Christian Universe ™
November 13, 2011
Some preachers say that like-mindedness, or being of the same or one mind and one voice, means that you have to adopt their own personal set of doctrines, as they understand the Bible to teach them. In context, when believers are admonished to be of like mind, or the same mind, or of one mind and voice, it is in reference to loving and accepting one another.
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 11-13-2011
Presented to Load church of Christ on 11-20-2011
The apostles Paul and Peter referred to the importance of like-mindedness, or of being of one mind, or the same mind. Many fail to understand what spiritual like-mindedness means. This failure is dangerous, because it leads those who don’t understand it to misapply the concept.
It does not mean that one man, or a group of men, are authorized to establish doctrine, and that all other believers have to agree with that doctrine. Doctrine comes from God, clarified through the teachings of Jesus and His personally selected, Holy Spirit-guided, apostles.
Romans 15:5 "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Some say that this scripture means that we have to parrot doctrine of one preacher, but they are wrong. As we studied last time, it means something entirely different when kept in context.
Romans 15:1 "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God."
The apostle Paul told the Romans to help one another, especially for the stronger to assist the weak. The goal is edifying, or building up, one’s neighbor. When showing patience and consolation toward each other, we are of one mind, accord, and voice. Our life and words of love and comfort prove that we understand and glorify God. This follows up on chapter 14.
Romans 14:1 “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
10 "But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
19 "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."
The context teaches the opposite of what many men teach on the subject. Rather than saying that all must parrot the words and thoughts of one man, the believer is told to accept those who differ on things that are of no real concern to God. His charge is that we love and support one another.
1 Corinthians 1:10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
Some say that we must all say the same thing – that what their favorite preacher says is absolute truth. Note that this is again the opposite of that doctrine. The Corinthian believers were aligning themselves behind one preacher or another, and Paul told them not to do that.
1 Corinthians 1:11 "For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
29 "That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 2:1 "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
1 Corinthians 3:1 "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
21 "Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's."
1 Corinthians 4:5 “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God
6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"
1 Corinthians 11:16 "But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
18 "For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you."
Disagreements often reveal who is trying to live by the teachings of Christ, or by the teachings of men. His main point was that believers are to work together, not split up and follow one man or another, and are to preach Christ, and Him crucified.
Philippians 2:2 "Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind."
Love, respect, edification, assistance and support are the hallmarks of the true believer in Christ.
Lesson Reason: Some preachers teach "like-minded" to mean think like that they think.
Lesson Outcome: Realize that to be like-minded means to love each other as Christ loved us, even if we are at different stages of spiritual development and may not see eye-to-eye on everything.