I. Unity is important to God and His people. Philippians 2:1-22 discusses the importance of unity.
- Unity is God’s nature. Deuteronomy 6:4 states
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Matthew Matthew 28:19-20 explains God’s threeness, but within the threeness, there is also oneness between the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. See John 10:30.
- Unity is God’s purpose. We should have a harmonious relationship with God. See Psalm 133:1.
- Unity promotes human prosperity. See Ephesians 4:3-6.
II. The causes of disunity
- Satan’s schemes cause disunity. It started with the serpent in the garden. When Adam and Eve disobeyed, they were separate from God and from each other. There is a lot of disunity because people accuse and are in conflict with each other. But the blood of the lamb overcame Satan.
- Human selfishness (James 4:1-2a; James 3:16) and ignorance (1 Peter 1:14) cause disunity.
- Systemic patterns cause disunity. Sometimes, the conflict gets ingrained in our culture and we need to reject this. See Ephesians 6:12.
III. God’s restoration of unity. God started the restoration of unity with Abraham to restore the whole world back to him.
- God’s restoration of unity continues with Christ. See 1 John 4:9-10. The blood of Jesus makes peace (see Colossians 1:19-20). We have a new heart, mind, and person through Christ Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).
- The attitude of Christ. See Philippians 2:3-4.
- Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. See Philippians 2:3a. The point is not to have no ambition, rather to have the right ambition. Ambition for others is good, but ambition just for self gain is not. Vain conceit means living for the praise of others instead of living for God.
- In humility consider others better than yourselves. See Philippians 2:3b. Humility was not a desired characteristic during Jesus’s time, but Jesus made it desirable. It takes a very strong person to be humble. See 1 Peter 5:5b-6. We are all broken people in various stages of repair and should base our value on what Christ has done for us.
- Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interest of others. See Philippians 2:4. It’s important to take care of our own interests, but we also need to consider others.
- What unity looks like. See Philippians 2:2.
- being like minded.
- having the same love.
- being one in spirit.
- being one in purpose.
- Unity is not uniformity, but it’s having a common purpose. We are all different as individuals and we should not let our opinions over disputable matters separate us. Romans 14:1 states:
Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.
We should seek first this unity with Jesus, and then we will be united with each other.
- The result of unity is a desire for Jesus. When the world sees believers and churches united and putting the interest of others first, they will attribute this behavior to Jesus. John 17:20-21 states
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.