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Philippians 1:27-30 | Happiness & Conflict


Debrief offers an abridged outline of the Sunday sermon for individuals or Community Groups alike, to re-engage the content of the Sunday sermon.  This outline is far from complete, but serves to give a track or road map to walk through the content of Sunday in another context during the week.

BIG IDEA:  The Big Idea of this Sunday will be focused on the relationship between our happiness and conflict.  The happiest Christians on earth are the Christians who are FREE from Conflict with each other, so they can FREELY engage in the Conflict for the Gospel with each other.

FREE From Conflict  (v:27)

What does this look like?

One Spirit

God has taken away the conflict between us and Him by regenerating our hearts, calling us to Himself and indwelling us… the power and presence of His Spirit.  This is the starting point for Christian unity and freedom from conflict.  We are all inaugurated into and indwelt by the same Spirit.

Christians, together then, are the only people on the planet that are not in conflict with God. This is the springboard for our freedom from conflict with one another.

Too often there is a different spirit at work in the church

Spirit of the Age

in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience…. – Ephesians 2:2

Spirit of Antichrist

…….and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. – 1 John 4:3

Every conflict in the Church can be traced back to us acting without the Holy Spirit…..without His leading……without his guiding……without His perspective

If you are not free FREE from Conflict with other Christians this morning, Satan is at work in your life.  The Conflict you have this morning with another believer is Satanic, because it is direct assault against the image of God we’re to be imaging to one another and the world around us – an image of oneness.

One Mind

Mind: the sphere of affections and moral energies

Because we have the same Spirit, we can have the same Mind.  Because we can have the same mind, the mind of Christ, we can:

  • Want the same things  (mind)
  • Act on the same things  (will)
  • Feel the same way about things   (emotions)

We don't have to be conflicted on what we want, what we'll do, or what we feel

 One Mission

 Because we have the same Spirit and the same Mind, we can have the same Mission……Controlled by the same Spirit and Compelled by the same Mind

 This One Mission is all about One Faith……One Gospel

 There is no agreement unless there is agreement on what the Gospel is.

  • Acquiescence (silent approval) to the message and mission of the Gospel doesn’t mean you’re on mission
  • Agreement with the message and mission of the Gospel doesn’t mean you’re on mission
  • Acting on the message and mission of the Gospel means you’re on mission

Why is ‘oneness’ the main thing?  Why is this so important?  Why is lack of conflict, but oneness so essential to make our lives, “worthy of the Gospel?”

 Because unity is all over the good news about Jesus.

 The Father, Son, and Spirit possess perfect unity and freedom from conflict. 

The Godhead is not conflicted in any way, never has been and never will be

Our lives are to reflect that same kind of unity and freedom from conflict.

  FREE to be Freely Engaged In The Conflict For The Gospel  (v:28-30)

 Once we’re FREE from Conflict with each other…..we can be FREELY engaged in the Conflict for the Gospel with each other


One Confidence in One Conflict

 We will never be completely free to be completely engaged in the Conflict for the Gospel until we are free from conflict with each other.

 Paul says that without this kind of confidence, we’re not like a unified team, but a stampede of frightened horses

 ptyromia: an uncontrollable stampede of frightened horses

  • Controlled only by fear
  • Not knowing where they’re going
  • Trampling everything in their path along the way

This is the way the church sometime reacts to issues that arise out of our culture, because we lack the strength and confidence that comes with numbers.  This lack of confidence is present because conflict is also present.

What results from Christians who are free from conflict and freely engaged in the conflict of the Gospel, striving together in the strength of numbers?

 Non-Christians Are Convicted of their Sin

 A Confident Church, united in the midst of any kind of persecution or suffering is one of the best evangelistic tools around.  Non-Christians see the genuine nature of our faith, and it a winsome testimony of the presence of Jesus in our lives.

 Christians Are Convinced of their Salvation

 A Confident Church, united in the midst of any kind of persecution or suffering, is one of the best evidences of salvation around.  When Christians have their faith tested, but stand firm in Jesus, it’s an incredible testimony to them that they are indeed in Jesus and with Jesus.

 The suffering is a gift, making us more like Jesus, just like our salvation is a gift, uniting us with Jesus.  The suffering and persecution that makes us more like Jesus is one of the greatest evidences we are in Jesus.

 You ought not go one more day without being Free to be Fully and Freely engaged in the Conflict of the Gospel

 Diving In


Diving In offers a few questions to help you re-engage the concepts from Sunday.  Feel the freedom to use all of the questions, or to simply camp out on just one.  These questions aren't intended to answer all the issues that surface through the thrust of this weeks' message, but to simply raise them and allow you time and space to process them, ideally in the context of your Community Group.

  • Are you FREE from conflict today with fellow your home, your Community Group, your church?  If not, who do you sense you're in conflict with and why?
  • Does your conflict have it's root in the leading, guiding and directing of the Holy Spirit?  If not, what might this say about the spirit that brought this conflict about?
  • Why should the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives be the cornerstone for our freedom from conflict with other Christians?
  • Do you sense you're one in Spirit, Mind & Mission with fellow Christians in your life?
  • Have you sensed a lack of freedom in your life to be fully engaged in the message and mission of the Gospel?  Can you trace any of this lack of freedom back to a conflict you're having with another believer?

 Deep End


The Deep End is a short and simple formation exercise you can use to dive deep into your heart before God. Feel the freedom to divert from the directions if that makes it easier for you to connect with Jesus in this exercise.

  • First, quiet your heart before the Lord. If you find yourself distracted by various thoughts (things on your “To Do” list, etc.), don’t “fight” the distractions, but rather spend some time praying over those things. Hopefully soon your heart will quieted down and you will be able to hear the Lord speaking to you. 
  • Next, spend some time reading and meditating over Philippians 1:27.  Commit this one verse to memory if you have yet to do so. 
  • After that, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any Christian or group of Christians you are in obvious, outright, sinful conflict with.  Don't give into the tendency to be defensive or to deflect something the Spirit might reveal because of pride or embarrassment.  Simply be open to what the Spirit might reveal to you, and about who. 
  • Next, ask the Spirit to show you the root of that conflict.  Where did the conflict begin?  Why?  What heart, guidance or direction of the Spirit might you have ignored to initiate, or to be part of this conflict?
  • Next, spend some time in confession, admitting your fault in the conflict being considered, asking Jesus for forgiveness, and asking Him for His help in you forgiving the other person(s).
  • After that, ask the Spirit to reveal to you the time and way you could go to this person(s) and make it right.
  • Last, take a few moments to simply consider what life would be like in the Church without this present conflict between you and this person(s).

My hope is that these simple exercises in The 60 will help what we discovered during this week be distilled, and deepened in your heart and life with Jesus.


For The Elders

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