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The Unity Test
"Probably there is no single thing so much insisted on in the New Testament as the importance of harmony among Christians." - Barnes' Notes
How are your relationships with others?
Are you enjoying unity or are you facing divisions and strife?
In this message, we would like to give you a Unity Test to see where you stand in your various friendships and relationships. Prayerfully, this message will be an eye-opener to show you what you should concentrate on when building relationships with others.
1. Are you of "one mind"?
1 Peter 3:8 says - "Finally, be ye all of one mind..."
Romans 12:16 says - "Be of the same mind one toward another..."
Romans 15:5 says - "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus."
1 Corinthians 1:10 says - "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind..."
Philippians 2:2 says - "Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded...of one mind."
Philippians 3:16 says - "...let us mind the same thing."
To "be of one mind" is to share a unity or harmony of thoughts, feelings, and views concerning your faith. It is to be in agreement in affection. It is having the same love one for another - praying for the same good for all and wishing the same good to others that you desire for yourself. This involves entering into other's circumstances to see how you would feel if walking in their shoes.
It is to seek after the same thing - not having divided interests...pursuing after different ends or aims...or thinking with an elevated or ambitious mind. It includes pursuing the same measures and pressing toward the same mark - Christ and heaven.
People who are "of one mind" think one thing. They are constantly intent on promoting the honor of the Lord Jesus. Like clocks, they strike at the same moment at the opportunity to glorify His name in the earth.
2. Are you in "one accord"?
Acts 1:14 says - "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication..."
Acts 2:1 says - "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."
Philippians 2:2 says - "Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord..."
Those who are "in one accord" have their minds, affections, desires, and wishes concentrated in one object. They have the same end in view. They share one common prayer to God. They are in earnest - animated by the same affections and tempers. They are not uninterested, unconcerned, or lukewarm about their interests. They are harmonious in soul - acting together as if but one. They are perfectly agreed on laboring to promote the honor of the Lord Jesus.
3. Are you "of one heart and of one soul"?
Acts 4:32 says - "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul..."
Those who are "of one heart and of one soul" share a harmony in affection and thought. They also share a close and tender union. They are perfectly agreed in holy affections and are united as one body with one life. They have the same views and ends.
4. Are you "speaking the same thing"?
1 Corinthians 1:10 says - "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing..."
Those who "speak the same things" hold the same doctrines and profess the same truths - expressing them in the same words.
5. Are you "walking by the same rule"?
Philippians 3:16 says - "...let us walk by the same rule..."
"Walking by the same rule" is a military term for marching in order. Those who "walk by the same rule" are marching to the beat of the same drummer - so to speak. They are walking harmoniously in the same path - making Christ their all in all.
6. Do you "have the same love"?
Philippians 2:2 says - "Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love..."
"Having the same love" constitutes being disposed to the love of God and the love for one's fellow man. It includes having a love for the same object.
Notice in each point or question - not one time was it required for individuals to agree on every issue to obtain a semblance of unity. It is understood that no two people will ever agree on everything.
However, on the major issues of promoting the honor and glory of the Lord Jesus...in winning souls...or living a life pleasing unto the Lord, relationships can and do blossom and thrive.
Read some final comments from three renowned commentators of the Bible -
"When any assembly of God's people meet in the same spirit they may expect every blessing they need."
- Adam Clarke
"The best way to make true Christians harmonious is, to labor together in the common cause of saving souls."
- Barnes' Notes
"Christian love ought to be mutual love."
- Matthew Henry
Do you want God's blessing on your life?
Then live in harmony with others. Seek peace, and avoid all discord. "Be of one mind"...strive to live in "one accord"..."be of one heart and of one soul"..."speak the same thing"..."walk by the same rule"...and "have the same love."
"Probably there is no single thing so much insisted on in the New Testament as the importance of harmony among Christians."
How are you doing as far as harmony in your relationships is concerned?
How well did you do on the Unity Test?
May God Bless His Word.