One In Christ
You're united not only in the matter of Calvary love pouring into and out of your life, but you are united because of your commitment to Jesus.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. This is your good friend Bob Cook. I’ve just been asking the Lord to put His truth into my mind and His love into my voice so that what is said, may be a combination of God’s Truth and God’s love and God’s blessing to your heart. Oh, may that be so in these next coming precious moments that we invest together around the Word of God.
You and I have been walking around in the 17th chapter of the Gospel of John. I talked with you about the 18th verse, “I have sent them into the world,” and then we mentioned the meaning of, “For their sakes I sanctify Myself that they also might be sanctified through the Truth.” Your commitment to Jesus affects other people inevitably. And then it’s in verse 20, He said, “I’m praying for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.” And so our Lord Jesus had you and me in mind, when He made that high priestly prayer as recorded there in John 17. “Oh,” He says, “I’m praying that they all may be one. As Thou Father art in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.”
We’ll get at the closing phrase of that verse after awhile. But I just wanted to discuss with you- what does it mean to be one? First of all, there is united life in Christ. Christ is our life. Paul says in Galatians, “Christ is all and in all.” Paul said to the Galatians, “I live the life now by the faith of the Son of God Who loved me and gave Himself for me. Christ liveth in me.” Jesus our Lord said, as recorded in John 15, “I am the vine, ye are the branches, abide in Me.” “As the branch can’t bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except you abide in Me.”
There is a life union between our hearts and lives and the Lord Jesus Christ. That, then is the commitment of faith where you commit yourself to Him as being your very life, your entire hope for time and for eternity. One in Christ means that you have trusted Him as your Savior and committed yourself to Him as your Lord. And that you are sharing by faith His eternal life. “Christ is made unto us,” says Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:30, “He’s made unto us, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.” The Lord Jesus becomes to you your very life as you trust Him. That’s the first step.
Then what? Well, the oneness of Christians… The oneness of Christians is not only in Christ but as a result of being in Christ. I’m looking, for example, at Philippians chapter 2, “Fulfill ye my joy,” says Paul, “that you be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”
And then in verse 3, one motive, “Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves.” What is this oneness that we talk about? It’s one in Christ-you’ve committed yourself to Him, exactly so. But now, what else?
Well, let me look at these words with you just for a moment, may I? He says, “Fulfill my joy that you be like-minded.” Now, the Greek New Testament says, “Of the same mind.” Does that mean that you have to agree with every other Christian about every other thing? Oh, no. No, I have a little Cook saying that probably is more true than not. If you find someone who always agrees with you, you have to watch him because he’s apt to lie about other things too. You know, if you find two people who always agree, one of them is lying. We do think differently about different things because we see them differently.
Put the old philosophical illustration that they used when I went to college. I was a philosophy major in Wheaton College years ago. And Professor Weir used the illustration of put three men in a pasture, each one in a separate corner. And have a tree in the middle of the pasture and have the lightning strike that tree in the middle of the pasture and then ask each of those three to describe what happened, and you’d get three different accounts.
They would not differ on the fact of the lightning striking. But you’d have three different accounts because they saw it differently. So we see things differently and there’s no point in trying to homogenize our thinking so that we are all the same. Well, then what does he mean when he says, “Having the same mind, be like-minded?” Well, it’s the same mindset, you reason on the same basis because you’ve been to the Cross. You lost all the face you ever had at the Cross, you’re not trying to protect your own turf. You’re now dedicated to doing the will of God. Show me a person who sincerely wants God’s will, even though he differs with me, and I’ll show you a person with whom I can work.
I found this out through the years in working with Christians. If you find someone who sincerely wants the will of God to be done, you can work with him or her even though you may differ on details. Because you’re not gonna split up over the details, you’re gonna keep working on the main items, the main agenda of God’s will. Isn’t it true?
Like-minded does not mean you always say the same thing. How monotonous that would be if everyone had the same opinion and said the same thing. Like-minded means you reason on the same basis of commitment to Jesus and commitment to the Word and will of God. That you have the same basis for thinking. You have the same mindset, you have the same perspective on the will of God. Like-minded.
