Unchained – Humility As One – Sermon – Pastor Marlee Page


communion cup and broken bread

Communion Worship Service

Reminder: If you are planning to take part in the Lord’s Table at the end of the service, have your bread and juice ready.

Good morning First Baptist. We welcome you to worship this morning. Be sure to remember your brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the week as you pray for them, and as the Holy Spirit brings their faces to your mind. Be sure to also connect with them in the ways that are possible. And if you have any questions or would like to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to contact the church through the church telephone and leave a message. (519-733-4144)


Call to Worship

Come, let us bow before the holy One.

Come, let us confess God’s might.

Come, let us feel God’s mercy.

Come, let us live in God’s light.

As God’s people, we lift our voices in praise.

Glory to you, gracious and loving God!




Prayer of Confession & Assurance

God of patience,
your people grow weary.
We complain and question.
We put you to the test.
Our mouths say yes,
but our deeds say no.
When we wander off your path,
when we fail to follow through on our good intentions, when we give our attention to trivial things;
gently call us back to you.
Empty our hearts of anger and pride.
Empty our souls of greed and selfishness.
Empty our minds of envy, doubt, and mistrust.
As you poured out your very self
through your beloved Son,
pour your Spirit into our hearts today.
Forgive us our wrongdoing.
Reclaim us with your love.

Assurance of Pardon:

Friends in Christ, our God is patient, steadfast, and understanding.
Jesus hears our cries of repentance.
The Lord knows our hearts, inside and out.
The One who created us promises to care for us,
even when we turn away.
Hear these words of forgiveness.
Be strengthened to walk as disciples.
Trust in God’s mercy.

Unchained Humility... As One

Today's Message: Pastor Marlee Page

Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:1-4

“Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

To properly unpack the meaning of these verses it is important to pay attention to the broader context of Philippians. Remember that he ancient city of Philippi was founded by Alexander the Great and had many Roman citizens who believed their own culture was superior to those not born in Rome….humility would not be a word you would use to describe their virtues.

This clash of cultures, this honouring of social hierarchy over valuing individuals as made in God’s image, would have been a familiar atmosphere to the people of the early church in Philippi. It was into this environment of indifference and prideful individualism that the Apostle Paul sent this letter to the church at Philippi. In these verses we’ve looked at both this week and last week, Paul showed them how such attitudes did not line up with a Christian worldview where everyone was equally valuable in the eyes of God regardless of gender, status or nationality. He also encouraged them to develop an attitude of humility and unity among the believers, where Jesus was the focus above themselves, and looking out for the needs of others was the order of the day. By doing so, the church at Philippi would be true to their calling; a reflection of the character of Jesus Christ and not the society around them.

Point # 1 – Live in Harmonious Agreement

So how does this church demonstrate a commitment to reflecting the character of Jesus in such an anti- Christian culture…Well, Paul says first you must pursue these traits, “… being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”.

These traits emphasize that relationship should always come before personal preferences, making sure whatever issues come up can be talked through with a spirit of unity. Whether that is two or two hundred people, we must remember that no single person’s opinion or preference matters more or less than another’s.

All to often, as Paul knew and as we know today, when some voices aren’t respected tensions form, relationships become strained and divisions result. We can easily forget that we’re all on the same team. And that is why Paul stresses here that we need to ensure that every decision is discussed and examined with the same love and common mindset of agreement. Jesus taught us that once we do that, only then can decisions be truly made in unity and in a spirit of peace.

Jesus says it like this in John 17. Right before he goes to the cross he’s praying for his people, for believers, and he says, “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

If we picture the church functioning in unity like a tug of war team the metaphor becomes quite easy to understand. A tug of war is when two teams try to pull the opposite ends of a rope until one side wins. Whatever team has stronger teamwork will be able to prevail. If you’ve ever been in a tug of way you very quickly realize that each member of the team plays a vital role in the outcome.

The same applies to us – none of us can say that our views are more important than another’s, even if we disagree. That is what makes building a unified church community so precious and invaluable…it takes a truly humble spirit to exemplify that in practice.

Point #2 –Put Others Higher Than Yourself

The Apostle Paul also insists that we put others above ourselves in order to live in unity. That takes real humility. In verse three he says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” – some of your translations may say “in lowliness of mind” instead of the word humility…

Have you ever thought of humility as lowliness of mind?? You see, true humility is not a weakened state as the world today would have us believe. No,

Humility is not thinking less of yourself; its thinking of yourself less

This is a direct lesson of Jesus’ teaching found in Matthew’s Gospel (20:26-28), where he encouraged His own disciples to take up their Cross and follow Him. Paul is emphasizing here that if we want to build a strong, loving church family, we need to humble ourselves and consider the needs of our spiritual brothers and sisters to be greater than our own. A truth we know all to well is this: Pride is a killer when it comes to living in harmony.

Pride always looks for ways to be first,

Pride elevates itself above others, and hides its own flaws and shortcomings.

Humility and Unity on the other hand needs the opposite of this – it needs us to:

  • put the needs of others above our own,
  • to recognize that everybody is equal in dignity, and
  • to focus on raising each other up rather than competing against each other.

A great example of this is found in the story of the South African leader Nelson Mandela. When he rose to power in 1993 after spending 27 years unjustly incarcerated, he chose the path of reconciliation instead of revenge.

