you will observe the marks, or steps, to unity.

Verse 1a, “if there is any encouragement in Christ,”

Verse 2, “by being of the same mind

 

Verse 1b, “if there is any consolation of love,”

Verse 2, “maintaining the same love

 

Verse 1b, “if there is any fellowship of the Spirit,”

Verse 2, “united in spirit

 

Verse 1d, “if any affection and compassion,”

Verse 2, “intent on one purpose

There’s an obvious connection between what we’ve been given in Christ and what we’re expected to live for Christ. Our exact position works itself out in our specific practice. Telling the Philippians, you, and me, we can live in unity. We have the positional resources and as they’re worked out, they become the marks of unity we practice. God never commands you to do anything without giving you the ability to obey that command. What does biblical unity look like?

First  To be LIKEMINDED

The first mark is verse 2b, “by being of the same mind”–which literally means to think the same thing, to be likeminded. Likeminded thinking is crucial to developing biblical unity. This very verb, likeminded, is used 26 times in the New Testament and ten of those references are in this Philippian letter. In fact, in verse 2 the exact verb (present subjunctive) used here for “being of the same mind” is also used at the end of verse 2, when it says (present participle) “intent on one purpose.”

And the exact same verb is used in verse 5—look. “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ,” pointing to this–likeminded thinking is thinking like Christ. And here in verse 2, the way Paul uses the verb likeminded, “by being of the same mind” tells us Paul is hoping this quality will continually be manifested in the Philippian church.

Thinking like Christ is like-Christ-minded! You think like Christ when you know Christ through salvation. And you think like Christ when you grow deeper in His Word. Unity comes through knowing Christ and His Word accurately. Unity results from being like Christ, who’s one with the Father and one with the Spirit.

As you read verses 5 through 11, unity comes as you live like Christ, who was willing to do anything to secure our salvation so His children could be reconciled to God, moving us to be willing to do anything to reconcile with others. Would Christ fight for His rights or give them up? Would Christ seek for revenge or take the abuse? Would Christ remain offended or overlook the offence? Think like Christ, be likeminded, be unified.

Second  To show the SAME LOVE

Verse 2c, “maintaining the same love”–to maintain the same love means to love others equally. Unity comes from loving others the same, not playing favorites, giving Christ’s love equally to others. It’s loving others the same, loving others similarly. This is why cliques can be so devastating to a church, why special friends can actually harm a student group, why close friendships can actually harm a ministry.

Disunity, jealousy, envy, resentments are caused by a sinful heart, but those sins are fueled by cliques. Okay, so what do we do with our BFF’s, besties, good friends? To please Christ, do I have to dump my friends? No! The answer is not to ignore your good friends, but Paul says, “maintain the same love”–love the same.

So only speaking about church events—Sunday’s worship and on the patio, Wednesdays, picnics, beach trips, student gatherings and community groups–this phrase is not talking about hanging out, or getting some friends together. When you attend a church event and you spend the entire time with your clique of friends, that’s bad. It’s actually what Paul is exposing here–it’s actually what Paul denounced with the Corinthians.

First Corinthians 1:12, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” You’re ignoring all the various parts of the body of Christ and just hanging out with the liver. It demonstrates you only love your clique. You’re not loving others equally–maintaining the same love. If you give a token acknowledgement to others, but still focus your heart on your group, it is much the same. But if you high-five your gang, but also speak to others, share with others, care for others, meet others, love others then you are maintaining the same love.

You don’t ignore your friends, but you love others equally. You say, “I can’t do that.” Yes you can. The Greek word for love here is agape–the love of the will, the love of choice not emotion, not preference. This love is based on an intentional choice to seek the best for others. And because agape is based on the will, it can be commanded. And it is something all genuine Christians can do. Enjoy your friends, but don’t divide the body of Christ. Do that by maintaining the same love.

Third  To display a united SOUL

Verse 2d, “united in spirit”–literally means one-souled, and is only used here in the New Testament. We’re different, but we’re one. Never forget you are part of one body. We are all immersed in Christ through His Spirit. We have the fruit of the Spirit, the gifting of the Spirit. We’re bound to each other, belong to each other in the body.

Again, the Corinthians got this wrong–they forgot. First Corinthians 12:20 to 21, “But now there are many members, but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’” No, we’re bound together. We are one body, united in spirit. Yet we need all the parts of the body, since we are all part of the body.

Maybe you’re the hand, but you still need the eye, and maybe you’re a foot in the body of Christ, but you need the head. We need all our differences–we desperately need the unique way Christ lives through each of us with our giftedness. As Peter said in 1 Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

Our differences, our giftedness, are literally called here manifold–meaning the many-colored grace of God. We are united by the Spirit, united in Spirit, all baptized into one body, yet we are different–but it is those differences which actually cause more of Christ to be seen. Though you’re different, live one-souled. You belong to each other.

Choose to see the gifted differences of your fellow-believers as opportunities to see Christ lived out in ways you need–in fact, lived out in ways you’ll never be able to fully display. Choose to think, to be, to act united in spirit. Warning–this truth is for you to apply to yourself, not others. (“They don’t love me the same!”)

Fourth  To live for ONE PURPOSE

At the end of verse 2e, “intent on one purpose.” This is the same Greek word used at the beginning of verse 2 with, “same mind” and at the beginning of verse 5, “same attitude.” But here it’s a participle combined with the Greek word for one, giving us this accurate translation, “one purpose”. What is that purpose? Isn’t that what Paul has been clarifying to the Philippians in chapter 1?

Speaking of his passion while under house arrest in Rome, some praetorian guards and members of Caesar’s household were coming to Christ. And the Roman Christians were being even bolder with the Gospel in Rome. Paul even reminded them he didn’t care if some were maligning him, as long as the Gospel was preached to the lost.

Paul clearly told the Philippians, “to live is Christ.” Then wrapping up chapter one with verse 27, “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”

One more unifying goal is the Gospel–one purpose. It is not only the Word of God and person of Christ. It is not only loving each other equally. It is not only the Spirit manifested through the body of Christ. It is the Gospel–our one purpose.

Once an African tribe lost a little child who had wandered out into the tall grass. The entire village searched all day, but the child was not found–many didn’t sleep that night. The next morning someone thought, “We should all hold hands and walk through the grass together.” They did and found the child. Sadly, he had died from the cold. In her anguish, the mother cried out to all, ”If only we had held hands together sooner.”

Paul is saying the same thing when it comes to the lost around us–we must hold hands in unity if we are to help those who are lost to be found. Listen, if you’re not passionate about the Gospel being made known in every way, sharing the good news with friends and families, churches being planted, men trained and churches built up–if you’re not pursuing your purpose to be used of God to make as many people like Jesus Christ in the shortest time possible . . . if that is not your purpose—if that is not your mission, then something else will be, some lesser purpose.

Some inferior, worldly, pseudo-Christian mission will be, and as a result you will not be unified with everyone else who is on target, living for their one purpose—the Gospel. So . . . if we are to be unified, we must live one purpose–to make the Gospel known, to exalt our Savior and His Word, to proclaim the work of the Triune God on our behalf, to live magnifying our God as King over all. Are you unified? Let’s pray.

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ABOUT THIS PREACHER

Chris is the teaching pastor at Faith Bible Church – Murrieta.

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