A GROUP OF PEOPLE OF THE SAME MIND
1 Peter 3:8 1 Corinthians 1:10 Romans 15:5-6
We hear and speak frequently about fellowship in the church. But do we actually understand what fellowship is all about? Fellowship is a partnership or a joint participation, a sharing with one another. Fellowship also involves caring for one another, ministering to one another, and, by doing so, building one another up.
There is one aspect of fellowship which is vital for each of us to participate in if we are going to build up one another and have fellowship with one another. That is, that fellowship is a group of people who are of the same mind as one another.
Peter addresses this concept of fellowship in his first letter – 1 Peter 3:8: “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble”. Then Paul, in 1 Corinthians 1: appeals to the church there as he says: “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
And finally, Paul writes to the Romans in chapter 15, verses 5 and 6 regarding this fellowship and one-mindedness, when he says: “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ,”
Peter says, be all of one mind. He means their unity of mind and unity of purpose. That entails agreement in all the major details of the Christian life and functions of the Church.
So, what is the best way for us to be “all of one mind”? Let us look at some of the ways we can practice that behavior. First, each individual Christian should strive to live in the fellowship of the Spirit. Then, the more the Spirit of Christ dwells in all the members of the congregation, the nearer they will be drawn to one another and to the Lord, who is the Head of the Body, which is the Church. There must also be a consent of belief as to what is the Truth in the essential matters concerning the Church – its leadership, its functions, and concerning salvation, what is sin if the Church is to fulfill its purpose.
Secondly, as we have heard Paul say in Romans 15: be likeminded. If we are like-minded, we have the same exalted opinion of Christ and the same views as to the methods of advancing His cause. We cannot come to know God apart from coming to a knowledge of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God (John 20:30-31). A functioning church must be one that is “of the same mind with one another.
Where same mindedness exists a dynamic witness for Christ exists. Where it is absent, a great witness for Satan exists. In that situation, this attitude prevails: “You can believe whatever you want to, and I’ll believe whatever I want to, and we’ll all make it to heaven because after all, we are all worshipping the same God.”
Jews worship God, but they do not accept Jesus Christ as Lord. Most people of the world are not atheists but do not accept Jesus as Lord. On that basis, can they safely consider themselves to be saved? Hear how Acts 4:12 answers that question: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
One-mindedness is possible within the local congregation. Granted, there are different personalities. There are differing opinions about certain situations. Despite that, a congregation of Christ-followers can, and must, be drawn together as one heart and one soul. To be of the same mind is practiced among Christians. But it is only practical when all follow the things taught by the Lord.
When we change things that God directs, or add things that are not taught in Scripture, we will differ and divide. These actions, on the part of the Body of Christ, involves day by day, flesh and blood people in relationship with one another.
One-mindedness in the local church is not automatic. It requires effort. Practical and visible oneness comes when every believer comes to agreement in the essentials. Let us face it – in the non-essentials, we will never totally be in full agreement and are not expected to be.
How do we maintain that one-mindedness? We need supernatural help. And, we have that supernatural help constantly in reach through prayer to our Father to help us defeat Satan and his attempts to divide us. We must make every effort to keep human factors from creating irritations that cause division. Maybe you have played the board game, Trivial Pursuit. It is a fun game that tests your knowledge of trivial facts, none of which are vital to our survival. Trivia is Satan’s joy – one of his favorite tools of division. So, we must make every effort to recognize his interfering in our relationships.
The key to one-mindedness is Christian maturity, through which our love for one another is reflected. Resentment, whims, whisperings (also known as gossip) grudges, alienations are all out of place in a company of true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. There can be no headway made in sharing the Gospel with others if those who are sharing the Gospel are not of the same mind as one another.
Paul shares an example of two members of the church in Philippi as he says, “I plead with Euodia, and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at m side in the cause of the Gospel…” These women apparently had disturbed the peace in the church at Philippi. Paul pleads with them to be of the same mind in the Lord. He even calls on others in the church to help these women toward one-mindedness.
The Christian shows his selfishness and his disregard for God when he disturbs the Body of Christ to gratify his own desires and to gain his own ends.
More than one mind was being practiced by the Corinthians, as they declared: “I am of Paul”, or “I am of Apollos, etc.” This is why Paul wrote the letter in the first place – because these divisions were taking place. This mindset may be compared to what we hear today, when folks proudly say, “I am a Baptist” or “I am a Methodist”, etc. These titles separate and divide people. We are to simply and sufficiently be known as Christians. No other titles need to be applied.
Conclusions and teaching about the truth in Scripture must be based only upon what we are taught through the Scriptures. We must live, in the local church, in peace. Peace, preceded by purity in teaching, and in conduct. Our lives must be brought up to the standards of conduct that Christ has set for us.
Christians should be of the same mind as one another in feelings about the church, in interest in the growth of the church, and in the purpose of the church. There should be no disagreement or discord on those matters.
I will benefit us to look again at Romans 15:5-6: “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
That is, that He was willing to suffer for and to help men in sin and ruin. We must be of the same mind as He, Jesus, was that we might suffer, and help one another. With one common agreed voice, we must glorify God.
Satan’s primary strategy involves destroying one-mindedness among Christians. He knows if he can destroy that, the witness of the Church to the world will become less effective. Lost men and women will be won to him and lost to Christ. The message of the Bible is blurred and
man is doomed to eternity in Hell.
Fellowship is a group of people of the same mind with one another. That is the strength of the church of Jesus Christ here on earth.
Gary’s Wednesday Word
27 October 2021