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The Power of Like-Mindedness

A study on how to obey the Bible's words, "be like-minded."
Philippians 2:1-11

Introduction: The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians, "Make my joy complete by being like-minded." This appeal to unity is the peg upon which everything else in the passage hangs. Verses 1-4 offer explanation, while verses 5-11 offer a real-life example in Jesus Christ.

Study:
1. According to verse 1, what factors in a believer's life make like-mindedness possible?
[Leader's Notes - Verse 1 identifies four factors: (1) the encouragement we have in our relationship with Christ; (2) the difference love has made in our lives; (3) the fellowship (partnership) produced by the Spirit; and (4) any tender, compassionate feelings we might have.]

2. How have you experienced these factors in your life? Give examples of times you've had encouragement in your relationship with Christ, or times you've seen the difference love makes in your life.

3. From verses 2-4, which traits make like-mindedness work, and which traits work against like-mindedness?
[Leader's Notes - The positive traits that work for like-mindedness include mutual love (v. 2), mutual purpose (v.2), and humility (vv.3-4). From verse 3, the negative traits that work against like-mindedness include selfishness (preoccupation with my agenda) and empty conceit (preoccupation with my glory). Verse 3b describes the attitude that accompanies like-mindedness, and verse 4 describes the action that flows from it.]

4. How do traits like selfishness and empty conceit work against like-mindedness?
[Leader's Notes - Ask people to give examples of when they've seen selfishness in others (without naming names). If your group is open, ask them to give examples of when they've seen selfishness or empty conceit in their own lives.]

5. From verses 5-11, where exactly do wee see humility in Jesus' life?
[Leader's Notes - Jesus' example demonstrates that humble people refuse to take advantage of their position (v. 6), set aside privilege to function as servants (v. 7), place no limits on their obedience to God (v. 8), and wait to receive honor according to God's timetable (vv.9-11).]

6. How would you explain to a child what like-mindedness means? What doesn't it mean?
[Leader's Notes - Like-mindedness does not require sameness of ideas and opinions. It means relating to one another with the same mindset Jesus had, to love, sacrifice, and humble himself.]

Closing: Pray that you will become more like-minded.

--Steven D. Mathewson from SmallGroups.com

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