Unleashing the Power of Unity – Sermon with NotesBy
UNLEASHING THE POWER OF UNITY
By Eddie Lawrence
Philippians 2:1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
1. OUR UNITY IS MORE THAN A SPIRITUAL CONCEPT
Philippians 2:1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being ….
-What good is it to have the right doctrinal position on unity if you are not in unity. That is what Paul is saying to the Philippians.
-Hours before Jesus was nailed to the cross, he was draped in travail and intercession in Gethsemane praying for all of us to be one and to be unified and to function like he and Father function. This is the key to seeing God's glory manifest in our lives.
ILLUS- There is a difference between being together and being in unity. A husband and wife can be together in the same house and not have any unity and harmony.
HUMOR- Like two cats whose tails are tied together. They may be together but they are not in unity.
2. OUR UNITY MEANS WE CAN BE LIKE-MINDED
Philippians 2:2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, …
-A few verses later Paul describes the mind of Christ. This is what we as Christians are to have and it is the way we begin to be like-minded.
-Our perspective must be from our position in Christ.
-We see as Christ sees.
ILLUS- Remember one of those submarine movies on TV where the admiral sees something through the perioscope and then invites someone else to see what he is seeing. Jesus as our captain invites us to see what he sees.
3. OUR UNITY MEANS WE CAN HAVE THE SAME LOVE
Philippians 2:2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, ….
-When we have the same love, there is an awesome power released in our midst. We are love Jesus. We are to love one another. We do this through God's love not our own natural love that is often based on what we like or don't like. It is God's love that is filled with commitment and sees the purposes of God. It is sacrificial. It is the love that kept Jesus on the cross while praying for those who rejoiced in seeing him there.
-Divisions are creating when people love the worship but not the God who is worshipped; when people love the preacher, but don't receive what he preaches, etc.
KEY- Jesus tells us in John 13:34-35 that we are to love each other the way he loves us! Therefore, it is vital that we know He loves us and the way he has loved us and continues to love us. Our identities are to be rooted in the love of God. We are lovers because of the we have are loved. We love Him because He has first loved us.
4. OUR UNITY MEANS WE CAN BE ONE IN SPIRIT AND OF ONE MIND
Philippians 2:2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Prayer of agreement- Jesus honors our agreement in prayer with him.
Warfare Synergy- one can put a thousand to flight. Two can put ten thousand to flight.
Bridal Intimacy- Unity is the place where intimacy grows. In marriage, with Christ, and with His church.
5. OUR UNITY MEANS WE CAN BE GENUINELY CONCERNED FOR ONE ANOTHER
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Practical Side: Where there is true unity people treat people in deference and love. Simply put, operating in the love and grace we have in Christ, we can over ourselves and begin living beyond ourselves and seeing Christ in action through our lives. This is what causes the world to know we are Christians.
CONCLUSION: Will we do this? Are we doing this? Can we do this? Only by getting into the place where our love for our Lord is paramount, our love for one another is evident, and our lives portray that we value those around us to the extent that we will sacrifice ourselves for them.
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