Words of Hope and Encouragement (Pt 3)

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Romans 15:5-6 (NIV)

Unity, being like-minded toward other Christians, is a primary theme of the Gospel of the Grace of God. The Greek words for “unity” are to auto phronein. It literally means “to mind the same thing.” It means to have the same mindset, be of a similar opinion. It carries the idea of affecting the will, the affections, and the conscience.

Notice that Paul prays God will give them a “spirit” of unity. That’s internal and spiritual. Unity among Christians has to start inside. It has to be something God does in us, for us, with us. It’s something we have to believe is true; something we want because we believe it’s right and best. The internal belief will lead to external actions.

Paul prays that God will give us a spirit of unity “so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s the external action that flows naturally from an internal belief. If we truly believe in our hearts that we should have the same mindset with other believers, we will show that through our actions. Our actions and words will follow. A unified mind brings forth unified actions.

We have great reasons to be of the same mind with each other:

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”

Ephesians 4:4-5 (NKJV)

The same Christ Who is “in” us is “in” all Christians. We all have the same God and Father. He is over, through, and in all. What a bond of unity!

Having the same mindset does not mean Christians won’t disagree with each other. We are free in Christ to think for ourselves and come to different conclusions about some things. However, if we have a spirit of unity, we will strive to have the same mindset, to be of similar opinions with other believers. We will demonstrate our love for God through our love for fellow Christians. We will be able to put aside petty differences for the purpose of following Christ and having His mind.

I know this isn’t easy, but the Christian life was never supposed to be easy. Jesus made that quite clear. So did Paul. They both demonstrated and taught that bringing a wide variety of minds and lives together into One Body was a challenge. That is one of the great mysteries of Christianity.

Think about your relationship with other believers. Ask God to help you have a spirit of unity, to demonstrate that unity, for the sake of His Glory.

“… endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Ephesians 4:3

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

GraceLife Ministries

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