Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8 ESV
This is an emphatic statement that Peter makes to the church in his letter. The emphasis is on “all”. He wanted all that read his letter to have all the things he lists in this sentence; unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind. The letter is an open letter to the congregations in the areas he lists in verse one; in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. The church at large if you will.
Peter is calling all disciples of Christ to have these qualities in their lives. We too should have these qualities in our lives. Every congregation of the Lord’s body everywhere should possess these qualities on an individual and group level. Just think what the Lord’s body would look like to the world today if we “all” strove for these qualities in our lives. The world wouldn’t be asking why there are so many churches, because there would only be one church.
In the first century there was only one church. Today it would appear to the world and to the disciples of Jesus that there are a multitude of churches. In reality this is not true. There is only a multitude of opinions on what the Lord’s church is or how it should look and function. It shouldn’t be this way, but it is. Jesus HImself prayed that we would be one; “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20,21 ESV
One of the reasons people doubt Christ and His church is because of the lack of oneness amongst His disciples. Jesus wanted His disciples to be one as Jesus and the Father are one. Our differing opinions about being “The Church” cause confusion and doubt. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. Paul wrote that sentence to the church in Corinth because there was too much confusion in the body there. There is far too much confusion in the Lord’s body everywhere today. We that claim the name of Christ must learn from Jesus and His Apostles what the church is, how it looks and functions and live that out for the world to see.
Its been said; when it comes to matters of opinion, your opinions don’t matter. That’s not true. Our opinions do matter, because our opinions have shaped the image of the Lord’s body of believers before the world. We need to put our opinions aside and learn from The Master what we are to be as His disciples.
So today, let’s realize the effect our opinions have on the world's perception of Jesus and His church. Let’s strive to come to one opinion, the only one that matters; HIS.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman