With one accord (of one mind) (3661) (Homothumadon/Homothymadon from homo = one and the same, unison + thumos = temperament, emotion of the mind, the principle of life, feeling and thought) is an adverb which denotes the unity of a group and means with the same emotion, with the same passion, of one persuasion, of one passion, having the same desire, with the same mind, of one accord, with one mind, with one purpose, with one impulse, all together, unanimously, with unanimous consent, pertaining to mutual consent, by common consent, simultaneously as one. Homothumadon describes entire harmony of views and feelings as well as singleness of purpose. No schisms. No divisions. No divided interests. No discordant purposes.
Homothumadon "refers to a group acting as one." (Darrell Bock)
A word closely related to homothumadon is koinonia (from koinos = that which is in common, belonging to several or of which several are partakers) which means fellowship (the state of sharing mutual interests, experiences, activities, etc.; a relation in which parties hold something in common), sharing, contribution. As Peter Toon reminds us
fellowship only exists because God the Father through Jesus Christ, the Son (1Cor 1:9), and by/in the Spirit (2Cor 13:14, Php 2:1) has established in grace a relation (a "new covenant") with humankind. Those who believe the Gospel of the resurrection are united in the Spirit () through the Son to the Father. The relation leads to the reality of relatedness and thus to an experienced relationship (a "communion") between man and God. And those who are thus "in Christ" (as the apostle Paul often states) are in communion not only with Jesus Christ (and the Father) in the Spirit but also with one another. This relatedness, relationship, and communion is fellowship." (Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)
Another word which is related to homothumadon is Homothumadon is used in the context of prayer in Acts 1:14, possibly Acts 2:46 (because they were in the Temple), Acts 4:24
TDNTA notes that homothumadon
is a response to God’s action for the community and the world (cf. Acts 1:4; 4:24). It is thus a gift of God to the praise of God. (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament)
Clearly Luke draws attention also to the way the Holy Spirit promoted the unity of the Body in the book of Acts by repeatedly using the Greek adverb homothumadon (see passages below). Stanley Horton comments that...
More than once the Church were in danger of being split but the Spirit brought them together. The world tends to disrupt, divide, and build barriers. The Holy Spirit broke down barriers as the Church prayed together, worked together, evangelized together, suffered together. Nature tends to disperse, scatter, and break down. It takes a higher energy to unite, and more wisdom and power to build up, than to tear down. Consequently, an important theme of The Acts of the Risen Lord Through the Holy Spirit is church building....
Luke draws attention to (the fact that the early church were) all joined “together” (“with one accord,” KJV). What a contrast this was to the jealousy exhibited before the Cross, where each wanted to be the greatest (Matt. 20:24). As was mentioned before, Jesus dealt with them all after the Resurrection, and especially Peter (John 21). Now all were restored and recommissioned, harboring no conflict or jealousy. All were with one mind united together. “Together” or “one accord” (“with one mind,” NASB) in the Greek is homothumadon, “with one purpose,” and is one of Luke’s favorite words. Being united in one accord with one purpose is surely still an important key to getting God’s work done. This is what Christian fellowship is all about. (Acts: A Logion Press Commentary) (Bolding added)
Homothumadon (mainly in Acts and especially describing the early disciples) is in a very real sense an "answer" to Jesus' prayer that those who were His would manifest a unique oneness in a world dominated by selfishness.
Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be ONE, even as We are.....I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be ONE; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me. And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be ONE, just as We are ONE; (Jn 17:11b, Jn 17:20, 21, 22)
Spirit Filled Study Bible says that homothumadon refers to
having mutual consent, being in agreement, having group unity, having one mind and purpose. The disciples had an intellectual unanimity, an emotional rapport, and volitional agreement in the newly founded church. In each of its occurrences, homothumadon shows a harmony leading to action.
Most of us have heard the famous quote most often attributed to Augustine (but others credit a man named Rupertus Meldenius)...
In essentials, unity.
In non-essentials, liberty.
In all things, charity.
Comment: I would add that if we cannot experience unity in diversity, there is no possibility of unity, for all believers differ in many ways.
Puritan Thomas Brooks rightly stated...
Discord and division become no Christian. For wolves to worry the lambs is no wonder, but for one lamb to worry another, this is unnatural and monstrous.
John Calvin once said that...
The unity of His servants is so much esteemed by God, that He will not have His glory sounded forth amidst discords and contentions.
The deadly effect of disunity illustrated...
Two battleships met in the night and began to attack each other. In the conflict, a number of crewmen were severely wounded, and both vessels were damaged. As daylight broke, the sailors on the ships discovered to their amazement that both vessels flew the English flag.
Many years earlier, just before the battle of Trafalgar in 1805, the British naval hero Lord Nelson learned that an admiral and a captain in his fleet were not on good terms. Sending for the two men, he placed the hands of the admiral and the captain together. Then, looking them both in the face, he said, “Look—yonder is the enemy!”
Homothumadon was commonly used in the ancient Greek secular writings. For example, Demosthenes (ancient Greek statesman and orator) urged the Greek citizens of Athens to set aside personal feelings replacing them with homothumadon in order to resist Philip II of Macedon. Moulton and Milligan give another secular example "having received certain information that the inhabitants of the village are with one accord claiming your protection."
NIDNTT adds that homothumadon...
is first found in the 5th and 4th cent. B.C. (Aristophanes, Plato, Demosthenes) and in the political sphere is used especially for the visible, inner unity of a group faced by a common duty or danger. The unanimity is not based on common personal feelings but on a cause greater than the individual. (New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology 4 Volume Set) (Bolding added for emphasis)
Melancthon mourned in his day the divisions among Protestants, and sought to bring the Protestants together by the parable of the war between the wolves and the dogs. The wolves were somewhat afraid, for the dogs were many and strong, and therefore they sent out a spy to observe them. On his return, the scout said, 'It is true the dogs are many, but there are not many mastiffs (large dogs often used as guard dogs) among them. There are dogs of so many sorts one can hardly count them; and as for the worst of them,' said he, 'they are little dogs, which bark loudly, but cannot bite. However, this did not cheer me so much,' said the wolf; 'as this, that as they came marching on, I observed they were all snapping right and left at one another, and I could see clearly that though they all hate the wolf, yet each dog hates every other dog with all his heart.' I fear it is true still; for there are many professors who snap right and left at their own brethren, when they had better save their teeth for the wolves. If our enemies are to be put to confusion, it must be by the united efforts of all the people of God: unity is strength.
