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About-Him.Com Devotional 06-14-2014
Keeping Unity in the Body
Text: Philippians 4:1a ¶ Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, …..
The apostle Paul, writing from prison in Rome, expressed great affection (Php. 1:8, 1Th 2:19 ) for the church at Philippi that was birthed after he was delivered from jail by the hand of the Lord. No doubt he remembered the jailer and his family and Lydia the seller of purple, who were the first converts to the faith (Ac.16:11-40). Ephesians 6:18 gives us an insight into the heart and mind of Paul. He made prayer and supplication in the Spirit for all saints.
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Philippians 4:1b ……so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
Paul warned the Philippians just as he did the other churches to guard against wavering from the faith. He desired to hear that they were standing together in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel (Ps. 27:14; Ga. 5:1).
Philippians1:27 ¶ Only let your conversation (manner of living) be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Our testimony is all important. Unsaved people are always watching to see how we conduct ourselves. If they determine that our words and actions don’t agree, we could be the cause of them not entering the kingdom of God.
Of course we have an adversary, who would delight in seeing us fall. Peter described him as a roaring lion who was going about seeking whom he might devour (1 Pe. 5:8).
Paul told us that the demon powers of hell are doing their best to make us fall. The only way that we can oppose them and live a victorious life is to take upon ourselves, the whole armor of God.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Text: Philippians 4:2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
Paul was grieved to hear that there was disagreement and perhaps dissension between two woman named Euodias, and Syntyche, whom he considered to have been his co-laborers in the work of the gospel. He pleaded with each of them to be of the same mind in the Lord (Php. 2:3-5). He also asked someone he addressed as a true yokefellow to help these women come to agreement (Php. 3:16; Ro. 12:16; 1 Co. 1:10 ).
Unity is all important is the furtherance of the kingdom of God!
1 Corinthians 1:10 ¶ 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.
1 Peter 3:8 ¶ Finally, [be ye] all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, [be] pitiful, [be] courteous:
Psalms 133:1 « A Song of degrees of David. » Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Differences seem to be inevitable in our assemblies. The important thing is how we handle them. The early New Testament church, prior to and after the day of Pentecost, gives us an excellent example. They had seen the resurrection of Jesus and had heard His instruction to preach the gospel to the whole world, after they were baptized in the Holy Ghost.
Acts 1:14 tells us that they were in one accord in prayer and supplication, waiting for the descent of the Spirit.
Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
On the day of Pentecost they were all in one accord in one place.
Acts 2:1 ¶ And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
After Pentecost, they were steadfast in doctrine and maintained daily prayer and fellowship.
Acts 2:42 ¶ And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. When they were threatened with violence, they lifted up their voices to God, with one accord.
Acts 4:24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou [art] God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
They were so committed to the gospel, that they pooled their possessions and had all things in common.
Acts 4:32 ¶ And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any [of them] that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
After being persecuted and stripped of their possessions, their only desire was to preach the gospel of the kingdom. They didn’t have time for carnal divisions.
Acts 8:4 ¶ Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
When differences and disagreements come, it is of the utmost importance that we do not sow discord among the congregation. This, God hates above all else!
Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Contrary to what some claim, the ministry is not beyond error, whether in doctrine or in conduct. However, rather than rebuke them, we must show kindness and fully explain how we feel they have erred. And of course this is a two way street. They might be able to show us where we are wrong. The important thing is to have godly dialogue with love and compassion.
1 Timothy 5:1 ¶ Rebuke not an elder, but intreat [him] as a father; [and] the younger men as brethren;
Elders are human like the rest of us and they are subject to error and mistakes, even sin. They are not infallible and neither are we.
1 Timothy 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
We’re in this race together and we need each other. Let us do our very best to help each other and to handle disagreements in the fear of the Lord.
James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Song: Fill My Way With Love
There is but one God, and they that serve him should be one. There is nothing that would render the true religion more lovely, or make more proselytes to it, than to see the professors of it tied together with the heart strings of love. If God be one, let all that profess him be of one mind, and one heart, and thus fulfil Christ's prayer, "That they all may be one." - Author: Thomas Watson
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