To Achieve Unity There Must Be Humility
Being Of One Accord
Today I find that many Christians cannot seem to achieve unity even though that is what The Apostle Paul talked about, better yet, what Jesus taught about. In chapter 2 of Philippians, Paul was speaking of having the same mind. Paul presents a case for unity to the people of the church in Philippi. Paul declares that in order to gain unity, there must be humility. He deals with the concept of humility in verse 5 after he argumentatively suggest in verse 1 that there is consolation in Christ. "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the spirit, if any bowels and mercies" (Phil.2:1) While each "if" seems to be subjunctive, it is not. This word "if" in the Greek concept, is actually declaring a condition that exists. Thus, each "if" should instead be translated to "because." This verse would then read, "Because there is consolation in Christ, because there is comfort of love, because we have fellowship of the Spirit, because there are affections of mercy." Paul is actually saying, "As Christians, we have appeal in our union with Christ Jesus because we have consolation in Christ; we have comfort of love; we have fellowship of the Spirit; and we have affection of mercies.
Paul clearly loved and appreciated the Philippians, and he shared great joy with them. So he now brings the church from rejoicing to the idea of exaltation and unity. He begins with, "Fulfill my joy" by being "greatly and exceedingly joyful." He feels that he will have even more joy, and that his joy will be made full or complete if all the members are working together in unity and love by being likeminded. In spite of Paul's teaching, today we are not, and it seems like everyone wants to be there own person and not really care for the things of the Lord Jesus, even in spite of what Paul pleaded with in Philippians. Let's take at that word "likeminded". in both Hebrew and Greek, we find that this word literally means "of equal soul." It means, thinking the same thing continuously thinking of having the same love and unity of affection. Thus, we are to love the same things, love the Lord, and have the same love for one another, INSTEAD of talking about each other and how you are right and they or not! When he says, "being of one accord" with united spirits, he is asking for unity of sentiment and for the members to think and act as if they are but one soul, one mind.
Free Your Mind
Scripture Shows that the apostle Paul asked for unity at other churches as well. To the church at Corinth he writes, "Now i plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement" (1Cor. 1:10). In the letter to the Romans he writes, "Now, may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be likeminded toward one another to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind, and one mouth, glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 15:5-6).
God is also appealing for unity in the church today. It will bring great joy when the members are thinking the same thought-to love one another, to be likeminded, having the same love, and being of one accord. We are NOT to let petty quarrels and dissensions bring division among the members.
In essence, Paul's request is that we must be of one mind and equal soul as we seek to matain unity with each other. It is through the love of Jesus Christ that our souls are united, our hearts are in unison, and we can truly live together in love as though we have one mind and one spirit between us.
Paul takes us to another level of thinking when he introduces the concept of humility in verse 3. He instructs that we are to humble ourselves, let go of our own pride, and turn away from selfish ambition or conceited attitudes in order to consider the needs of others. He admonishes that we are not to seek personal aggrandizement, but to esteem others as being more important and more worthy than oneself. We are family in the Lord, sharing the same Holy Spirit, and our hearts are to be tender and sympathetic at all times. So let us put away childish things and quarrels and let us unite and learn to love one another like Christ Jesus Loves Us!