Be Like-Minded Toward One Another (revised)
Having the Mind of Christ
Romans 15:5 (KJV)
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.
God is the one who makes us patient and cheerful. I pray that he will help you live at peace with each other, as you follow Christ.
Understanding the Message
No matter how you look at, or which version you use... being like-minded, according to the example of Christ Jesus... seems to get overlooked when this passage is applied. Jesus went about His ministry with a spirit of unity. He taught and stressed the benefits of living in harmony with others. His actions and efforts had peace as the end result. Without an effort toward harmony, peace cannot be approached.
Rom. 15:1-2 (Message)
Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, "How can I help?"
The gospel is a message of service, and so is our ministry. The two commandments, to love God and then our neighbor… bind us to service without question. Where we may have many questions as to what kind of service and why we must render it; there is no question that service is our basic calling. The opening of Rom. 15, from the Message Bible, gives us a strong clue in understanding just how we should approach like-mindedness.
Make use of our strengths as a tool for service in helping others.
Finding the Narrow Road
On our own we are at a severe loss. We are fallen creatures in a world that has been corrupted. This world, and we along with it are at enmity with God. For a true solution we must look beyond this physical realm.
Being like-minded is not saying that we have to agree on service times, or which version of the Bible to use. It’s not even about seeing eye to eye with each other, at least not in the acute sense. It has more to do with our each seeing what Christ saw, and understanding that we all must work to help others to see the same with clear understanding.
Only a few will have a mind to see and understand.
Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Luke 9:23 (NIV)
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
The important thing in this verse to keep in mind is that to follow Christ mandates that you deny yourself… and that you revisit that understanding on a daily basis. What ever our personal agenda may be... it needs to be secondary to the "Will of God." At the simplest level, following Christ involves imitating His example of service to others.
The Cost of Following Jesus
Philippians 2:5 (NIV)
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
What was the attitude of Jesus?
An attitude of service for the glory of God.
Did Christ follow His own agenda, or did He adhere to something else?
He did nothing on His own accord... only the "Will of the Father."
What strength can we gain by studying Christ’s example?
Jesus knew that the “Will of God” would always take in the best interest of all concerned. Submission to the Will of God is always the best choice possible. Remember... God loved us first. This is the focus of our faith, and the understanding that must be firmly embedded in the mind of every follower of Christ. With the work of the cross... Christ's death burial, and resurrection... we are reconciled and restored to a right standing with Our Father in Heaven. We can now follow Christ in following the "Will of God."
John 5:19 (NIV)
Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
Following Christ allows us to follow God with purposeful intent. It enables us to develop strength through an understanding and submission to “God’s Will.” After all, we were created for the glory of God, and what better way could it be given other than through acknowledgment of His presence in our life. Ever action that Jesus undertook was for the glory of God, and so should our actions be shaped according to this pattern. Never could our will or agenda replace that of God’s perfect and divine intention. We create like-mindedness by setting aside our will and accepting the Will of Our Heavenly Father. It’s the common mindset that identifies Christians. We all follow Christ in following the Will of Our Heavenly Father.
In closing I offer the instructions found in the opening verse of Psalms 34…
I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
The whole Psalm is useful as a reminder of what a Christ-like attitude should look like.