Be of the Same Mind with One AnotherSeries: 2020 Theme: One Another
Be of the Same Mind With One Another
“Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus.” Romans 15:5
Unity is a truly precious thing in God’s sight. God Himself dwells in perfect unity within the Godhead (Deut. 6:4; John 17:21) and it is that unity that His children are to emulate. It is no wonder then why the Bible has so much to say about unity. In this lesson we want to consider how we can be of the same mind with one another (Rom.15:5).
How Are We United?
We first need to understand what the Bible means when it speaks of believers being united or being of the same mind with one another. Biblical unity is not simply “agreeing to disagree” or “unity in diversity.” Nor is it simply “not dividing.” One can take two cats, tie them together by their tails and hang them over a clothesline but that does not mean that those cats are “united.”
Biblical unity is first rooted in the very nature of God. John 17:21 reads “that they may all be one; even as You, Father are in Me and I in You, that they may be in Us, so that they world may believe that You sent Me.” Because Jehovah is One, United, God, His people are to reflect that unity among themselves. Secondly, Biblical unity can only be obtained if we are using the same standard, the Word of God. Jesus in this same chapter prayed repeatedly that His disciples would be united, and that unity would be based on the Word Jesus had given them:
- “I have given them Your word…” v.14
- “Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth” v.17
- “That they themselves also may be sanctified in truth” v.19
Our Most Powerful Tool
There is such a strong emphasis on unity in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 1:27) not because God wants us all to be carbon copies of each other but because unity is the most powerful tool Christians have to reach the lost world. Satan knows this and seeks out every opportunity to destroy unity among God’s people. One writer noted the effects of when unity is destroyed:
“Satan knows that if he can destroy the unity of God’s people, he has destroyed the most powerful means of communication to lost men that Jesus Christ was/is God. When we distort, discard, or destroy that message, we doom mankind to eternal hopelessness. Man cannot know God apart from knowing Jesus Christ… and man cannot know Jesus apart from a true representation of the word. That representation exists in the written word (New Testament) and in the lives and churches of believers.”
When unity is lost it can take years to rebuild. Hopefully, we can see how pleasant unity is to God. This is why the Psalmist proclaims “how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell in unity” (Psalm 133:1).
The Jerusalem Church – An Example of Christian Unity:
On the day of Pentecost after the 3,000 were baptized into Christ for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:37-41) we read about the character, work, and unity of the first church. Note what the Jerusalem church grounded themselves in and note what the basis for their unity was in Acts 2:42.
- “devoting themselves to the Apostles teaching.”
- “to fellowship.”
- “to the breaking of bread” (The Lord’s Supper).
- “and to prayer.”
So, we see that the Jerusalem church’s unity was founded on the Word of God and was actively being strengthened by their fellowship, commitment to communion, and their sharing in prayer. This unity is further seen in vv.43-45 where the text says that they “had all things in common…and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.” This unity was clearly seen in the community because we read of the results of them being of the same mind in v.47, “and the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
The Blessings of Unity
We go on in the text a few more chapters and we come to the Jerusalem church’s first problem. In Acts 6:1-7 we read that the Grecian widows were being neglected in the daily serving of bread. See how there was an immediate response to the problem and a plan to resolve it.
- The problem was analyzed vv.1-2.
- They found a workable solution v.3.
- Presented the solution for group approval v.5.
- Obtain approval from leaders v.6.
- Prayer and put the solution into action v.6.
When problems arise in a congregation that has a solid bedrock of Biblical unity, they are simply speed bumps, not brick walls. The Jerusalem church was able to quickly address the problem, work in harmony to find and implement a solution, and what was the result? Greater confidence in leadership and the bonds of unity were strengthened. In addition, we see that when problems are simply speed bumps and not brick walls, the real work we have been called to do does not suffer. We read in v.7 “The word of God kept on spreading; and the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priest were becoming obedient to the faith.”
When unity is present in a congregation it severs as a bullwork against Satan’s attacks to sow disunity among the people of God. When true Biblical unity is present a congregation is able to work in harmony with each other advancing the Kingdom of God as they did in the first century.
How to Be of The Same Mind with One Another
I want to spend the remainder of this lesson considering what are the practical things we can do to promote and strengthen our unity as a congregation.
- Unity takes intentional effort. Ephesians 4:3 tells us that it takes diligence to preserve unity in a congregation. This is because unity takes years to build and can be destroyed in seconds.
- Unity takes intentional attitude. Ephesians 4:2 shows us the attitudes that make unity work. “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.” Paul again further emphasizes this in Philippians 1:27 when he says that the Philippians should be “standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the Gospel.” All these attitudes are necessary if we are going to preserve the unity that exist among us. In fact, these attitudes are what is necessary if you are going to sustain any meaningful relationship.
- It takes ownership. I as a member here when I said I wanted to be identified with the congregation I was saying that I want to be a part of this work, this team, this family. I want to be responsible to the group. So that means I need to take ownership of my share of unity. Consider what Paul said further in Ephesians 4:11-13. We each have a part to play in the work and unity of the local church and when we take ownership of that then we will begin to be of the same mind with one another.
Brenden Ashby – firstname.lastname@example.org