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Of One Mind And Spirit
February 21, 2010
We have much freedom in Christ. We are not to make up rules to follow, or bind traditions as doctrine. We are to be of one mind, spirit, and accord, speaking the same things. How, then, can we accomplish this? The context that speaks of these tells us that we are one when we love God, and one another. It is that love of God working in us that binds us together, makes us one, and has us speaking the same language. Unity does not come by one man or group of people forcing everyone else to agree. Unity comes from working together, as different members, or organs, within the body of Christ. Not every organ has the same function. We are all different, and have different jobs to do. Yet, we are one body!
Of One Mind And Spirit
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 02-21-2010
We recently studied that we can only rightly divide – hold to the true lines of – the word of God if we understand where those lines are. God lays down the lines, not us. He gave the pattern under the Law of Moses, and now He has presented us with the finished product in His son, Jesus Christ. We are a part of that finished product, for we Christians are the body of Jesus Christ, and listen to Him, as our head.
It would seem to make sense that, if we are holding true to God’s truth, then we will all see things the same way, and be in total agreement. This is only true if we all share the one Holy Spirit of God, which will lead us all to a common understanding. Aside from that, many factors will shape our understanding, including our education level, our intelligence, the culture in which we were reared, and countless other external factors.
Ephesians 4:1 "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ."
We are part of one body – with Christ as our head – and have one Spirit, God’s Holy Spirit. That makes us of the same mind and spirit. Unity comes, not from my forcing you to do everything that I want, or your forcing me to do everything that you want, but from being in the same body and listening to the same head, Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:12 "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.
15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."
Not all have the same abilities, nor do we have the same functions, within the body of Christ. Does that make us not of the body? Can the eye do the hearing? Can the ear do the smelling? We must perform our roles and functions in the body of Christ with all of our God-given ability.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."
Now is the time to do the work of the Lord, but we need to make sure that we know what we are doing. Would you ask a welder to perform your open-heart surgery? Would you want a veterinarian to do your plumbing? Should an NFL quarterback design your automobile?
Do we want preachers and teachers in the church who cannot even understand what that they study in the Holy Bible? Men who are not spiritual cannot discern the truth of God’s word. We all have work to do, but the work is different. We should all do what we are good at, and do that, or those, things – we may have multiple abilities – with all of our might.
We can all be one body without all doing exactly the same thing. Apostle Paul said it well when he stated, “And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.”
What, then, makes us one? Is it that we all see things exactly the same, say exactly the same thing, and do exactly the same thing? Are there no differences between us, no distinctions? First of all, the fact that we are in the same body – Christ – makes us one in that sense. Some say that this is not enough, that we must all parrot the same thing, like playing back a recording.
Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."
When we love each other – love our neighbor as ourselves – we become one. Like organs in the same body working to heal and support each other, so are we members in the body of Christ. If we love each other, we are of one mind and one spirit – the mind and spirit of Christ.
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.
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.
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?"
We are divided – that is, we are not one – whenever we follow one preacher or another, rather than following Christ. When we listen to the wisdom of men, we listen to different heads, and have different minds, and are motivated by different spirits. Man’s wisdom divides us, while the wisdom of God through Jesus Christ unites us.
Philippians 2:1 "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:"
We are of one mind and accord whenever we love and serve one another, looking out for each other. That is the mind of Christ. If we have that mind in us, we are of one mind and accord. It is not following one man’s doctrine that unites us, it is following Christ that unites us.
Philippians 3:13 "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample."
Perfect – mature – Christians walk by the same rule and mind, according to Paul. What was the rule that he stated? “Forget those things which are behind, and reach toward those things that lie ahead. Press toward the finish line where the prize awaits.” He goes on to say that this is God’s rule, and He will reveal it to be so to those who haven’t quite grasped that concept yet.
John 17:20 "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."
John 17:26 "And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."
Love binds us together, making us one. God in Christ, Christ in us, God in us, and we in Christ. We are of the same mind and spirit, and of the same accord, when we love one another as God loved us.