"Be of the same mind in the Lord"
The Apostle Paul writes, t'/ exhort Euodia, and I exhort Syntyche, to be of the same mind in the Lord" (Philippians 4:2). Paul admonished an unnamed
"yokefellow" to help these two women work out their differences (Philippians 4:3). We are not told what Euodia and Syntyche's differences were but they nonetheless told to work it out. Why was it so important for Euodia and
Syntyche to be of the same mind? Why is it important for brethren today to be of the same mind?
First, it was important for these women to be of one mind because God's truth is one not many. The Apostle Paul writes, "Giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond ofpeace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all" (Ephesians 4:34). How could two people have the same hope with two different approaches?
The folly of denominationalism is exposed when one thinks this through.
Brethren who try to ignore or pretend their differences do not exist will also be exposed one day. The one truth will be the very thing that judges us and determines our eternal abode (John 12:48). To receive different doctrines is to pervert the one truth (Galatians 1:6-8) and bring about confusion (see 1 Corinthians 14:33).
Secondly, it was important for these two women to be of the same mind because they would be stronger as one that two. An affective military strategy is to divide an enemy and then conquer them. If the erring can get the faithful to doubt and disagree with each other then they affectively defeat them. When brethren give each other the right hand of fellowship through unity of truth they are stronger. The Philippians were facing adversaries and enemies of the cross who were perverting truth and persecuting the faithful (see Philippians 1:27-30; 3:18). To defeat these erring brethren the Continued from front page) faithful are encouraged to stand fast together being of the same mind, love, and being of one accord (see Philippians 2:1-3). Thirdly, these two women are admonished to be of the same mind because peace and unity in the church was at stake. The Apostle Paul admonished the Ephesians to, "Give diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3). To have unity and peace within any local church takes effort. All church problems can be traced back to one or more brethren not having a proper understanding of a Bible scripture. The erring become factious (1 Corinthians 11:17-19) and seek preeminence among the brotherhood (3 John 9-11). Others in the church elevate their opinions and preconceived ideas of truth to the level of divine revelation demanding that others share their convictions (Romans 14 all).
Fourthly, Euodia and Syntyche were told to be of the same mind because
God commands this (see John 17:14-21; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Romans 15:5-6). To be of the same mind necessarily infers that all draw the same conclusions from studying God's word. The Apostle Paul commands that we study the word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). We are commanded to grow in knowledge (1 Peter 2:1-5). Early Christians that did not study and grow in Christ were condemned for their spiritual sloth (1 Corinthians 3:1-3; Hebrews 5:11-6:6). One faith is produced by one gospel message. The command to be of the same mind takes into consideration this one faith and one gospel.
The significance of saints being one minded cannot be understated. God intends for Christians to understand the Bible alike. Those who live in
California ought to draw the same conclusions from Bible study as those who live in Texas. The word of God consistently says the same thing year in and year out. Revelation makes a natural separation between truths and lies. John writes, "And ye have an anointing from
the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and because no lie is of the truth" (1 John 2:20-21). Truth saves and lies condemn. Brethren of "like precious faith" experience true strength, unity, and hope (see 2 Peter 1:1).
John C Robertson