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The Two Greatest Hindrances to Christ-Like Unity

As we continue our journey through the Book of Philippians, we see that Paul gives the Church of Philippi some instructions and addresses some issues needing correction, but overall, the letter to the Philippians is colored with favor.(1)

In fact, the book of Philippians may be the best New Testament picture of what a maturing church looks like and what maturing people do.(2) It was also a diversified church that bolstered a fortune teller, fashionista, and jailer as three of its first attendees!(3)

In Philippians 2, we find Paul encouraging them not to lose their Christ-like unity.

Philippians 2:1–4 NIV says, “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.”

Paul is telling them that you may have different backgrounds, come from different economic statuses, and have different stories, but Jesus is up to something in the midst of you!

The truth of what Paul was teaching the Philippians holds true in our lives today. If we are to continue to live in unity with each other, we must DO these things…

1. Live in Unity with Each Other → Put Self-Concern Aside

2. Love Each Other → Give God’s Grace to One Another

3. Work Together to Exalt Christ → Strive Together for Holiness.

At the same time, we should AVOID SELFISH AMBITION and VAIN CONCEIT which strains relationships and hinders Christ-like unity.

It is important to note that ambition is not bad. Ambition is good and often needed, but we must make sure we are not operating out of selfish ambition.

In the same way, conceit can cause us to look inwardly instead of outwardly, causing us to believe that we are due more than we have received and that we’re worthy of more honor than we’re getting.(4)

So, if we want to live a life of unity complete with joy, we must choose HUMILITY.

The greatest example of humility is Jesus himself. He modeled humility by coming to earth and dying on the cross for our sins. And if we practice humility in our lives, we must die to ourselves and put others first.

Have you allowed selfish ambition and vain conceit to hinder your relationship with God and others? If so, there is still hope, and there is still grace through Jesus. All we have to do is come before with a repentant heart and exalt His name above everything else.

(1) Chandler & Wilson, 15

(2) Chandler & Wilson, 15

(3) Chandler & Wilson, 27

(4) Chandler & Wilson, 53


I invite you to watch Pastor Eric’s message, The Motley Crew, from Week 2 of the World Didn’t Give It series in its entirety HERE:

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Tom cruiser
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