The Like-minded Church
Theme: Three means by which Christian unity is realized.
Introduction: Last Sunday we examined four facts all Christians have in common. Paul gave those in verse 1. They were four works of God basic to the believers at Philippi and so to all believers. Now Paul changes his focus. He was saying this is what you have, now he is saying, “This is what you need to do in order to walk in that unity.” He gives them only one simple suggestion: be like-minded. That is the goal to which they are reach.
Now when Paul says “be like-minded”, he is not implying that they should have uniformity of thought. He is not saying they should all have the same opinions about every little issue. He is not saying we need to agree on the umpteenth degree of doctrine. But what he is saying is that we need to have the same mind set; or as we would more commonly say, "be on the same page". What he is hinting at is that we work toward having the similar inward attitude. Toward this end, he offers three means to attain this goal.
I. By Having the same love (The greatest commandments)
A. Love for God first (Matt. 22:37, 38: “37 Jesus replied: ”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.”)
B. Love for neighbor 1. Matt. 22:39, 40: “39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
2. John 13:34, 35: 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
II. By Being harmonious in soul/spirit
Transition: “If we love God and love our neighbor, it should be natural to be in harmony with one another”
A. Acting as one body
1. Eph. 4:4: “4 There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called— “
2. marching band illustration
B. Offering forgiveness
1. Amos 3:3: “3 Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?”
2. Unforgiveness as a chain one to another illustration
3. Eph. 4:32: “32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
III. By "Thinking the one thing"
A. Setting one’s mind upon
1. Choosing to change to a common focus
2. Illustration of all instruments in a band being tuned to the same instrument
B. Having the same attitude as Christ Jesus (vv. 5-8; Paul in verse 2 is setting up for the hymn in these verses)
Conclusion: It is my prayer as pastor that we will make God’s joy complete by being like-minded through these three means as we as body seek Him and His will, His desire for, His vision for reaching the many lost and hurting people in the Towanda area. May He shape us into a unified, like-minded body.