How Agreeing on the Truth Fuels the Kiss of Love
Our church learned the importance of the lesson of this post the hard way. Unity disintegrated big-time over major doctrinal differences. It was ugly, according to those who endured it.
After emphasizing the role of joy, wholeness, and submission in enhancing the practice of greeting with a holy kiss in 2 Cor. 13:11-12, the apostle Paul turns to yet another significant factor.
“Agree with one another.”
The text reads literally in the Greek this way: the same thing, think. I call it like-mindedness.
Paul says this kind of thing a lot in his epistles. He likes this command.
For example in Phil. 1:27 we read, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.”
Phil. 2:2 provides another example. “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
He doesn’t lobby for uniformity in all thinking. It’s not possible. But he does argue for a oneness of mind about especially the priority of the gospel in the community of faith.
He pleads for a focus on the truth so passionate that when it comes to the essential truths of the gospel and the great doctrines on which it depends, as opposed to any kind of false teaching, let us all be thinking the same thing.
John MacArthur credits this reality significantly for the unity enjoyed at Grace Community Church over the years:
I’ll tell you right now, the key to living in peace is having the same thoughts, isn’t it? One of the reasons this church is so harmonious, one of the reasons this church doesn’t split up and fracture all the time is because we believe the same things. And whenever…listen carefully…and it’s only really occurred once in my tenure here, there has been a fracturing of this church, it is because some people believed something different was true and we didn’t have that truth. Where you have a common grasp of the Word of God, you have the commonality that perpetuates itself in peace. But when you get some people who start teaching something different, then you create the fracture. So if you’re going to live in peace, you have to be like-minded and submissive to the truth and expressing joy in that truth.
For this reason among others I rejoice that OGC is a confessional church. A document like the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith helps us do that by spelling out the truth so we know what we believe together.
Does your church have a clear statement of faith upon which you can agree? It definitely helps make for a unity that fuels the kiss of love.
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