E D Schmitz offers an insightful comment on the uses of homothumadon/homothymadon in Acts...
There is thus a double kind of unanimity shown us in Acts, of the church and of its enemies. The cause is the same, viz. the preaching of Christ as Saviour and Lord. The reaction can be either faith and worship or hatred and rejection. His enemies found themselves united for the first time when they rejected the claims of Christ. Similarly the unanimity of the church was not based on the sharing of the same human or religious feelings and convictions, but on the reality of Christ which had brought together both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 15:11). The unanimity of their enemies stemmed from seeing their religious (Acts 7:56f.; 18:13) and commercial traditions challenged and their wish to maintain them at all costs.
When the local church lives and works homothymadon, it is living and working in harmony with its origin. That is why it is repeatedly stressed by Luke. If he plays down almost all the elements that militated against such unanimity in his picture of the primitive church (Acts 6:1ff.; 15:37ff.; cf. 8:1), it was hardly because he wanted to idealize it. It had its tensions and controversies (cf. 1 and 2 Cor., Gal., Epp. of Jn.). Rather, he wanted to show the essential unanimity of the church, an expression of its nature and therefore a pattern for later generations. Its realization is continually offered and promised to it, so that it may carry out its work of witness (Acts 1:8) in a world that rejects the salvation offered to it. The same goal, the unanimous praise of God en heni stomati, with one voice, is also envisaged by Paul in Rom. 15:5ff., when he prays to God for the unanimity in service that comes from Christ Jesus and that surmounts all differences in understanding and knowledge. (New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology 4 Volume Set)
Larry Richards has an interesting note on the derivation...
Homothumadon is a compound of two words meaning to “rush along” and “in unison.” The image is almost musical; a number of notes are sounded which, while different, harmonize in pitch and tone. As the instruments of a great orchestra blend under the direction of a concertmaster, so the Holy Spirit blends together the lives of members of Christ’s church....
The early church was a dynamic fellowship. It was rooted in faith in Christ, and relationships between Christians were marked by homothumadon, that vital principle of “one accord.”...
(In Acts 6:1-7 there was) Serious division within the church—destruction of homothumadon...
“How do you and I find harmony with people with whom we differ in the church? Is the statement, ‘I love him, but I don’t like him,’ a valid expression of Christian homothumadon? Why or why not?”...
In our study of Acts we introduced this Greek term which means, “with one accord.” It was a word that God chose to describe the fellowship that existed within the earliest church. That word portrays the unique harmony and love that so impressed early observers. “See how they love one another,” was the remark. These early Christians, so varied in background (there were both rich and poor, Judean and foreign Jew), found a unity and love that observers could hardly believe. Jesus had spoken of this dimension of Christian community before His crucifixion. He told His followers, “Love one another as I have loved you. All men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35). God’s plan for believers includes the demonstration of His righteousness in and through a loving community. Christ’s church is to demonstrate to all the world that righteousness, correctly understood, means love and joy!...
the Christian community as well as the individual is to witness to the reality of Jesus. On the one hand, the Christian community is the context in which individual believers can grow to their full stature as Christ’s people. On the other, the love which marks Christian relationships is itself a powerful testimony to Christ’s presence. For each of these purposes to be achieved, the church must truly be the righteous, loving community which Scripture describes with homothumadon. (The teacher’s commentary)
Spicq says that
Homothymadon, which occurs especially in Job (14 times - see below) and in Acts (10 times - see below) and corresponds to the Hebrew yachad, has as least three meanings:
(a) “Together,” when said of people, a crowd, a mass of individuals: “They threw themselves all together” upon Steven (Acts 7:57); at the silversmiths’ riot at Ephesus, “They rushed all together to the theater.” As the adverb yachad often means “also, likewise” (cf. Job 6:2; 17:16; 31:38; 34:15), homothymadon expresses simultaneity: “All the people answered at once,” as one person.
(b) Conformably to its etymology (homos, “same,” and thymos, “soul” or “heart”), homothymadon designates not only a gathering of persons, but their agreement together, even their unanimity. The authorities at the Jerusalem Council decide: “It seemed good to us, being of one accord, to chose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul.” When approaching someone “together,” whether “to sympathize with him and comfort him,” as when Job’s friends come (Job 2:11), or to offer congratulations (Jdt 15:9), the point is that the feelings of the participants are in harmony. Thus the apostles and the believers are “together” at Solomon’s Portico (Acts 5:12), and thus the Samaritan crowds follow Philip’s preaching (Acts 8:6).
(c) Homothymadon expresses in a unique way the brotherly communion of believers praying to God. Unity of hearts in one and the same movement is the characteristic of prayer, so much so that the prayer of a “discordant” Christian will not be heard. Homothymadon became a technical term for the unity of the Jerusalemites in calling upon the Lord and for the unity required of all disciples by Ro 15:5–6: they must try to have a common mind (to auto phronein) in Christ, “so that with one heart (with one accord - homothumadon) and one mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This oneness of heart is described as brotherly harmony by 1Pe 3:8. As early as Homer, homophrosunē is praised as a virtue, establishing accord and harmony of thoughts and feelings, among fellow-citizens or members of a group, between spouses, especially between brothers. This is precisely the nuance of 1 Pet 3:8.
According to Strabo, “The Lacedaemonians thought it difficult to face the Parthians head on, because of their numbers, their perfect harmony, and the fact that they regarded each other as brothers” (pantes homophronas, hōs an allēlōn adelphous nomizomenous). In a funerary epigram for the two brothers Letoios and Paulos: “Farewell, two brothers with one heart (homophrōne)! On your tomb there should be erected an altar to Concord (bōmos Homophrosynēs).” Philo thought that Moses in his legislation envisaged “agreement, community feeling, concord (homophrosynē), a balance of temperaments, all that could bring homes and cities, peoples and countries, and the whole human race to supreme happiness” (Virtues 119). Christian harmony will be more intimate and more binding: “that they may be one” (hina ōsin hen, John 17:22). (Theological Lexicon of the New Testament 3 Volume Set)
James Edwards has an interesting note explaining that homothumadon...
means a unity that comes from outside ourselves rather than from any denominator common to ourselves. Demosthenes once used the term to describe the sort of oneness that results when a group of soldiers is attacked by an enemy; whatever their differences, the threat of destruction welds them into a fighting unit. So it is that grace draws us into a new relation with God and one another, making the church into something that it was not before, namely, a family of Jews and Gentiles in Christ.
