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Philippians, Chapter Two, Lesson One

THE JOY OF UNITY           Page 4
V. 3 (Cont'd.)

** How encompassing is that command?

"Do nothing"! Paul is addressing everything that we think, say or do. All is included, nothing is to be excluded from this prohibition.

** Can you think of some people in chapter one who were guilty of this kind of behavior?

Verse 15 of chapter one, those who were "preaching Christ from envy and strife" (and from verse 17) "out of selfish ambition".

** In our verse three for today, which adjective does Paul use to better help us in our understanding of conceit?

He says that it is "empty". There simply is no true substance to any view that would exalt us above our brothers and sisters in Christ. cf. Colossians 2:18 and Galatians 5:26

** Alright then, let's look closely at this verse to find the second step in God's design for unity within the body of Christ. What is it?

2) Regarding others as more important than yourself.

You may remember from our study in Ephesians 5:21, that Christians were to be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. "Be subject" translated hupotasso - lit. "to rank under". This was the exact same idea. We rank ourselves under the importance of others in the body of Christ, out of our reverence for the Lord.

** What genuine attitude is required for us to be successful in this noble effort?

"...with humility of mind..." the very opposite of conceit. While conceit is an empty boast, true humility before a Holy God will fill us with the God given capacity to meet the needs of others.
cf. Romans 12:3

V. 4 ** While we are 1) Watching our motives, and 2) Exalting others - What is the third step in God's plan?

3) We should not merely look out for our own personal interests, but also for those of others.

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