Unity of Mind in The Church – Words of Grace – May 5, 2023

Unity of Mind in The Church – Words of Grace – May 5, 2023

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” 1 Peter 3:8
The history of the Christian Church is filled with schisms, and Christian congregations have often experienced division. This is evidence that the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in God’s people is not yet complete.

But that doesn’t render the biblical exhortations toward unity hopeless or irrelevant. Human failing is never a reason to neglect the commands of God. Rather, we press on in pursuit of Christlikeness in our lives and our congregations.

The Apostle Peter addresses local congregations in his day with a short but weighty word about the qualities they need to live honorably together (1 Peter 3:8). Among these qualities is “unity of mind.” Unity of mind does not happen without intentionality, hard work, and humility.

How can our congregation grow in unity of mind?

First, we can seek the mind of Christ together. Philippians 2 calls us to possess the attitude of Christ, which included complete submission to the will of God, humility to become the servant of sinners, and obedience to the point of death on the cross. Unity in a congregation begins with Christians committed to becoming like Christ in submission, humility, and obedience.

Second, we can be in the word of Christ together, letting it dwell in us deeply (Colossians 3:16). Our beliefs, attitudes, and viewpoints are shaped by the word of Christ. We are more likely to be shaped this way when we are in the word together.

Third, we can discuss the word of Christ together as a way of “teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16). This will require learning how to get at the meaning of the word of Christ and developing the humility to learn from one another as we do. Peter says this at the end of his list of qualities for the congregations when he includes, “a humble mind.”

Fourth, we learn the difference between the things about which we must have unity, and the things about which we can differ and still be unified (Romans 14). This takes knowledge, discernment, and wisdom as we pursue the truth and live with one another.

In our divided world and increasingly stressed Christian context, let us not lose hope that unity of mind is possible for us. We have the Holy Spirit and the Bible. We can read, interpret, and discuss the Bible. We can grow in a Christ-like mind. We can discern the difference between the truths we must share and the issues about which we can differ. Let us pray and pursue this kind of unity.

We will talk about these things when we gather for worship Sunday. Pray about these things this weekend.