The Radical Call to Oneness

New Philly Hongdae (video streamed to Sillim, Itaewon, Busan, Sydney, Melbourne)
Preached by Christian Lee on March 13, 2016, Sunday.
Duration: 61 minutes (audio)

Preached at NP Hongdae-Alpha


Christ humbled himself and emptied himself so that, when we were enemies of God, we might be reconciled and brought into oneness with the Father. Since we have experienced this radical oneness with God, we must in turn walk in the same humility and oneness with other believers.

Discussion Questions

CG questions written by Paul Yoo.

  1. Read verse 2. What are the three different ways that Paul describes the kind of unity he is urging? How do each of these three descriptions shed a different perspective on the kind of unity Paul is seeking? Why is it important for believers to have a unity of mind and a unity of heart?
  2. In verse 3, Paul describes the two hindrances to unity: selfish ambition and conceit. Conceit is the internal root motive, and selfish ambition is the external outworking. The original Greek words are rich in meaning and hard to capture in one English word or phrase.

    “Conceit” (kenodoxia) literally means ‘empty glory’ and is sometimes translated as “vain conceit”. The word describes those who think too highly of themselves because they are starved for glory and are hungry to attain it. This is a common experience to us all.

    What are some ways you have seen this vain hungering for glory in your own life – whether in marriage, family, the workplace, the church, a sports team, or any other community? How did your “vain, empty conceit” break down unity? What would humility have looked like in this situation?
  3. “Selfish ambition” (eritheia) means a self-seeking or rivalry spirit, to put yourself ahead of others. The very nature of “rivalry” is opposed to oneness and unity.

    In what ways have you seen this rivalry spirit, this selfish ambition to put yourself ahead, in your own life? How did this selfish ambition hinder unity? What would it have looked like to count others more significant than yourself (v. 3) and seek the interests of others above your own (v. 4), as opposed to a selfish, rivalry spirit?
  4. Read Phil 2:5-11. How did Christ display humility and others-seeking by his actions? What might it have looked like if Christ were acting from selfish ambition and vain conceit? How does knowing that Christ humbled and emptied himself for you, that you might be reconciled to the Father – how does that urge and move you to do the same in your relationships with other believers? In light of what Christ did for us, is it acceptable that we should walk in selfish ambition and conceit in our relationships with others?
  5. Are any of you currently embroiled in some kind of conflict and disunity with a brother or sister in Christ? In this situation, what do you prize more, unity with other Christians or your own self-importance? What selfish interests and aims do you need to put aside as you pursue humility? What would it look like for you to put the others’ interests above your own? Be concrete and specific.

Leave a Reply