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Introduction: 2 Chronicles 30.

I. Definitions

A. UNITY — oneness, harmony, agreement. Unity was apparent on the day of Pentecost when the believers “were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). The church is a unity in diversity, a fellowship of faith, hope, and love that binds believers together (Eph. 4:3, 13). Nelson's new illustrated Bible dictionary

B. the quality or state of not being multiple : ONENESS; a condition of harmony : ACCORD Merriam-Webster

C. ἑνότης (from “hen,” one): a state of oneness; unity, oneness. Only in Ephesians 4:3, 13

Syn.: súndesmos, that which unites, a bond; desmós (1199), bond.

Ant.: diastolé̄, a variation, difference; diamerismós, disunion, division; schísma, schism, division; diaíresis, diversity, division.

D. ὁμόφρων: pertaining to being of the same mind or having the same thoughts as someone else, like-minded, with similar thoughts. τὸ δὲ τέλος πάντες ὁμόφρονες ‘in conclusion, all should be like-minded’ 1 Peter 3.8. In some languages it may be better to speak of ‘having the same attitudes’ or, idiomatically, ‘having thoughts that follow the same path.’ Only in 1 Pet 3

ὁμόφρων: like-minded, united in spirit, harmonious

E. יַ֫חַד : unitedness. 1. as substantive only 1 Ch 12:17 יִהְיֶה־לִּי עֲלֵיכֶֹם לֵבָב לֳי֑חַד I will have a heart toward you for unitedness, i.e. my heart shall be ready to become one with yours. 2. in union, together, a. together, of community in action, place, or time;

F. Three irreducible components, things we must have in order to become a unified leadership team:

1. Doctrinal purity –

a. Agreement with our church’s statement of faith

b. Agreement over what areas are nonessential, and therefore, allow for freedom of interpretation.

2. Sincere and warm friendships - genuine appreciation and respect for one another.

3. Philosophical purity - basic agreement on our priorities and methods (Are we seeking what God wants or trying to maintain our traditions?) Osborne, L. W. (1989). The unity factor : Getting your church leaders working together.

II. Importance

A. John 17:20-21 Jesus prayed for it

B. I Corinthians 1-4 Division is sinful

C. The church cannot grow until it is united

D. The leadership must be allowed to lead

III. Ephesians 4:1-16

A. ταπεινοφροσύνη: the quality of humility, humble attitude, humility, without arrogance.

B. πραΰτης: gentleness, humility, courtesy, considerateness, meekness

C. μακροθυμία: a state of emotional calm in the face of provocation or misfortune and without complaint or irritation, patience.

D. ἀνέχομαι: to be patient with, in the sense of enduring possible difficulty, to be patient with, to have patience, patience.

To continue to accept as valid or true, to accept, to receive.

AV translates as “suffer” seven times, “bear with” four times, “forbear” twice, and “endure” twice. 1 to hold up. 2 to hold one’s self erect and firm. 3 to sustain, to bear, to endure.

Each other in love

E. τηρέω: to cause a state to continue, to cause to continue, to retain, to keep. To continue to hold in custody, to guard, to keep watch, custody. To continue to obey orders or commandments, to obey, to keep commandments, obedience.

F. The seven areas of unity

1. One body

2. One Spirit

3. One hope (confidence and promise)

4. One Lord

5. One faith

6. One baptism

7. One God

G. Servants to help unite

1. Apostles

2. Prophets

3. Evangelists

4. Pastors, elders, bishops

5. Teachers

H. These train the saints to serve; busy people tend to work together

I. All leads to maturity where unity is complete

J. Emphasizing Jesus develops unity

IV. I Peter 3:8

A. ὁμόφρων: like-minded, united in spirit, harmonious

1. Unity does not mean uniformity; it means cooperation in the midst of diversity. The members of the body 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. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary

2. Rom 12:16, but Rom 15:5; 1 Cor 1:10; 2 Cor 13:11; Phil 2:2; 4:2. Both Paul and Peter want their readers to “think alike,” not in the sense of holding identical opinions, but in the sense of being agreeable and sensitive to each other’s concerns (Acts 4:32), and so united in a common spiritual bond. Michaels, J. R. (2002). Vol. 49: Word Biblical Commentary : 1 Peter

3. ὁμόφρων: refers to sharing “a common heritage of faith and ethical tradition” Jobes, K. H. (2005). 1 Peter. Baker exegetical commentary

4. What is required of Christians in their mutual relationships? They should live in harmony with one another. The Greek word (literally, “to be of like mind”) means that Christians should have the same basic aim of serving God and loving one another, instead of being guided by individual, selfish interests. This is important advice in a world where individualism holds sway and everybody is encouraged to do his own thing. Obviously Peter does not mean that each person has identical aims, but rather that the dominant aim of every Christian must be the same, namely to love and serve God, and that other aims are derived from and subordinate to this one.

Christians, therefore, will work together and not act in isolation. Rather than competing with each other’s interests they will help one another to achieve what is God’s will for their lives. In other words, if I believe that God is calling me to do something particular in my life, then it must harmonize with my duties toward other Christians in helping them to do what God calls them to do. I must resist the temptation to think that my specific calling from God is so important that I must not allow concern for other people’s needs to deter me from pursuing it. Marshall, I. H. (1991). 1 Peter. The IVP New Testament commentary

B. How?

1. Having compassion one of another (συμπαθεῖς). Only here in New Testament, though the kindred verb is found Heb. 4:15; 10:34. Compassionate; sympathetic. Our popular usage errs in limiting sympathy to sorrow.

2. Pitiful (εὔσπλαγχνοι). Only here and Eph. 4:32. Tender-hearted. From εὖ, well, and σπλάγχνα, the nobler entrails, which are regarded as the seat of the affections, and hence equivalent to our popular use of heart. The original sense has given rise to the unfortunate translation bowels in the KJV, which occurs in its literal meaning only at Acts 1:18.

εὔσπλαγχνοι, “good-hearted” in the sense of generous or compassionate. Michaels

3. Courteous. The KJV has here followed the reading of the Textus Recptus, φιλόφρονες. But the best texts read ταπεινόφρονες, humble-minded. This occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, though the kindred noun ταπεινοφροσύνη, humility, is found often.

Conclusion: In order for the church to be what God wants it to be there must be unity between the elders and preacher, between the leaders and members. If the leaders are violating Scripture, that is a different matter. As long as they are doing what they believe what God wants, cooperate with them.

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