Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said, “The day we find the perfect church, it becomes imperfect the moment we join it!”
No matter how hard we look, we will never find a perfect church. The fact is, the church is made up of imperfect people who have been saved by the grace of Christ. And until we reach glory, churches all across the world will have to deal with the imperfections that arise from our own sin natures. This lesson is paramount in our text today.
Though the church at Philippi had many wonderful qualities, it was far from perfect. Today’s text shows us that a lack of unity was one of the problems. It appears that several members had conflicts with each other. In fact, in the fourth chapter of Philippians, Paul encourages two ladies, Euodia and Syntyche, to agree in the Lord.
Unity is very important to our Lord. Psalm 133 teaches us how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity. Romans 14:19 teaches us to “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” Ephesians 4:3 teaches us to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit on the bond of peace.” Unity in the church is of the highest importance because a church that is divided on the inside will have little impact on the outside.
This text teaches us that unity will only come through humility and a genuine look to the interest of others. This type of humility and genuine interest in others is first modeled in our Lord Jesus Christ who humbled Himself to the point of death, even death on the cross. And we know that Christ did that to serve others…yes, even us. As the Scriptures say, Jesus came to serve, not to be served. And now, Christ encourages us to model this same type of humility and service towards others for the sake of the unity of His church.
Are we eager to maintain the unity of the church? Do we pursue peace amongst our members? Or do we let petty differences get in our way? Let’s commit to having the mind of Christ and pursue unity through humility.
Rev. Adam Mumpower, Senior Pastor