The unity of believers is related inseparably to the purpose of God in redemption, both quantitatively and qualitatively. At the quantitative level Paul will assert in Ro 15:8–9 that redemption radiates outward like ripples in a pool to include Gentiles within the household of faith. At the qualitative level he has just shown how division between the strong and weak (Ro 15:1) has resulted in a unity with one heart in Christ (Ro 15:6). On both levels it is abundantly clear that disruption of the unity of believers also disrupts the work of redemption. (Romans Understanding the Bible Commentary Series- James R. Edwards)
Peter conveys a similar idea with Homophron (literally = of the same mind, like minded, one and the same understanding) writing...
To sum up, let all be harmonious (KJV = "of one mind"), sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit
Comment: These five virtues are to be normative qualities in the lives of the people of God, reflecting the attitude and example of Christ. Remember the context: The advice offered is for believers facing persecution. Just as the whole of the Law is summed up in love (Ro 13:8-10), so the whole of human relationships is fulfilled in love. This applies to every Christian and to every area of life. Note that Peter deals not so much with the authorities but with those under authority. That "one mind" should be the mind of Christ (Php2:2,v5).All Christians are to be examples and purveyors of peace and unity, not disruption and disharmony (Jn 13:35; 17; Ro 12:16; 15:5; 1Co 1:10; Php 2:1,2) You brothers join hands together. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Unity does not mean uniformity.
It means cooperation in the midst of diversity.
The members of the body ideally are to work together in unity, even though they are all different. Christians may differ on how things are to be done, but they must agree on what is to be done and why. A man criticized D. L. Moody’s methods of evangelism, and Moody said, “Well, I’m always ready for improvement. What are your methods?” The man confessed that he had none! “Then I’ll stick to my own,” said Moody. Whatever methods we may use, we must seek to honor Christ, win the lost, and build the church. Some methods are definitely not Scriptural, but there is plenty of room for variety in the church.
Homothumadon (of the same passion) describes those who share a "like precious faith," which results in the Spirit enabled gift of unity between them 2Pe 1:1-2 Peter writes...
2Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind (isotimos from isos = equal + time = price) as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
In His high priestly prayer Jesus in John 17 prayed for unity, John recording...
"I do not ask in behalf of these alone (Jesus now prays for all believers of all generations), but for those also who believe in Me through their word (the written message of the apostles - the Word of God); 21 that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that (here is the great purpose of Christian unity) the world may believe that Thou didst send Me. (From this petition it is clear that the propagation of the gospel of Christ is bound up for better or for worse with the degree of unity we display to the world. Christian unity is of the utmost importance!) 22 And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected (the idea of completeness not perfection) in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me. (John 17:20-23)
Comment: In John 17:17 Jesus emphasized that the critical importance of truth, the adherence to truth forming a firm foundation for Christian unity. Observe that the unity of believers with each other is compared with the perfect unity which the Son has with the Father. Such unity cannot be legislated or produced by the mechanics of an organization. It is produced and maintained by the Holy Spirit. These verses are misapplied by many who advocate a worldwide, ecumenical movement, with no regard for doctrinal heresies that exist in various sects and groups. Truth comes before unity. Unity without truth is hazardous.
John Franklin in a fascinating study on prayer (This is not your typical study, but one calculated to prepare a local body to revitalize their corporate prayer meeting! Are you as convicted as I am?) writes that one of the foundations of such prayer is...
Believers in one accord. Five times in the first five chapters of Acts, Scripture records that the disciples were in “one accord.” In each instance the Greek word homothumadon is used. The word is a compound from homos meaning “same or together,” and thumos meaning “passion, anger, fierceness, wrath, indignation, heat, or glow.”
Joining these concepts together, the word can be understood as the same burning of heart, or same heart passion. This ardor of heart unity, fellowship, and agreement in purpose, desire, passion, attitude, mentality, action, and lifestyle marked the dynamism of their prayer meetings (Acts 1:14 and Acts 4:23 explicitly; Acts 2:46 implicitly).
And the oxygen that fuels the flame of one accord above all else is purpose. Some years ago I read a book on prayer that said every prayer group must have a purpose for meeting or it will die. I can bear witness from personal experience the truth of that statement, but more importantly Scripture shows this to be true. Jesus never did anything without a purpose. His prayer life pulsated with passion for the reason of his earthly existence. In Acts 1 the apostles’ prayer request to replace Judas flowed from their assignment as apostles. In Acts 4 they begged for boldness to proclaim Jesus. In Acts 13 one suspects “ministering to the Lord” means seeking clarity on what assignment he would give them next. This rich tapestry of prayer meetings was woven with the scarlet threads of heart purpose.
Being in one accord can take on at least two forms. First, it comes when a group has an incredible sense that they have been called by God. They clearly know their assignment, and they are seeking God’s power and direction in carrying out His work. This form of one accord is a facet of Foundation 1, Relationship with God. Any group that passionately seeks to fulfill its assignment already has a sense of purpose and unity. The second type of accord can be more temporal in nature. In Acts 4:24 the entire church responded as one to the crisis. In your church or small group, you need both of these aspects of being in one accord. You must have a sense of purpose in general but also at the prayer meeting as people’s hearts and understanding are touched in such a way that they come into agreement to pray. Unclear instruction or a halfhearted call to pray is ineffective in helping the hearts of people come together.
Evidently God especially loves to make us interdependent in fulfilling his purposes. Was that not the crux of the last verses in Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17? Did he not pray for a oneness between himself and the Father, and among his followers? How else can you explain why he taught “If two of you agree" (Mt 18:19)? When this happens, somehow it carries greater weight. T. W. Hunt wrote about how he unexpectedly discovered increased authority with the throne of God as the trial of cancer drove him and his wife into greater unity.
