Together in Deep Spiritual Unity (Sermon Recap)
TOGETHER IN DEEP SPIRITUAL UNITY
In our most recent sermon we reflected on Philippians 2:1-2, where Paul continues to unpack what a gospel-worthy way of life looks like within the church community. It looks like this: Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered believers who abide together in deep spiritual unity.
In verse 1, Paul sets forth the foundation of church unity: “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy” (Philippians 2:1 ESV). Although the precise meaning of each phrase is difficult to pin down, the basic idea is clear: Paul is describing God’s transforming work in His people through Christ’s glorious gospel and by the power of the Holy Spirit. In this work, God brings spiritual encouragement, comfort, participation/fellowship, affection, and sympathy to His people. If we have experienced the goodness of God’s transforming work in us, then we are in a position to let God’s transforming work have its full effect in making us a radically unified church community.
So, building upon the foundation of verse 1, in verse 2 Paul calls the church to unity: “complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Philippians 2:2 ESV). Thus we are called to experience deep spiritual unity of mind, of heart, and of soul. Unity of mind (“same mind,” “one mind”) means that we have deep agreement on what the most important things are, and we are moving together in the same basic direction. It is the same things that matter most to each of us. Unity of heart (“same love”) means that we love the same things: we love Christ and we also have a loving devotion to one another. Unity of soul (“in full accord”) means that our souls are truly knit together as a community. It means that our relational connection is deep and strong: we cannot imagine not doing life together, because we are so invested in one another and our lives are intertwined in the most profound ways by the Spirit of God.
How shall we cultivate this unity of heart, mind, and soul? By being together often – indeed, by being together often with the gospel of Christ and the words of Christ at the center of our consideration; and by being together often with a view toward exercising love and practical care for one another; and by being together in ministry, serving side by side to advance the interests of God’s kingdom.
Are you ‘all in’ to this deep spiritual unity that believers share?