“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.”
Peter now passes from specific exhortations of classes of people such as slaves, masters, husbands and wives to exhortations to all Christians. This paragraph sets before us the necessary information to live as true Christians. The issue now is how Christians should treat one another.
We now come to the responsibilities of all of God’s own. Peter launches these directives by “finally.” The household of God is to follow the following directives.
all of you be of one mind,
Classical Greek literature used “one mind” in connection with a war of common consent. World War II was a war of common consent. Just about everyone on the allied side felt the rightness of the war. It was a just war. The Viet Nam situation was very different. Many people disagreed with U.S. involvement in that war. The point of these words is that Christians are to be in agreement as to our purpose. God wants us to have unity of purpose and mind. He desires common consent about oneness among Christians.
Harmony among Christians is the point here. Christians think in harmony when they agree on the principles of the Word of God together. God wants Christians to operate on values common to the Bible. He requires us to look at life from his point of view. His desire is that we bring every thought into captivity to Christ.
The early church operated “with one accord.” The book of Acts uses this phrase eleven times. “One accord” speaks of spiritual harmony. Note the use of this phrase in Acts 1:14 (prayer), obedience (2:1), presence (2:1), purpose (2:46) praise (4:24, 31-37) unity in service (5:12), response to message (8:6), and unity for missions (15:25).
PRINCIPLE: Spiritual harmony among God’s own is important to the welfare of the body of Christ.
APPLICATION: In this “me” generation everything revolves around self. We expect everyone to submit to our way of thinking. God has a purpose to life that transcends our little world. It is God’s desire that the church functions in one heart, not uniformity. At high tide all the little pools blend together. Unity produced by the power of the Holy Spirit blends together differences among Christians. This is better than external unity.
Sin pulls people out of harmony with their family in Christ. Sin not only estranges us from our Lord but also from our friends. We have all seen organizations such as football teams fall apart because of suspicion and retaliation.
The baby is the center of his own universe. He demands that his needs be met. He wants immediate satisfaction. As he grows, gradually he comes to realize that there are other people in the universe. He must adjust to them. Development in the Christian life comes in part through this emerging interaction with other Christians. The new Christian becomes increasingly aware of the needs of others. At first he is a blind, unthinking little tyrant. He soon learns that other Christians have rights. The more we experience loving others the more we will mature. This is maturity via interaction. We do not grow by ignoring problems we may have with people.
Liberals unite on the least common denominator but conservatives divide on the least provocation. Some of us have the idea that just as long as we are orthodox it does not matter how we treat other Christians. That is to read the Bible with blinders on our eyes so that we see only what we want to see in the Bible.
The best way to demonstrate that we believe right is to behave right. If we do not behave right it is because we do not believe right. Belief without fail affects behavior. Principle governs practice. It is strange that God’s diamonds cut one another.
For wolves to devour lambs is no wonder. For lambs to devour lambs is a monstrosity.