Similarly, the greatest prayer times I’ve known have been when believers have come into a unity of heart passion, of being in one accord.
This deepening in one accord over the long term follows a formula—an intensifying sense of purpose, plus trial, plus sacrificing for Christ’s sake and for each other results in an increasingly deeper bond of love. The coming together in one accord at the moment of a prayer meeting follows this formula—a clear understanding of what is at stake, assuming personal responsibility, plus belief that God will answer when we cry. In the book of Acts, both these realities can be seen. (And the Place Was Shaken- How to Lead a Powerful Prayer Meeting- John Franklin)
Webster defines harmony (from harmos = joint, harmonia = a setting together, a closure or seam, agreement, concert) as a pleasing or congruent arrangement of parts. In Music it is the combination of simultaneous musical notes in a chord, the result being a pleasing sound to the hearer. The 1828 Webster defines harmony as "The just adaptation of parts to each other, in any system or composition of things, intended to form a connected whole; as the harmony of the universe."
Harmony is concord or agreement in views, sentiments or manners, interests. Agreement in action, opinion, feeling, etc.; accord (agreement, conformity).
Harmony is an order or congruity of parts to their whole or to one another.
A synonym for harmony is consonance = harmony or agreement among components; correspondence or recurrence of sounds especially in words. Now think of saints who are of one mind praying together and how this is heard by the Father! Does that describe our prayer meeting? Do we even have a prayer meeting? (Woe!)
The other English word used to translate homothumadon is "accord" (From Latin "ad" = to + "cord" = heart) which means agreement, harmony of minds, concurrence of opinions or wills. Accord also describes a concert or a harmony of sounds which is agreeable to the ear. It means, among other things, to agree in pitch and tone. So like a beautiful harpist selection in which there is no discord between the strings, but only accord. This is the picture of homothumadon.
In our first homothumadon reference, Acts 1:14, the Twelve were involved. In the second reference, Acts 2:1, the one hundred and twenty were involved. In the subsequent references, and particularly the last one, the interests of the whole church are at stake. Why not give homothumadon a chance in our churches and conferences today? Carter, C. W. (1966). The Acts of the Apostles. In . Vol. 4: Matthew-Acts. The Wesleyan Bible Commentary (722). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Other NT passages that speak of the unity of believers...
1 Corinthians 1:10; Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.
1 Corinthians 10:17; Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.
1 Corinthians 12:12; For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
Paul explains that one of the first characteristics of a worthy walk in Christ is unity!
Eph 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love,3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ruth Paxson explains: Eph 4:2-16 shows that the first characteristic of a worthy walk is unity. What is the primary necessity for wholeness and health in a human body? It is the harmonious functioning of all the organs of the body; the perfect co-ordination in action of every part with every other part. A displacement of even an insignificant organ or the maladjustment of any parts of the body can cause disease and disability. A missionary in China began to have convulsions. She had the best of medical attention. She was told she had an incurable disease and advised to go home. On the way back to her station she consulted an osteopath. Two little bones were found to be out of adjustment, which caused pressure on the nerves. Quickly they were brought into unity through adjustment, and the incurable disease was cured.
So in the Church, the mystical Body of Christ, spiritual health is dependent upon the harmonious functioning of all the members and upon their perfect co-ordination in action. But what awful maladjustments we see in Christ's Body to-day! What sinful failure in co-ordination between its members! What shameful divisions over secondary matters which dishonour the Lord in the sight of the world! How desperately we need to come back to the divine standard set in Ephesians, and how humbly we need to acknowledge our failure and sin in not living according to it!
The Divine Standard - The unity to which God is calling His Church is distinctly defined and definitely declared. It is not a union of denominations or a federation of the churches of Christendom. Neither is it the unity of the Body. God nowhere asks us to make or to maintain the unity of the Body, for that is God's task. Through baptism with the Spirit the believer is united to Christ, the Head, and to every other member of the Body in an indissoluble bond, which unity is maintained by the indwelling Spirit. So with the making and keeping of the unity of the Body we have nothing to do.
But with the outworking of God's eternal purpose for the completion of the Body; for its edification and sanctification; and for its manifestation of Christ in glory and power to the world, we have much to do, which requires the harmonious, effectual working of every member. Hence God's call to keep the unity which He now defines. (Ruth Paxson -The Wealth, Walk and Warfare of the Christian - Pdf)
Brethren, the precious fruit of unity is not automatic but takes considerable effort to cultivate and propagate. Ultimately it takes dependence on the Spirit Who created it initially!
To dwell above with saints we love,
O that will be glory
But to dwell below with saints we know,
Well, that's another story.
NT USES OF
All the uses of homothumadon are in Acts except one in Romans 15:5. Note all the passages are from the NAS except Acts 2:1 in which the Greek Textus Receptus uses homothumadon whereas the more modern Greek manuscripts uses the phrase "pas homou" which is translated "all together." Note that there is a "double kind of unanimity" (NIDNTT) seen in the uses of homothumadon in Acts - on one hand the unanimity of the church, but on the other hand the unanimity of the enemies of God.
Acts 1:14 These all with one mind were continually devoting (proskartereo = resolutely)) themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
Comment: The 11 disciples and a few women were united in prayer in the upper room. Prior strife and jealousies that disrupted unity in their relationships were gone. They joined together as one, waiting for the promise of the Father (Lk 24:49, Acts 1:4). While the word is not used in Acts 2:1, Luke notes the 120 were all together in one place and then in the next use of homothumadon (Acts 2:46) there were 3000. Richards writes that "God, the Spirit, is able to take our 11s, and our 120s and our 3,000s and, as we joyfully focus our shared life on Jesus, to orchestrate our lives to His wondrous “one accord.” (Teacher's Commentary) "Luke’s picture of the early Jerusalem Christian community paints its communal prayer and harmony." (Fitzmyer)
New Spirit-Filled Life Bible has this note on homothumadon: The disciples had an intellectual unanimity, an emotional rapport, and volitional agreement in the newly founded church. In each of its occurrences, homothumadon shows a harmony leading to action.
