Joomla Template by Create a Website
  • Video lessons on Revelation and the Old Testament
    are now available.
  • View press release of Carlton's newest book -
    God and Men: No Holds Barred.
  • Read about the Life Changing Verses books.
  • View lessons from the Old and New
    Testaments of the Bible.

9/28/16 – Being one in the Spirit

Published: Wednesday, 28 September 2016 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in the spirit and purpose.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Philippians 2:1-3

In the verses above, Paul is establishing a foundation of what you have as a Believer because of Christ: encouragement, comfort, fellowship, tenderness and compassion.  He then says that because you have all of these things, your relationship with other Believers should be described as: like-minded, same love, one in the spirit, and one in purpose.  Whenever you get more than two people together, there are usually going to be disagreements.  These verses are encouraging groups of Believers to exhibit behavior among themselves that can only be described as having oneness or “unity”. 

Oneness is a very important concept to God.  The Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) is viewed in the Bible as ONE.  When He created Adam and Eve, He said that the two shall become “one”.   In the New Testament, God talks of the body of Christ as being in unity.  Therefore, oneness is an important spiritual truth that God has established.

 

After Paul established this foundation of the necessity for oneness, he explained how to achieve this oneness.  He said that Believers should do two things:

Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

1.   Do nothing out of selfish ambition. This clearly supports what Jesus said about anyone who wanted to be His disciple – deny your self.  You may have to think hard when you have selfish ambition, because it usually is hidden in our flesh and does not want to show itself.

2.   Do nothing out of vain conceit.  One way you can rewrite this is “do nothing out of an empty ego.”  Basically, do not think that you are God’s gift to this world.  Do not think that you are something special.  Your body is going to die one of these days, and everything that you have or that you did in the world will soon be forgotten.

All of the above is summed up in the last statement: consider others better than yourself.  Paul greatly simplified how to live a Christ-like life.  While on this earth, Jesus considered others better than Himself.  This is the key for you to live like Christ.  No matter who you meet, always consider that they are better than you are.

By the way, who are the “other people”?  May I suggest: your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings, your friends, your not so good friends, your work associates, and the list goes on.  When you boil it all down, you are the least person in any group.  Jesus told His disciples that the least in this world would be first in the Kingdom of God. 

I hope you have a good understanding of the importance of oneness to God, and that oneness is achieved when you consider everyone else better than yourself.  This really makes a lot of sense.  Now, putting it into practice is where you will have to make some life-changing decisions and behavioral changes.  If you do, then your life will be full and abundant.  Jesus promised that it would be.  (From Life-Changing Verses – Volume 3, Chapter 13)

Hits: 362