Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Unity # 10: One Heart and Mind

Unity # 10: One Heart and Mind
Dear Father,
     I praise You for delighting in Your people. You are set-apart from all other beings in Your perfect beauty and splendor. Thank You for allowing us to access Your presence through the body of Christ, broken for us, and the blood of Your New Covenant. In Your presence is fullness of joy and eternal pleasure. As we behold You, we are transformed into Your Image from glory to glory as You implant within us the desires of Your heart. Your people are so precious to You! Deal gently with them and bring them into Your full light.
In Jesus Christ’s Name,

Dear Beloved,

     All the people around us who have not believed in the Gospel have conspired together against our God with one mind. They make a covenant against Him. (Ps 83:5) They have all turned aside. Together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. (Ps 14:3) They have formed a united mindset against those who preach righteousness. For example, when the apostle Paul preached the Gospel, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on him and brought him to the place of judgment (Acts 18:12). Sometimes unbelievers unite for moral causes such as disaster relief work and other humanitarian causes, and yet, when God looks down on them, He sees filthy rags (Is 64:4). Remember the tower of Babel when mankind united in their efforts to reach heaven with the work of their hands. They wanted to make a name for themselves so that they would not be scattered over the face of the earth. God knew that the purposes of their wickedness would be boundless in their blasphemous unity so He destroyed their structure, confused their language, and scattered them over the face of the earth. (Gen 11)

Even among professing believers there is a similitude of unity in church projects and events which may or may not be the true Christ-exalting unity of mind and heart that God desires and effects in his people. Quite often their unity is man-centered and focuses on self-righteousness and carnal conditional “love” which does not cause those who see it to praise and glorify God. The true unity of the Spirit comes from the new heart and mind that are granted to God’s children through His regenerating work and results in the exaltation of Christ. As a result of God’s New Covenant, He gives them one heart and one way, that they may fear Him always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them (Jer 32:29). He gives them one heart and puts a new spirit within them. He takes their hearts of stone out of their flesh, and gives them a heart of flesh. (Ez 11:19)

Behold, it is good and pleasant when brothers dwell together in unity (Ps 133:1). When David was to become the king over Israel, the men of war came to Hebron with a perfect heart to make David king over all Israel; and all the rest in Israel were of one mind to make David king. (1 Chron 12:38) The hearts of all the men were of one man, so they sent word calling king David to return (2 Sam 19:14). When king Hezekiah commanded the people of Israel to return to God, the hand of God was on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and princes commanded by the Word of the Lord (2 Chron 30:12). Before Joshua died, he united the Israelites saying, “Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the LORD your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed.” (Josh 23:14)
The early believers were with one mind continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14). Day after day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart (Acts 2:46). The believers had become of one mind and often made decisions together. For example it seemed good to a group of them to send Barnabas and Paul to the Gentiles in Syria, Antioch, and Cilicia (Acts 15:25). The congregation of believers are of one heart and soul, and not one of them claims that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them (Acts 4:32).

Now, the Father has willed for us to be united in mind and heart. All of our minds are to be the mind of Christ and all of our hearts are to contain the overflow of God’s heart: His Word. We are to be of the same mind toward one another, not haughty in mind, but willing to associate with the lowly. We are not to be wise in our own estimation. (Rom 12:16) The God who gives perseverance and encouragement grants us to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus (Rom 15:5). We make the joy of other true believers complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, being united in spirit, and being intent on one purpose (Phil 2:2). As we stand firm in one spirit and one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel, we are conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ (Phil 1:27)

By God’s own doing and grace we are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor 1:30). Wisdom rests in our hearts because we have understanding (Prov 14:33). Together we love Him with all of our heart, understanding, and strength, and we love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:33). Only the true believers hear the word in an honest and good heart, hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance as the seed which fell in good soil (Luke 8:15). We are the true sheep who follow, hear, and listen to the Shepherd’s voice and run away from the stranger because we do not recognize his voice (John 10:4-5).

We have been circumcised in our heart by the Spirit, not by the law, and our praise is not from men, but from God who has cut out the heart of wickedness and hardness and planted in us the heart that knows and loves God (Rom 2:29). For God, who said “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give us the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (Rom 2:29). The peace of Christ rules in our hearts, to which indeed we were called in one body, and we must be thankful (Col 3:15). We have purified our souls in obedience to the Truth for a sincere love for the people of God. We must fervently love the saints from the heart! (1 Peter 1:22)

Importantly, we are to take care, beloved, that no one among us has an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. We are to encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called today, so that none of us will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. (Heb 3:12-14)

            The wisdom that we speak is spoken among the mature. This wisdom is not of the world or the rulers of the world, both of which are passing away. Rather, we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age understand; for if they had understood it they would not have [desired to] crucify the Lord of glory. For things which eye has not seen and ear has not hear, and which have not entered the heart of man, are all that God prepared for those who love Him. God reveals these things to us through the Spirit, who searches all things, even the depths of God. No one knows the thoughts of God except for the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in these taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. The natural men do not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But we who are spiritual appraise all things, yet we ourselves are not appraised by any one. Who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him. But we have the mind of Christ! (1 Cor 2:5-16)


Excellent Messages
The Parable of the Sower Sermon script by Martin Luther
Sovereign Election Sermon by Voddie Baucham 79 minutes
The Shocking Message Sermon by Paul Washer 59 minutes

Love in Christ,

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