âNow 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.â I Cor. 1:10
âNow the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.â Rom. 15:5-7
The testimony of the early church, taken right from the bible, is they were in âone accordâ in the upper room. Even after about a ten day span, they were still in âone accordâ on the day of Pentecost. I wonder how united my church would be, if we spent ten days together. Anyway, the early church had a unity that is not seen today, not because we canât have it, but because we donât believe it can be. Often our idea of unity, is for us all to share the same cause or all belong to the same denomination or all agree to the same creed written by authors other than those who penned our bible. These things can bring some degree of unity for some people, but then another group forms that has their own cause and creed. That is why we have so much division today in the church. Add to that, the lack of love and concern for one another, and it is easy to see why the church doesn’t get along with each other.
The reason the early church had such a unity is because they were fully surrendered to Christ. He told them to wait in Jerusalem for the promised Holy Spirit. So, they all waited together. While in that room, there were no saints determined to carry out their own agenda. They were not jockeying for position, but willingly came under Peterâs leadership. They were praying together and were holding to the Old Testament scriptures, so much so, that they were literally fulfilling scripture by appointing someone to take Judasâ place. You canât believe the word of God much better than that. We see this true unity in the early church, but true Christian unity has escaped our generation.
How is it, that millions of Christians, can all read the same book called the bible, declare that it is the unadulterated word of God, insist that it holds the highest authority over their life, and yet there be so many disagreements amongst us? I know there are many saints that really want unity. If you donât want unity there is something desperately wrong with your spiritual man. God created us because He wants to share His kingdom with us, He created us because He wants to have a love relationship with us. When Christ entered us upon salvation, the desire of God came with Him. The desire for love and unity came with Him. As we mature in the Lord, so does our love for God increase, and as our love for God increases, so does our love for mankind, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.
When I met my wife Joy, I thought she was pretty. She was willing to let me date her, and I did. I found out she was a nice girl too, but I just liked her in those first several months of seeing her. One day I realized I loved her and wanted to be with her more, so much more that I asked her to marry me. We got married and 6 years later we got saved. Joy gave birth to 3 sons who all married and gave us 9 grandchildren. You know what? I still want to be with Joy, even more. I want to be around my sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren too. This is the nature of families. Even more, it is the nature of God. Adam didn’t even finish his first assignment, of naming the animals in the garden, before he was asking where his companion is.
It is only natural for Christians to want unity, and because of that desire for unity, many prayer meetings, conferences, workshops and such have been held for the main purpose of uniting the body of Christ. Who can hold it against those that try such things? I commend them for their effort to bring unity to the body. However, they are going about it the difficult way. Unity is much easier to achieve than one might think.
First you have to believe that we really can have true unity. Paul would never had told us to speak the same thing if we couldn’t; he would have never told us that there should be no divisions amongst us, if it weren’t possible for it to be so. I Corinthians 1:10 is one of those verses in the bible that it seems many Christians really donât believe. They have shrugged off the possibility that we could have true spiritual unity in the church, years ago.
As I said, to have unity is a very simple thing. Romans 15:5 holds the answer. It says, âNow the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:â It is right there as plain as can be; our unity must be âaccording to Christ Jesus.â It is not according to Terry Fischer, it isn’t according to The Church In Wisconsin, it isn’t according to you, or your church or your creed or your denomination. I am not asking you all to think like me, or for us all to think like one of you. I am asking us all to get the mind of Christ. However, for this to happen, we all have to be teachable. You and I cannot be stubborn in our hearts and say, âthis is the way I always believed and I am not changing.â Letâs be honest church, with all the different doctrines we have, someone has to be wrong. Are you willing to change the way you think if the scriptures and the Spirit of truth prove you wrong? My mentor told me, âYou donât look to the bible to prove yourself right, you look to the bible to prove whatâs right.â If you and I have a contrary interpretation of a verse in the bible, either I am wrong, or you are wrong, or we are both wrong. We canât both be right. The Spirit of truth would never teach opposing views and leave us confused and divided. So with that said, it is up to us to be teachable, no matter how long and how well trained we may be. Letâs not agree to disagree, letâs agree to get the mind of Christ and have unity according to Christ Jesus. I am one that believes we will have it. I plead with you to determine in your heart that we can have unity, and that you will cooperate toward that end.