The Power of Unity
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. (Philippians 1:27)
What does a successful church look like? Does it have a certain number of people? A specific size of a building? A busy calendar filled with various programs?
Paul didn't write to the Philippians, telling them that he wanted them to increase their attendance, develop more programs, or even feed more hungry people. His biggest desire for them was that they would be a unified church.
The word conversation means lifestyle. So, Paul began Philippians 1:27 by saying he wanted the Philippians’ lifestyle to be worthy of the Gospel of Christ. He then defined how a Christian community should behave if they really believe in Jesus.
Paul began his explanation by saying that the community was to stand fast in one spirit. This Greek phrase describes people who continue to stand with a never-failing attitude together, encouraging and uplifting one another. When Paul wrote one mind, he was referring to the fact that members of churches must be on the same page as their pastor. They should understand their purpose and mission as a community of faith.
However, thinking and encouraging are not enough. It’s good to mentally ascent and agree on things, but there’s more to it. Paul explained that they should also be striving together. In the Greek, that phrase is sunathleo, and describes a team that wrestles together against an enemy. Satan understands the spiritual truth that one can put one thousand to flight, and two can put ten thousand (Deuteronomy 32:30), which is why he does everything within his power to break churches apart. There is exponential power in unity.
Practical Application – Unity is powerful. Don’t let division rob you of your strength!
Ephesians 4:3; Psalm 133:1