Joel Green: The disciples are thus defined in verse 14 by their tenacious orientation toward a common aim—that is, they were single-minded in giving themselves to prayer. The verb Luke uses to depict this tenaciousness is proskartereo (“continue,” “persevere in”), which appears in the New Testament only ten times, with six being in Acts (Acts 1:14; 2:42, 46; 6:4; 8:13; 10:7). A second important term in this verse is homothumadon (“with one mind, purpose, or impulse”), an adverb that appears in Acts ten times and otherwise in the New Testament only in Ro 15:6. In Acts it characterizes the single-minded unity either of the company of believers (Acts 1:14; 2:46; 4:24; 5:12; 8:6; 15:25) or those who opposed them (Acts 7:57; 12:20; 18:12; 19:29). (Into God’s Presence: Prayer in the New Testament)
Darrell Bock: As the examples concerning disciples show, (homothumadon) is a term that points to the fundamental unity within the church. Here the group is operating in obedience, waiting for the Spirit and praying in preparation as they wait. The nascent church is showing some of its most fundamental characteristics: gathered, seeking the Lord’s will with one mind in prayer, and assembled to carry out God’s mission (Pesch 1986a: 82). (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)
Gaertner comments: Luke’s motive is to show how the believers carried out their ministry and worship with a spirit of harmony. It is no surprise that such unity should follow when Christians are praying and waiting for the Spirit....This group of apostles, friends, and family members was continuing in prayer as they waited in Jerusalem for the promise of God. The expression Luke uses is an important one. The disciples “joined together” not just in the sense of being together in the same place. They remained together in the sense of unity of mind and purpose. This expression of oneness (homothumadon, in Greek) will appear several more times in Acts (see Acts 2:46; 5:12; 8:6; 15:25). Luke’s motive is to show how the believers carried out their ministry and worship with a spirit of harmony. It is no surprise that such unity should follow when Christians are praying and waiting for the Spirit. (Gaertner, D. Acts. The College Press NIV commentary).
Guzik: Their unity is notable: These all continued with one accord. When we saw the disciples in the gospels, it seemed that they were always fighting and bickering. What had changed? Peter still had the history of denying the Lord; Matthew was still a tax collector; Simon was still a zealot. Their differences were still there, but the resurrected Jesus in their hearts was greater than any difference. (Ed Comment: The Spirit had baptized them on Pentecost. He was now indwelling them as the Spirit of Christ. He was filling them which is synonymous with controlling them. He was the unifying force. The Spirit enabled their oneness. In Ephesians we see the balance of God's part [Spirit creating unity] and man's responsibility to preserve the unity: Eph 4:3, 4 "being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace....one Body and one Spirit...one hope.",cp also Php 2:2, Col 3:14)
David Peterson: Luke 24:53 also makes the point that after the ascension they ‘stayed continually at the temple, praising God’. It is striking that at almost every important turning point in the narrative of God’s redemptive action in Acts we find a mention of prayer (e.g., Acts 1:24; 8:14–17; 9:11–12; 10:4, 9, 30; 13:2–3). Turner observes:
This portrayal is never in danger of suggesting that the true initiative in salvation-history lies in believers, in their determination to pray for specific events to come to pass. God is only fulfilling what he long before promised. Such decisive acts of God as (e.g.) the descent of the Spirit on Jesus, on the disciples at Pentecost, and at Cornelius’s home, take place in a context of prayer, but not obviously as an immediate response to a specific request for the same. Nevertheless, without answering questions of cause and effect, the whole tableau gives a unified picture of the close relationship between prayer and God’s decisive acts of salvation, right up to the parousia (Lk. 18:1ff.). (The Acts of the Apostles Pillar New Testament Commentary- David G. Peterson)
Barnes: Homothumadon denotes the entire harmony of their views and feelings. There were no schisms, no divided interests, no discordant purposes. This is a beautiful picture of devotion, and a specimen of what social worship ought now to be, and a beautiful illustration of Ps. 133. The apostles felt that they had one great object; and their deep grief at the loss of their master, and their doubts and perplexities, led them, as all afflictions ought to lead us, to the throne of grace. (Notes on the New Testament: Acts).
William Larkin: The aura of God’s presence in and through the Spirit-filled apostles and community both repelled and attracted those outside. In the face of the miraculous preservation of the community’s integrity and transparent fellowship, some dared not join them, evidently unready to count the cost of authentic discipleship. (Luke, Acts Cornerstone Biblical Commentary)
Matthew Poole: “These all continued with one accord,” with great resolution, notwithstanding all opposition and contradiction they met with, “in prayer and supplication,” for mercies they wanted, or preventing of the evils they feared. (Matthew Poole's Commentary on the New Testament)
D Thomas (Biblical Illustrator): The spirit was a spirit of--1. Union. They were not only assembled in the same place and for the same purpose; but there was a great unanimity of sentiment amongst them. They agreed in the blessings they sought, and in the mode of seeking them.
S Dickson (Biblical Illustrator): If the prayer-meeting is the thermometer of the Church, then the first Christian prayer-meeting registers a high degree of spiritual life existing just after the departure of Christ....The spirit. Peace and unity prevailed. The day of “murmuring” had not yet come (Act 6:1.) Union is strength. A divided Church cannot long remain a praying Church. God answers prayer when it is offered by few or many “with one accord.” The promise is addressed to those who are “agreed.”
