Exhortation to Unity and Humility (Philippians 2:1-11)

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)

The letter to the Philippians is marked by joy. Paul is thankful and joyful for this small congregation of a big heart. The Philippians’ church is a clear evidence of God’s power and willingness to save. When Paul remembers the humble beginnings of this church with Lydias’ conversion (the first convert in the continent of Europe recorded in the scriptures), Paul can only praise God with a joyful heart. 

There is nothing in this letter that brings a bitter memory to the apostle, throughout this epistle we see Paul (who by the way wrote this letter from prison) talking about joy and asking the church to rejoice with him despite their struggles and his imprisonment.   

In chapter 2, Paul is exhorting the church to pursue and strive for unity. Togetherness in the work of the Gospel requires teamwork, courage, and resilience. In this section, Paul is telling us that the foundation for the unity of the church is our union with Christ. 

He also tells us how to create and maintain a united community; by having a Christlike mindset and a humble attitude toward each other. However, this kind of unity requires the collective effort of individuals living together in complete agreement of mind, heart, and soul. Only the Gospel can bring about this unity and we have an example to follow, Jesus. He is the one who did not count his exalted position as something to hold on too, but emptied himself when he took on human flesh, and while on earth, he served and died for sinners. This is the pattern that every believer should follow, this is the kind of mindset that we ought to have. 

A united church is a joyful church. This letter makes clear that without Christ there is no community, without Christlike humility in the community, there is no unity. As we pursue the mind of Jesus, we become more like him, who came to serve and not to be served. 

Pastor Johnny Dos Santos

Christ Our Hope Church, Union City