Then he says, “Having the same love.” And there he uses the Calvary love word. The same agape, having it as part of your life. Not talking about it but having it. How do you have, how do you possess the love of God? You wait on your blessed Lord until the Holy Spirit has a chance to shed it abroad in your heart. Romans 5:5, “The love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost Who is given unto us”. The Spirit of God always produces in your life the love of God.
The fruit of the Spirit is what? Can you quote that passage from Galatians 5? The fruit of the Spirit is love. That’s the number one manifestation that the Holy Spirit of God is in your life. The fruit of the Spirit, the result of the Holy Ghost being in your life is love. Then you have the others, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. So having the same love means you’ve been in God’s Presence long enough for the blessed Holy Spirit to pour out God’s love upon you.
Now this doesn’t happen with what we call, “A word of prayer.” Short prayers are very important. Peter, when he was about to sink, had a very short prayer. He cried out, “Lord, save me!” Not a long prayer but a very important one. Prayers need not necessarily be long to be important. But the point being however if you want God to do something in your own psyche, do something in your own mind to pour out His love into your poor, empty, hungry soul, that takes waiting on Him.
The Bible says, “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart.” “They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles.” It takes time to open up your life to the presence of the Lord. We have some flowers that we’ve planted out back of our house. And some good friends over in West Chester county gave us a bunch of them. And I brought them back in my four wheel drive Eagle. [chuckle] And planted them. Now you look at them early, early, early in the morning. And you find out that the little blossoms have closed up. Now are you gonna pry those blossoms open and say, “Come on. Open up, open up?” No, just wait for awhile until the sun rises and the air warms up, and you’ll find the blossoms opening up by themselves, won’t you? It takes a little time. It takes a little time. That’s all. Give God time with yourself. Most of us spend far too little time waiting in the presence of the Lord. Now to make that time profitable, always have a notebook and a pen or pencil with you so that you can write down the things that God says to your heart while you’re waiting on Him.
That will make your time spent with your Lord very profitable. Some of the finest ideas I’ve ever gotten for procedures in Christian work came out of waiting on the Lord in a praying meeting. It’s a fact. So always have pen and pencil, and paper handy. Don’t make a fetish out of it. You don’t have to make a federal case out of this, but just be prepared when God says something precious to your heart to write it down. And that will become to you the corpus of real devotional thought as the days and months and years go by. Things that God said to me.
Well, all of this came out of a discussion of the love of God, the same love. A Calvary love. God pours His love into your life and out of your life as a result of waiting in His Presence. Then He says being of one accord. Now that’s an interesting word, Greek word sumpsuchos. We have what we call the psyche. That’s our nearest word, that’s the nearest Greek word we have for soul.
And so, what Paul is actually saying here is, this Christian oneness gives you the same soul. You’re united not only in your mind. Having the right mindset. United not only in the matter of Calvary love pouring into and out of your life, but you are united because of your commitment to Jesus. You’re united in this matter of the life of your soul, the emotions. The emotional part of your being. Interestingly enough, when the Lord Jesus saves a person, the soulish part of him or her also undergoes a transformation. Now, it may not come right away, but there will come a difference, there will be a different reaction to the various stimuli of life around you.
A Christian minister friend and I were in a meeting awhile back, and someone had provided music that had a jazz beat to it. It wasn’t just an ordinary beat, it was a jazz beat. Now it wasn’t rock, it was kind of high class jazz. He came over to me during the course of the meeting, he said, “Hey, do you like that?” I said, “No, that’s not my style.” “Well”, he said, “You know I was saved out of that. My foot still taps now and then,” he said, “But I was saved out of that.”
And what did he mean? Was he holier than thou? No, no. That wasn’t his point, the point was that Jesus had done something to his soul and he was responding differently as a result. Let the Holy Ghost do that for you and for me, I pray.
Father God, make us one in Christ, I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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