Philippians 1:27-2:4

Zara Gandon encourages us to be in unity with one another, putting others needs first and serving a common goal

Zara Gandon
Zara Gandon

Philippians 1:27-2:4

A lot of this passage is about unity. Unity and the church, you don't need to be part of a church to know that sadly, devastatingly the Church is not united.

How can the church be united? What does unity even mean?

I would like you to think of the church as a football team. What's the aim of a football team - the aim is to win. How is winning done? It is done by consistently scoring goals and saving goals, it is done by being a team player, it is done by being fit and being the best you can be. It is done by practice.

Being united doesn't mean being the same. If we had a team full of goalkeepers, we would never let a goal in but we would never score a goal either. If we had a team full of strikers, we would score lots of goals but would probably let lots of goals in too. If we had the best striker in the world but they weren't a team player, you wouldn't get the best outcome as they would never think of others before themselves.

The unity Paul talks about in this passage is like this. This unity is about being completely focused on Jesus and building His kingdom as He has asked us to. Unity has to be about Jesus. I mean what good is it if everyone brought their thinking into line with each other but it had nothing to do with Jesus?

My husband and I strongly disagree on how you should eat jaffa cakes. James believes you should eat jaffa cakes all in one go. I believe you should eat the cake, then the chocolate and the orange jelly. If I wanted to be united with James I would need to decide that eating jaffa cakes in one go was the way to eat them. If James wanted to be united with me he would need to change his view to eating it a bit at a time. If unity was the aim within itself, we could end up going round and round in circles.

Instead it is about unity around a common goal. James and I both love eating jaffa cakes, how we eat then is slightly irrelevant. It is about the unity of enjoying eating jaffa cakes.

Paul is saying "this unity is about everyone fixing their eyes on Jesus and His kingdom."

So how do we do we live in unity. Verses 2-4 of chapter 2 states how we can live in unity. I believe some words of Jesus sum these up perfectly:

He answered, '"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind"; and, "Love your neighbour as yourself."

Unity is about putting others needs before yours, serving a common goal and working together to see that happen. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.