If you and I and others are born again,
blood bought believers in Jesus Christ...
why are we not of one accord and one mind?
The Lord Jesus, in His high priestly prayer in John 17 prayed in part: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. John 17:20-23
The apostle Paul wrote... -to Christians at Philippi, "Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord,of one mind." Philippians 2:2
-to Christians at Corinth :"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" I Corinthians 1:10-13
-and to Christians at Ephesus: "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4:1-6
Our problem:Traditionally we Christians in any given community have been divided by our loyalties to denominations (groups which are designated by names not assigned to us by God) rather than being united by our loyalty to Christ whom God has given to be the head over all things to the church! We have been divided by a desire to oppose and compete with other saints rather than being united by a desire to minister to and help other saints. When we distinguish ourselves from others by names other than "believers", "brethren", "Christians", "disciples", "children of God" or "saints" we are part of the problem. This problem of division by taking names (which distinguish some saints from others to which God has joined them) and excluding and competing against other believers was one of the very first problems addressed by the apostle Paul as he wrote to the first century church at Corinth. (1)
God's purpose: God's purpose for the church is that through us He might make known His manifold wisdom to principalities and powers in heavenly places! (In other words, God desires to use us as his "object lessons" to teach his wisdom to angels and demons!!) (2) With that high purpose in view, the Lord Jesus prayed in John 17 that we might be one.(3) The first century church in the city of Jerusalem, which shortly after Pentecost numbered in the thousands, knew what it was to gather together, to settle disputes, to make decisions and to pray with one accord.(4) The apostles taught the saints to be of one accord, of one mind.(5) The mind with which we are exhorted to be of one accord is NOT that of an apostle, a denomination or some charismatic leader, but rather the mind of Christ, the will of God.(6)
This is the key to being of one accord and of one mind! It does NOT mean that we will all walk the same way, talk the same way, dress the same way, prefer the same kinds of music or minister in the same way! The members of your physical body all look differently act differently, fulfill different functions and have different needs. But they all have the same mind... YOUR MIND!
So it is with the body of Christ. Every Christian is a different member of His Body and each one is gifted for a different ministry and function in the body for the benefit of all the others. But every believer has the mind of Christ (7) because Christ dwells in them. It is only as we let His mind be in us (8) that we will experience the joys and liberty of being of one accord!
The process to correct the problem: If we are to move away from the problem and begin again to fulfill the purpose of God there must be a process by which we are transformed. Behaviour will only be transformed after our thinking is transformed. (9) Wrong practice is always the direct result of wrong thinking. So the purpose of this site is to challenge our wrong thinking and seek to restore us to godly and scriptural thinking and practice as the apostles' doctrine and example has taught and modelled it for us.(10).
Principles regarding the scriptures:
Scriptural unity will require that scripture (not tradition or denominational loyalty) be the only standard.
A.The central and unifying theme of scripture is not a doctrine, a theological perspective, or a method of interpretation, but rather a person, the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself! (11) Thus being of one accord will only be possible as we acknowledge Christ as the central theme of all scripture, the only head of the church and as we appreciate who we are and who our brothers and sisters are IN CHRIST! (12)
B.The only pure words suitable for accurate statements of doctrine are the inspired words of scripture. (13) Creeds and doctrinal statements composed by men have always added to scripture (14) and attempted to state doctrines in words which man's wisdom teaches rather than in words which the Holy Spirit teaches.(15) Statements of doctrine in the very words of scripture never bring division between saints.But doctrinal divisions always occur when some of us subscribe to a creed or doctrinal statement composed by men and others of us do not! Thus if we are to be of one mind regarding the scriptures we must be willing to submit to and to subscribe only to teachings which are stated by inspired writers in the actual words of scripture and reject those which are not so stated.
C. Biblical Churches have Biblical characteristics including the following:
According to the Bible, churches are comprised of believers in Jesus Christ and every such believer, every child of God, every Christian...
-is a priest, I Peter 2:9,
-is a minister, I Peter 4:11,
-is one of God's clergy, I Peter 5:3 (heritage, those entrusted to, those allotted to or those in (the elders') charge are the KLEROS , Greek word for clergy.)
-is ordained to bear fruit that remains, John 15:16
-is a member in the Body of Christ, Romans 12:4,5; I Corinthians 12:12-27;
-is included in the church of God in their own community. I Corinthians 1:2
-is an active participant, Hebrews 10:24,25,
-is absolutely necessary to the well-being of the others, I Corinthians 12:19-27
-is gifted for ministry to others, I Peter 4:10,
-is a living stone in the house of God, I Peter 2:5, Ephesians 2:20-22
-personally lays up the "collection" to be used as God directs him or her.
I Corinthians 16:1,2
-may assemble with others in homes for teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. Acts 2:46; Romans 16:3-5; I Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2
-is part of God's eternal purpose for the church, i.e.making known the manifold wisdom of God to principalities and powers in heavenly places. Ephesians 3:10
- every church leader is one of the laity, I Peter 2:7-10 (The "people" of God (v.10) = LAOS.)
-every apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher is to equip saints for the work of the ministry, Ephesians 4:11,12.
1) I Cor.1:10-13 (2) Eph.3:10; (3)John 17:20-23 (4) Ac 1:14; Ac 2:1; Ac 2:46; Ac 4:24; Ac 5:12; Ac 6:5; Ac 15:22; Ac 15:25 (5) I Cor.1:10; Php 2:2 (6)1Co 2:16; Ro 8:27; Ro 15:5; Ga 6:14-16; Eph 3:20; Eph 4:16; Col 1:29; 1Ti 6:3; 1Pe 4:6 (7) I Cor.2:16; (8) Phil.2:5; (9)Rom.12:1-5 (10) 1Co 11:1; Phil.4:8,9; 2Th 2:15 (11) Lk. 24:27(12) Rom.12:3-5; Ga 3:28; Eph 2:13; 1Pe 5:14 (13) Ps.12:6 (14) Prov.30:5,6 (15) I Cor.2:13
We hope that this site will be encouraging, edifying and challenging to you and that, if it is, you will refer others here as well. Please sign the guest book and stop back here regularly as we expect to be adding to and improving the site continually. If you would like us to notify you of additions to the site whenever we post them, please leave us a note to that effect in the guestbook. (This is our first attempt at setting up a website so any suggestions and constructive criticisms will be welcomed!)
Yours in the service of the Very Best of Masters,
Bruce & Judy Woodford