He said:

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

At first glance, this can seem ridiculous and a mistake to trust someone who wronged you. But his refusal to seek revenge brought true unity and freedom to South Africa. Quite frankly, it inspired not just a country or a continent but the whole world. Indeed, it took great self-humility, setting aside his own pride, and being willing to make very difficult choices in order to create peace that lasted. It’s a reminder to us to think of our neighbour in Christ before ourselves, to set aside our pride and choose unity instead.

Point #3: The Evidence

As one body of Christ, striving for unity, our lives together should be the evidence of where we stand. By the way we act towards one another here, as well as our neighbours, should tell the world around us about Jesus. We must ask ourselves regularly: does our outward behaviour lead others to glorifying God? How can non-believers see the evidence of God through us if we ourselves are divided amongst ourselves? Or, not willing to look past ourselves to see who God is putting in our path. Paul makes this point clear in verse 4: “not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” That’s right, our unity in Christ should prompt us to care above all else, for one another and the wellbeing of the church first and to always be aware of who God is calling us to minister to outside of the Church. To do this, we must learn how to work together and move in partnership with members of different backgrounds, opinions, and convictions until the common goal–advancement of the gospel–is met. As individuals, we should submit to humbly serve each other. Every member of the church should be actively involved and committed to the ministry of building all parts of the church, it’s that important!

Life Application:

All of this sounds nice in theory, but what does it actually look like in practice? Well, this kind of unity is exemplified best by Jesus Himself. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus says “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We’ve talked about this before, haven’t we? Here, Jesus reminds us that all believers and the actions we carry out must be unified under the common head and name of Jesus. Just as we are called to make disciples of all nations, we must also serve as role models of outward unity, living by the same commands and teachings regardless of personal backgrounds, agendas, or even cultural influence. That is our call to unity.

If you look at the example of the early church in Acts 2. After Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the congregation of believers and a strong sense of unity formed. They were no longer divided by language, status, or race. Instead, they were devoted to the common cause of spreading the word of Jesus throughout Jerusalem. They were bonded together by an undeniable force: the love and presence of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. That same Holy Spirit is with us this morning and every morning and from that we need to be reminded that the same unity of spirit and purpose can still be found among us, today’s church. When we focus our lives on God first, we become united as One Body.

I want to close by taking us back to Philippians where Paul speaks of unselfishness in verse 3. Imagine that each one of us is walking down a hallway. We’re heading towards the same destination, but the hallway is narrow and there are obstacles thrown in our way. Nevertheless, we all make progress towards the exit no matter what. But as the hallway is narrow and the obstacles become more and more, suddenly, everyone is diverted from their paths and starts to focus more on self than on the mission before us. Pretty soon, no one is getting anywhere. It’s not until someone steps forward, or aside offering to let another go first or helping them past one of the obstacles….offering their own resources and time, its not until that mindset of humility and genuine care for others is demonstrated that unity wins the day and the group can reach its desired goal.

The lesson here is that in order to achieve lasting unity, there must be a willingness to sacrifice personal gain and to put the needs of others first. That’s what Paul is telling the church in Phillipi – that’s what God’s word is telling us today.

Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

That statement applies to many groups and organizations who share a common purpose but it’s especially true for the Church of Jesus Christ. Without unity, without a collective effort to work together and remember the example of Christ, Christianity cannot survive. Like Philippi, the culture of the world will grow increasingly hostile towards followers of Jesus. Yet, like the church in Philippi showed us, the future of our Christian faith remains bright and filled with hope. How can we be so sure of that ? Because, Paul’s continued joy in this people was partly because of their unwavering commitment to church unity inspire of difficult odds to the contrary. Humility…As One is not only attainable, but it’s necessary.

We are all in this together, called to represent the Lord faithfully. And that means, seeking unity and living humbly among each other, requires a willingness for self-sacrifice. Some of our habits, including ones we may believe are beneficial, will have to be set aside sometimes. This means that each of us has to recognize and understand our need for each other, letting go of competition and comparison. Not as the world suggests but as Paul suggests: 

“being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” 

Let’s Pray about that.


Humble and at the same time Mighty Christ, you encourage us.

You console us with your love.

You share with us your Spirit.

You do not withhold from us your compassion and sympathy.

Jesus, unify us as only you can.

We desire to be of the same mind, having the same love, in full accord with one another.

As we make decisions for the future, we ask that your Holy Spirit enables us to act not out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility to regard others as better than ourselves.

Help each of us to look not to our own interests, but the interests of others and ultimately to glorify you.

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we pray.




This is God’s Table, come all of you, you are invited to dine on the banquet of heaven.

You are God’s People come all of you, you are invited to sit with your Lord.

Here is God’s feast come all of you, you are invited to share in the bread and wine.

The table is waiting for you all of you, of every age, you are invited to be here.


On the night he was handed over, Jesus had a meal with  his friends. He took a loaf of bread and after giving thanks to God, he broke it and gave it to his disciples. He said, “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”.

After supper Jesus took the cup of wine and after giving thanks, gave it to them and said, “Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many’ for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, remember me.”

Let us pray:  Dear Heavenly Father…. we come to your table tonight because you have invited us here… let this meal be nourishment for our souls… let it fill us up from the inside out ….Father, we thank you for the gift of your son Jesus Christ, whose love pursues us our whole life long. Thank you, Jesus, for giving your life to us in word and deed, even unto death, even death on a cross. Come Holy Spirit, feed us with your love that we may be filled with power to love God with all our hearts and souls and minds. AMEN.



May you go forth with humble hearts, ready to serve your neighbour and a world in need.


Blessings & have a wonderful week.