World of Faith

Changing Our Thinking – Part Five: Unity in the Spirit | April 22, 2007

I apologize for this installment actually going into the next week. I am actually now a “week behind,” so hopefully before the end of THIS week, I will release the first installment of the next series, which will be about leadership. So, without further adieu, I’ll review last week’s installment, and then I will bring this week’s installment on unity.

I’ve been in a series here at “World of Faith” on “Changing Our Thinking,” and last week I presented an installment on destroying destructive mindsets. I began by looking at Heb. 12:1 (NKJV), which exhorts us, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight (the NAS uses the word “encumbrance” instead), and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” I shared that the author of Hebrews is exhorting us to repent, and that the Greek word for “repent” is “metanoeo,” which literally means to change one’s mind. But clearly, destroying destructive mindsets is essential if we are to repent and change our thinking. The key passage that I then shared that addresses this issue is 2 Cor. 10:4-6 (NKJV), which says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every THOUGHT into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” Then I shared that some translations say that we are to “take every thought captive,” in place of “bringing every thought into captivity,” and I then shared that the key to “taking every thought captive” is found in Eph. 6:10-18 (NKJV), which says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” I then went through and explained how each piece of the armor of God here helps us destroy destructive mindsets, and more importantly, stay free of such destructive mindsets once we’ve repented and been delivered of them. I encourage you to go back to Part Four and read those paragraphs on your own, if you haven’t read Part Four yet.

I also encourage you to go back and re-read the entire series up until this point, because now I am going to conclude this series on “Changing Our Thinking” by focusing on the result of renewing our minds and changing our thinking, and that key result is unity in the Spirit. I believe that a key phrase repeated several times in the New King James Version, especially in the Book of Acts, which signifies such unity in the Spirit, is the phrase “one accord.” The first time in the Book of Acts where this phrase is used is in Acts is in Acts 1:13-14 (NKJV), which says, “And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John and Andrew; Phillip 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, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” Thus, here we see that after Jesus ascended, all these disciples gathered together in the upper room, to wait on the promise of the Father, the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But what was required on these disciples’ part is that they were in one accord, i.e. ONE MIND and one heart in the Spirit. We see this unity in the Spirit continue in the key passage of Acts 2:1-4 (NKJV), which states, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all in 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. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Thus, real unity in the Spirit was demonstrated with the coming of the Holy Spirit, which is the promise of the Father, at Pentecost, and the result was that the early disciples were able to receive the infilling (or baptism) in the Holy Spirit, as Acts 2:1-4 describes.

This same unity in the Spirit continued in the Book of Acts after the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Acts 2:46-47 (NKJV) says, “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Thus, as the initial unity in the Spirit continued past Pentecost, the result was that the disciples shared meals with one another in an atmosphere of gratitude, thankfulness, and praise, and had favor with all the people. But the most important result here is that people were being saved and added to the church, the Body of Christ. This same unity in the Spirit also resulted in the continuation of the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the early church. In Acts 5:12 (NKJV), the Bible says, “And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.” Thus, an additional result of the unity in the Spirit experienced in the early church was signs, wonders, and miracles wrought by the power of God. It is important to note that Mark 16:17-18 (NKJV) says, “These signs will follow those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Thus, this same power is available to ALL believers today, and not just the apostles, but it REQUIRES the same unity in the Spirit that we saw in the Book of Acts. Thus, Acts 8:5-7 (NKJV) tells us, “Then Phillip (the Evangelist) went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Phillip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.” So, these are the results of being in “one accord” and having the unity in the Spirit. In addition, another result is the bond of peace as we see in Ephesians 4. This is also related to the unity in the faith, which will be discussed in the next series, as it relates to leadership.

So, that ends our series on “Changing Our Thinking,” Next time, which will hopefully be before next Sunday, I’ll present the first installment in the new series on “Leadership.”

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