Believe it or not, Christians are facing situations, debates and a cultural environment that is very similar to what believers of the 1st century faced. In many ways we are reliving the 1st century. If that’s so, what can we learn from those 1st century believers? One thing about them that stands out, and which is critical for us to embrace, is their ability to come together in one mind and one accord. We see this beginning to develop immediately after they left the Mount of Olives and began to congregate in Jerusalem.
“Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:12-14)
This very diverse group of fishermen, zealots and a hated tax collector were able to come together in one accord. In Acts 2, we see the benefit of this unity.
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2:1-2)
Still later in the book of Acts, it is recorded that they came together with one heart, one mind and one accord, and when they did this, miraculous things began to take place. Thus we learn that when His people come together as they should – united in purpose and devotion – it serves as an invitation for God to visit His people.
When the Tabernacle, the Mishkan, was assembled after the pattern that was shown to Moses in the mountain, the Tabernacle was described as being one – echad in Hebrew. It is only then that the Presence of God filled the house. If we are, in certain ways, reliving the 1st century, perhaps our focus shouldn’t be on all the philosophical and theological differences we have, but on striving to come together as one people. By that, I do not mean to say that we should come together in some ecumenical way or in a way that suggests there are multiple paths that lead to God. No, it is to say that we should come together in the way the early Apostles did. They came together in one mind and in one accord because they had a genuine encounter with the Messiah. Because of their mutual devotion to Him, when they came together, the Spirit of God began to move upon them and work through them, so that others’ lives could be changed for the better.
The Spirit of God is moving today and speaking to those who will listen, prompting us to come together as one people with one heart – that is, His heart. We are being provoked by the Spirit to renew our minds in accordance with His mind so that we might fulfill His purposes. If we want to see our lives and the lives of others impacted for the better, then we must come together in the unity of the faith. May it start today.