Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
History and Context:
The church in Phillipi was one of the first churches in Europe. This means these are some of the first believers in what we now know as the "Western World". Paul visited them around 49-50 AD and then at least two more times after that in 56 and 57 AD. One of the first Christians in Phillipi was the jailer who was assigned to guard Paul and Silas (and the other prisoners) when they were thrown in prison. God used an earthquake to set them free and to convince this jailer of His reality. (Acts 16:25-34) This letter was written in response to the church sending Epaphroditus to Paul to help him in his time of need.
Paul is talking about unity and servanthood. He begins at the end of chapter one talking about unity. That we should be of one mind and one spirit. That we should work together for the Gospel. Than he continues in this passage and leads into a discussion of servanthood; viewing others as better than ourselves, not looking after our own interests of the interests of those around us. Paul then goes on to show us how Jesus set the perfect example of servanthood in the verses to follow. This passage shows a connection between servanthood and unity. We must lay down our own pride and begin to serve those around us before we can achieve unity. True unity is only achieved with an attitude of service and humility, then with this unity we can achieve great things for the Gospel.
If the enemy can't get us to turn against God, his next strategy is to get us to turn against each other. If we are continually fighting with each other than we can do nothing to advance the kingdom of God. If each church is continually trying to pull members from other churches than no one will pull members out of the gates of hell into heaven. It is time for us as Christians to lay down our pride, go after God, and serve one another! It is time for s to finally be of one mind, the mind of Christ.
Lord, help me to have your mind and to look to serve other's needs before my own. Help me to do my part in bringing unity to the church. If I have any grudge against anybody I let it go now. I don't want to hold on to that anymore! In Jesus' name, Amen!