James Rosscup: Vivid impression of their Saviour’s final orientation (Lk. 24:46–49) impels the disciples to their next move. He had given them a priority (be His witnesses), a promise of power in the coming Spirit, and a place to remain until they received the power. Now they return to wait in that place, Jerusalem, in a poise of joyous expectancy (Lk 24:52). There they persist in the temple uttering praise to God (53), and shift to an upper room in the city (Acts 1:13). Key details of the devotion in the upper room while awaiting witnessing power in the upper room are clear in the passage. One is the attendance, the eleven all present (Acts 1:13), only the defecting Judas missing (Acts 1:15–20). Joining the eleven are various women such as Mary Magdalene (cf. Jn. 20, etc.) and Mary the mother of Jesus, also His physical brothers born after Him. Being at the prayer meeting is a priority of devotion at least for the eleven, without a single one finding a reason not to be there. A second clue of devotion is the accord with one another that possessed those gathered (“one mind,” 14). Luke’s word (homothumadon) depicts being “of one persuasion, passion,” whether in devotion to God (Acts 2:46; 4:24; 8:6), or in opposing God (Acts 7:57; 19:29). The devotion that the godly show centers on the same spiritual occupation, God, as they seek to behold His face. The word for one mind combines with a term that means “they were” and the word proskartereo, “being devoted to,” a term for fervent earnestness seen in other prayer passages (6:4; Rom. 12:12; Eph. 6:18, noun form; Col. 4:2). Third, their devotion is clear in the action itself. It is “prayer,” proseuche, the most frequent word for speaking to God in the first three gospels, Acts and the epistles. Sometimes appearing with other words for prayer (Phil. 4:6; I Tim. 2:1), it seems to be a comprehensive term embracing any or various aspects of talking with God. In this vigil before Pentecost, the prayer could reasonably include affirmations about God and His will, praise/thanksgiving (Lk. 24:53), petitions for God to deliver the power He promised, and intercessions for one another to being good witnesses despite facing hostility. (An Exposition on Prayer- Igniting the Fuel to Flame Our Communication with God- Jim Rosscup - RECOMMENDED)
Acts 2:1KJV (all other Scriptures are NAS) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Comment:: Note that the Textus Receptus uses homothumadon The Greek manuscripts used for NAS, ESV, NIV, etc, have "homou" (meaning simply "together") in place of homothumadon of the Textus Receptus.
Acts 2:46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple (NET is more accurate = "temple courts"), and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity (singleness) of heart,
Comment:: The context is Acts 2:42 "And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Notice that the early church was in the Temple! What Temple? They were in Jerusalem so clearly this refers to the Jewish Temple. Ponder that thought a moment - the early church meeting in a Jewish Temple! "They were still worshipping in the temple for no breach had yet come between Christians and Jews." (A T Robertson)
Note that here their unity (with one mind) was day by day, in the daily practice of Christianity, not just on Sundays. Day by day stresses the regularity of their homothumadon.
In his letter to the church at Philippi, Paul writes "make my joy complete (command) by being of the same mind, maintaining the same (auto) love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose." (Php 2:2). Paul does not use homothumadon but he piles up phrase that picture a call to unity, similar in sense to homothumadon here in Acts 2:46.
Out of Tune -- A high school orchestra was preparing for a concert that featured a pianist in a rendition of Grieg’s A-minor concerto. Before the performance, it was customary for the orchestra to tune up with an “A” sounded by the oboe player. But the oboist was a practical joker, and he had tuned his instrument a half step higher than the piano. You can imagine the effect. After the pianist played a beautiful introduction, the members of the orchestra joined in. What confusion! Every instrument was out of tune with the piano. What would it have been like if half the orchestra insisted on playing in one key and the other half in a different key?
Acts 4:24 And when they heard this (What is this? Read the context: Acts 4:18-22, 23), they lifted their voices (see comment below) to God with one accord ("with one mind" = NET, "unanimously" = HCSB, "together" = ESV) and said, "O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM,
Comment: The NASB misses a critical aspect of their unity by translating this passage "lifted their voices." In the Greek text, "voices" (phone) is singular not plural, so more correctly is "they lifted their voice," which is a beautiful testimony to the reality of humothumadon! This is truly the picture of a "concert" of prayer, one voice ascending to the Throne of Grace!
The prayer life of the first church is mentioned a number of times in Acts (Acts 1:14, 24–25; 2:42; 46–47; 12:5; 13:2–3), and here for the second time we are we given an example of how they actually prayed (cf. Acts 1:24–25). Fernando (NIV Application Commentary) notes that prayer is mentioned 31x in Acts and in 20 of its 28 chapters!
Acts 4:32 adds that these believers were of "one heart and soul."
Taylor comments: What a wonderful description of authentic, spiritual unity. The early Christians shared life together on the deepest of levels. Only God is able to provide that kind of unity. It cannot be organized or legislated or mandated. It is a quality of spiritual unity that is provided only by the Holy Spirit. When Jesus rules our hearts and minds, only then can we experience true spiritual unity. (Prayer and Worship: An independent-study textbook)
Fernando: What is described is a passionate unity or a unifying passion. This characteristic is communicated by one of Luke’s favorite words, homothymadon, (Fernando, NIV Application Commentary)
Richards comments on uses of homothumadon in Acts: Tracing through these verses, we find additional clues to unity—vital images of the church praying, worshiping, and reaching decisions together. In these activities we have more than togetherness; in homothymadon there is an intimation of the harmony of shared lives. A great orchestra gathers. The different instruments express their own individuality. But under the baton of a great conductor, the orchestra is capable of blending different sounds to produce the greatest symphonies. Perhaps the unity of the church is like that. It is not found in uniformity or in organizations. It is found, however, wherever believers focus together on the Lord, expressing their common commitment in prayer and worship. It is in and through our union with Jesus that unity exists, and it is in our common commitment to Jesus that he shapes us to live in harmony with others in the community of faith. (New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words- Lawrence O. Richards)
Acts 5:12 At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's Portico.
Comment: Note here "all" is added to make this unity even more emphatic!
Acts 7:57 (Stephen accused them of betraying and murdering Jesus Acts 7:52, they were gnashing their teeth in Acts 7:54 and then Stephen said he saw the Son of Man at the right hand of God - Acts 7:56), But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse.
Comment: This is the "negative" (evil) aspect of unity - a veritable "concert of anger!". Here it reflects a "mob mentality", a mob driven by the fallen flesh, the diametric opposite of a believer's heart and mind under the control of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:6 The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing.
Comment: Homothumadon in this passage express inner unanimity in response to Philip's teaching.
Acts 12:20 Now he was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and with one accord they came to him, and having won over Blastus the king's (King Herod Agrippa I) chamberlain, they were asking for peace, because their country was fed by the king's country.
Comment: NIDNTT says that in this passage homothumadon "obviously means no more than that Tyre and Sidon joined in sending envoys to King Herod Agrippa I."
Acts 15:25 (Context = This verse is a portion of the Letter Acts 15:22-29 issued by The Jerusalem Council the "Great Magna Carta of Christian Liberty.") it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
Comment: "having become of one mind, we have decided." "Being assembled with one accord." The NET Bible has "we have unanimously decided." As noted above, the context is Acts 15:1-35 in which the early church met at Jerusalem to agree upon issues that could have resulted in division.
