United Around Christ (Philippians 2:1–2) - Radical

United Around Christ (Philippians 2:1–2)

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
-Philippians 2:1–2

This is a pretty clear call to unity in the church that we’re seeing in Philippians 2, verses one and two. And if you keep reading on, part of me is tempted to read this whole passage down to verse 11, because the way Paul appeals to unity is not by saying, “You guys need to agree about every single thing you think.” Like good luck with that. All kinds of people, all kinds of Christians have all kinds of ideas about all kinds of different things, opinions, preferences, even convictions that are not clearly spelled out in the Bible.

Philippians 2:1–2 Unites Believers Around Jesus

But the picture of unity here, being in full accord and of one mind, revolves around Jesus. And you keep reading on you and you see one of the most awesome pictures of Jesus anywhere in the Bible from Philippians Chapter Two, verse five through 11, of his humanity and his deity and his love and his sacrifice and humility and his exaltation. Jesus is the one who unites us in the church. And not just who he is, but how he loves. That’s the picture there in Philippians Two, too. Did you hear it? Complete my joy by being in the same mind, having the same love. What’s that talking about? It’s talking about the love of Jesus who laid down his life for us.

And so, I want to encourage you to think about your relationship specifically with other followers of Jesus and maybe even particularly with other followers of Jesus who have different thoughts than you do, and different opinions and preferences that you do, and even different convictions on things that are not clearly directly spelled out in God’s word, and think how can I make sure practically cultivate unity with them in Jesus and show love toward them. Sacrificial, lay down your life, kind of love toward them just as the Bible is calling us to here based on the attitude and example and life of Jesus in us.

Philippians 2:1–2 Leads Us to Pray for Our Local Churches

And so we pray, God to help us as your church today, in each of our local churches and beyond in the broader church, to be in full accord and of one mind, having the mind of Christ who laid down his life and love for us. God, we pray for that same love in each one of our hearts and help us, we pray, to show that same love to each other in our churches and help us to show that same love to people in different churches who have different thoughts and opinions and preferences and convictions about different things that are not clearly and directly spelled out in your word. God, we pray for the unity of your church. Just like Jesus, you prayed for this in John 17.

May it be so among us today, especially amidst all the temptations to division around us, and all the hurts that we’ve experienced through division around us. God, we pray for this comfort from love and affection and sympathy and encouragement in Christ with each other, for the same mind and heart, for the same mind and love, to mark us as your people today in a way that points the world to who you are, Jesus. By this, the world will know that you’re my disciples by your love for one another.

Philippians 2:1–2 Teaches Us to Love Each Other

God, help us to love each other well like this, according to your word in Philippians Chapter Two. And God, we pray for this in our churches, the broader church here, and then we pray for this for your church around the world. We pray for places in the world where there is division in your church, where there are warring tribes even among followers of Jesus. God, we pray that you would guard, God, we pray that you would cultivate that unity in your church and help us to faithfully do our parts toward that end.

That Christ might be clear, I think about people groups we’re praying for right now in Cameroon who have little to no knowledge of the gospel, in different parts of Cameroon we know your church is there. God, may your church be united in Cameroon for the spread of the gospel in Cameroon, even as I pray for churches to be united in the United States around the gospel and the love and the mind of Christ for the spread of your grace and your love in Christ in the United States. God, may it be so here, around the world, for the glory of Jesus’ name. I pray this according to Philippians Chapter Two, verses one and two. In Jesus’ name, amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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