We live in a country that seems like it's getting more and more divided. Maybe we should call it the Disunited States of America. The word "bipartisanship" isn't used much these days. The red states are getting redder and the blue states are getting bluer. State legislatures can't even get some parties to stay in their state.
We see lack of unity in the home. 40% of kids will go to bed tonight without a father around. The divorce rate is up 56%. And it's almost the same in the church as out of it.
Churches today lack unity. Christianity has split and splintered itself into 6,000 factions and branches of denominations. Within church we often find disunity-pastors are mocked, leaders are attacked, gossip runs rampant. We find feuding, bickering, infighting, intolerance, impatience and very little concern for unity.
And so Paul begins what is one of the most profound and moving descriptions of Christ in the Bible, with a plea for unity.
Let's read Philippians 2:1-2.
Paul says "if you have experienced these evidences of God's grace in your life then-for God's sake, be unified."
Those "ifs" are not expressing doubt or uncertainty. No, Paul's describing exactly what you will experience if you have received of God's grace. Normally we give the condition and then the result.
This evening we're going to see because you have good reasons (in v. 1)... be unified (v. 2) by being selfless (vv. 3-4). That's the thesis of this passage.