Would you please explain Paul’s plea for unity?

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Let's read the passage together:

Phil 2:1-8 (NASB)

1 ¦ Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,

2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

God's people are to be united in their work for Him. A house divided against itself cannot stand. The most important work in the world is the work of the Lord. We are commanded to be humble in our relationship to one another.

But people being what they are, are always going to put themselves first, ahead of others. Immature Christians will always cause division over trivial things. Hugo McCord tells the sad, true story of a congregation so divided that one part of the congregation met for worship at one time, and the other part of the congregation met at a different time on Sunday. This was in the days when coal was used to heat buildings, and a dispute arose among them as to who was using the most coal. It was decided that they would divide the coal into two separate and equal piles. One faction could use it's pile to heat the building, the other faction was to use their own pile.

A very young man who had been attending the church there for some time decided he wanted to change the marquis sign in the front of the building, somehow he got a hold of the letters and spelled out, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, Two coal piles.

The key to understanding this passage is verse three, and the word "humble." It's not a concept that is taught any more in our world, but it is a Biblical concept. If brethren would humble themselves, very few of the things that divide congregations would become a problem.

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