Acts 18:12 But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat (bema, elevated some 7.5 feet and located on south side of the agora).
Acts 19:29 (For Context Read Acts 19:22-23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28: The Greeks in Philippi, faced with fear that they would lose their lucrative trade in Artemis icons) The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater (The theater accommodated 25,000 people!), dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia.
Romans 15:5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same (autos = the same as) mind (phroneo in the present tense) with one another according to Christ Jesus, Romans 15:6 so that (purpose clause - Ask "What's the purpose?") with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Comment: In the only use not found in the book of Acts, Paul prays for the church at Rome – he is praying for unanimity of the believers in Rome! O, beloved, how we need to be actively praying this prayer in our local bodies!!!
With one voice is a " Vivid outward expression of the unity of feeling." (A T Robertson)
TDNT: Tensions exist, but unanimity is achieved in the magnifying of the one Lord
Homothumadon - 20x in the Septuagint - Ex 19:8; Num 24:24; 27:21; Job 2:11; 3:18; 6:2; 9:32; 16:10; 17:16; 19:12; 21:26; 24:4, 17; 31:38; 34:15; 38:33; 40:13; Jer 5:5; 26:21; Lam 2:8
Ex 19:8 And all the people answered together (Hebrew = yachdav [KJV has yachad] = union, unitedness, together; Lxx = homothumadon = with one accord) and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.
Jeremiah 5:5 "I will go to the great And will speak to them, For they know the way of the LORD And the ordinance of their God." But they too, with one accord, (Hebrew = yachad = as an adverb it speaks of unitedness, of action performed or plans made by a group together as in Isa 52:9; Lxx = homothumadon) have broken the yoke And burst the bonds.
Manser defines UNITY as
The bringing together of separate or fragmented parts into a unified whole. It is God's ultimate goal to unite the whole of creation; his desire for unity is evident, too, in the life of his people. God himself acts as a unity in all his works. (Dictionary of Bible Themes- 7030 unity)
Ps 133:1 A Song of Ascents, of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!
Spurgeon: Behold. It is a wonder seldom seen, therefore behold it! It may be seen, for it is the characteristic of real saints,—therefore fail not to inspect it! It is well worthy of admiration; pause and gaze upon it! It will charm you into imitation, therefore note it well! God looks on with approval, therefore consider it with attention.
How good and holy pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! No one can tell the exceeding excellence of such a condition; and so the Psalmist uses the word "how" twice;—Behold how good! and how pleasant! He does not attempt to measure either the good or the pleasure, but invites us to behold for ourselves. The combination of the two adjectives "good" and "pleasant", is more remarkable than the conjunction of two stars of the first magnitude: for a thing to be "good" is good, but for it also to be pleasant is better. All men love pleasant things, and yet it frequently happens that the pleasure is evil; but here the condition is as good as it is pleasant, as pleasant as it is good, for the same "how" is set before each qualifying word.
For brethren according to the flesh to dwell together is not always wise; for experience teaches that they are better a little apart, and it is shameful for them to dwell together in disunion. They had much better part in peace like Abraham and Lot, than dwell together in envy like Joseph's brothers. When brethren can and do dwell together in unity, then is their communion worthy to be gazed upon and sung of in holy Psalmody. Such sights ought often to be seen among those who are near of kin, for they are brethren, and therefore should be united in heart and aim; they dwell together, and it is for their mutual comfort that there should be no strife; and yet how many families are rent by fierce feuds, and exhibit a spectacle which is neither good nor pleasant!
As to brethren in spirit, they ought to dwell together in church fellowship, and in that fellowship one essential matter is unity. We can dispense with uniformity if we possess unity: oneness of life, truth, and way; oneness in Christ Jesus; oneness of object and spirit—these we must have, or our assemblies will be synagogues of contention rather than churches of Christ. The closer the unity the better; for the more of the good and the pleasant there will be. Since we are imperfect beings, somewhat of the evil and the unpleasant is sure to intrude; but this will readily be neutralized and easily ejected by the true love of the saints, if it really exists. Christian unity is good in itself, good for ourselves, good for the brethren, good for our converts, good for the outside world; and for certain it is pleasant; for a loving heart must have pleasure and give pleasure in associating with others of like nature. A church united for years m earnest service of the Lord is a well of goodness and joy to all those who dwell round about it.
In his well known devotional classic The Pursuit of God, A W Tozer asked...
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers [meeting] together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. (Online Book - AW Tozer - The Pursuit of God)
A sad example of an absence of homothumadon...
Two congregations located only a few blocks from each other in a small community decided to become one united, and thus larger and more effective, body instead of two struggling churches. But the merger did not happen because they could not agree on how to recite the Lord’s prayer. One group wanted “forgive us our trespasses,” while the other demanded “forgive us our debts.”
A university professor yearly would conduct an experiment for his class which is a wonderful illustration of the unity of the Spirit...
On an oak table was placed a pile of horseshoe nails. In one corner of the room was a powerful dynamo. When the electric current was turned on and the poles of the battery were brought up under the table, although they did not touch the nails themselves, immediately there was constituted around them a field of magnetic force. So long as this field of force was maintained the loose horseshoe nails could be built up in various forms, such as a cube, a sphere, or an arch. So long as the current was on, the nails would stay in exactly the form placed, as if they had been soldered together. But the second the current was cut off, the nails would fall into a shapeless mass. What that field of magnetic force was to those nails, the Holy Spirit is to all believers. By His power we are held together in a bond of love, a bond that is broken when we grieve and quench the Holy Spirit by our self-willed actions. Let us endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
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Our Daily Bread has a devotional dealing with the Spirit of unity...
During World War II, Hitler commanded all religious groups to unite so that he could control them. Among the Brethren assemblies, half complied and half refused. Those who went along with the order had a much easier time. Those who did not, faced harsh persecution. In almost every family of those who resisted, someone died in a concentration camp.
When the war was over, feelings of bitterness ran deep between the groups and there was much tension. Finally they decided that the situation had to be healed. Leaders from each group met at a quiet retreat. For several days, each person spent time in prayer, examining his own heart in the light of Christ’s commands. Then they came together.
