United We Stand
Among the many things that categorize our world, “divided” might be one of the most apt descriptors. There seems to be a myriad of things that people differ on, be it religion, politics, or social justice issues. Even something that you would expect some sort of united effort on, like a world-wide pandemic, has put people at odds with one another. Don’t believe me? Have you been on social media lately?
The unfortunate fact is that the Church is not at all immune to this sort of thing. There’s something about a bunch of sinners gathering together that just breeds discord no matter where they do it. Ego, pride, selfishness, and deceit make its way into the body of Christ and result in all sorts of pain.
But it’s not supposed to be that way. The Church of Jesus Christ is supposed to be the beacon of hope and the light of unity in a divided and divisive world. The common ground of the truth of Scripture and the shared experience of the light and life of Christ crosses ideological, racial, social, and political boundaries. The church founded on Jesus and committed to honouring him is a church united.
As we wrap up Philippians chapter one chapter one and make our way into chapter two, we’ll unpack the joy that comes from the unity of faith. There is much for all of us to consider here.
Complete Livestream Service
Joy in the Unity of Faith
July 26, 2020
Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.
A church committed to honouring Christ is united in...
1. Purpose, founded on the truth.
Our purpose is to glorify God through the fulfillment of the great commission (Matthew 28:19) in the spirit of the great commandment (Matthew 22:36-40).
2. Experience, suffering for the sake fo the gospel.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
1 Peter 4:14
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
3. Direction, striving for the same thing.
The Philippians’ thinking is to be governed by the example they have in Christ—by his mindset. It means that their thinking, motivation, feelings and actions are directed by the same thing, Christ’s loving sacrifice for others.
I do not ask for these only (speaking of the disciples), but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just 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 have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
4. Humility, considering others first.
Unless I can leave off loving Christ, I cannot cease loving those who love him.
A church committed to honouring Christ by being united in these things brings freedom.
1. Freedom to be real
2. Freedom from the powers of sin
3. Freedom to enjoy differences
4. Freedom to grow