Francis Schaeffer, who told of the incident, asked a friend who was there, “What did you do then?” “We were just one,” he replied. As they confessed their hostility and bitterness to God and yielded to His control, the Holy Spirit created a spirit of unity among them. Love filled their hearts and dissolved their hatred.
When love prevails among believers, especially in times of strong disagreement, it presents to the world an indisputable mark of a true follower of Jesus Christ. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
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A little humor regarding "unity": In a Peanuts cartoon Lucy demanded that Linus change TV channels, threatening him with her fist if he didn't. "What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?" asks Linus.
"These five fingers," says Lucy. "Individually they're nothing but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold."
"Which channel do you want?" asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, "Why can't you guys get organized like that?" (Charles Schultz - writer of the comic strip Peanuts)
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Tonto and the Lone Ranger were riding through a canyon together when all of a sudden both sides were filled with Native American warriors on horses, dressed for battle. The Lone Ranger turned to Tonto and asked, "What are we going to do?" Tonto replied, "What you mean 'we,' Whiteman?" (Edward Dobson, In Search of Unity, p. 20-27)
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There can be union without unity - You may tie the tails of a cat and a dog together by a rope and have union, but you surely don’t have unity!
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The power of unity: A March 1984 malfunction in a 500,000 volt Pacific Gas and Electric Company line in Northern California triggered a chain reaction that eventually darkened lights for millions in six Western states. The blackout came at rush hour, with motorists backed up at traffic lights in cities of California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. The trouble originated at the Round Mountain, California, substation, about one hundred miles south of the Oregon border. A circuit breaker tripped, and the concatenation shut down circuits all over the West as machinery protected itself from damage.
How dramatically that breakdown expressed the interdependence of our country’s power, transportation, and food production! One little circuit breaker tripped in a remote rural substation, and hundreds of miles away people’s lives instantly changed. We are one people in more ways than we think. What affects one affects many, perhaps all. Interdependence characterizes us.
The unity of the church is no different. An interlinking of interests, goals, and influences exists in which we all share. The good one person does makes righteousness easier for all. The bad example one sets negatively affects us all. God’s people, wherever they live on earth, are linked into a grid of community interdependence from which they can never escape. Inextricably bound to one another as separate parts of the whole, what affects one becomes part of all. (Hurley, V. Speaker's Sourcebook of New Illustrations. Dallas: Word Publishers)
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Church Competition: Three churches, located on different corners of the same intersection, didn't get along together. One Sunday each of them opened their meeting with a rousing song service. It was a warm day and all the doors and windows were wide open. One congregation began singing the old hymn, "Will There Be Any Stars in My Crown?" The strains had barely faded away when the congregation across the street started singing, "No, Not One, No, Not One!" They had scarcely finished when the third church began singing, "Oh, That Will Be Glory for Me."
Of course, this is just a humorous story, but it reminds us that a spirit of divisive competition does exist among some churches. Naturally, we will want to support our own church, pray for it, and rejoice in its growth. But we must never feel self-satisfied or be critical of churches that have problems or are not growing.
If there is a place for "competition", let it be to oppose those who deny scriptural fundamentals and the gospel. But if a church is true to God's Word and is winning people to Christ, regardless of its label, let's rejoice. That should be our attitude when faced with the competitive motives of envy and strife. Let's avoid church competition. -- Richard W. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone;
Chosen of the Lord and precious,
Binding all the church in one.
The fruit of Christian unity
grows out of our union with Christ.
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When We Disagree: While visiting friends who are rock collectors, I asked, "Do you believe that rock formations reveal a very old earth?" The wife answered first, saying she thinks the earth is relatively young. The husband, on the other hand, said he believes there is evidence that the earth is much older than many claim.
Before leaving, I said, "You've taught me something about the way Christians should deal with disagreements. You've been married for 30 years. You're still in love with each other, and above all, you both love the Lord. Yet you differ on when God created the earth. Your differences have not destroyed your devotion to Christ and your love for each other. That's how it should be with Christians on debatable matters."
Paul's plea for walking in unity does not suggest that believers will see eye to eye on every issue. What he does encourage, however, is an honest effort to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Christians share in one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father (Eph. 4:4-6). And when this unity is coupled with humility, gentleness, longsuffering, and loving forbearance (Eph 4:2), debatable issues are not likely to become divisive. -- Dennis J. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Although we often feel the urge
To prove a point to others,
We must respect divergent views
Expressed by Christian brothers.
Our union with Christ is the basis
for unity with one another.
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The Good Sense of the Grasshopper: One grasshopper seems insignificant as it leaps across the lawn. But when it joins forces with other grasshoppers, the resulting swarm can soon devour all the vegetation in its path.
Grasshoppers demonstrate the power of community. What they cannot do by themselves, they can accomplish together. In the book of Proverbs, the wise man Agur observed, "The locusts have no king, yet they all advance in ranks" (Pr 30:27).
We can learn a lesson from these little creatures. Believers can make far greater advances for Christ's cause when they act and pray together than they could ever make alone. When Christians are united in serving the Lord, they can become a mighty force for God.
Although the New Testament urges us to possess a PERSONAL faith in Jesus Christ, it says nothing at all about a PRIVATE faith. We need other believers, and other believers need us.
Let's enjoy the strength and fellowship available in the unified body of Christ. An effective church will reflect "the good sense of the grasshopper" by its love and unity in the Holy Spirit.-- Haddon W. Robinson (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
We all depend upon the strength
We draw from one another,
For we are one in faith and love
With every Christian brother.
Two Christians are better than one---
when they're one.
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Thompson Chain Reference
1 Corinthians 10:17
1 Corinthians 12:12
1 Corinthians 1:10
2 Corinthians 13:11
1 Peter 3:8
SEE Brotherly Love
Prophesied, as a Mark of the Progress of True Religion
Old Differences Forgotten Isaiah 11:13
Harmony among Leaders Isaiah 52:8
Contrition Unifies Believers Jeremiah 3:18 Jeremiah 50:4 Hosea 1:11
All Finally Gathered into one Fold John 10:16
The Saviour Prays for a United Church John 17:21
All Causes of Separation Removed in Christ Ephesians 2:14