Unity in the Faith
Written July 31 2017
"Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;" Philippians 1:27
In my last post I discussed the word "striving" (agónizomai - See Here
In Philippians 1:27 (above) is another Greek word, "sunathleó", which adds "together" with the word "striving" translated into English as "striving [together]" (KJV 1x) and "laboured [with me]" (KJV 1x). Only 2 usages in the whole Bible. See here: http://biblehub.com/greek/4866.htm
Except this word sunathleó means "striving together". The Strong's concordance says, "I compete together with others, cooperate vigorously with."
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance:
labor with, strive together for.
From sun and athleo; to wrestle in company with, i.e. (figuratively) to seek jointly -- labour with, strive together for.
The second and only other usage in the whole Bible, also by Paul, says:
"Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who "have shared my struggle" (NASB) or "laboured" (KJV) (sunathleó) in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life." Philippians 4:3 NASB
See Paul was striving to unify the church in the Holy Spirit. Seeking to unify the church under Christ and God the Father. He says often throughout his writings how important this is. And he boldly called out those who were causing divisions. Paul called them "fleshly" (KJV- 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9)
"Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment." 1 Corinthians 1:10
This exhortation stands firm today. So why then are there so many divisions among professing followers of Christ?
Paul boldly says, "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you 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 4:1-6
There is only ONE LORD. ONE FAITH, ONE CHRIST, ONE BAPTISM. Christ is not divided! And yet we are fractured beyond repair. Like the tower of babel. All speaking different things. Different teachings, different doctrines.
Jesus clearly warned us "a house divided against itself will fall." (Luke 11:17) What I am saying here from God's Word shows clearly that MANY professing followers of Christ are wrong. As they cannot ALL be right. And I by no means am saying for people to compromise sound doctrine. But those of us who have been born from above and fathered by God Almighty in Messiah, we have MUCH to pray about. We need to break through to God. And we need to pray to God and ask Him to present His people to this world. His true servants in a clear and powerful way. And one way this can be done is by signs and wonders being done at the hands of His servants. And I'm not talking about all these false signs done in their phony services on TV. I'm talking about verified and bonafide MIRACLES.
But this can only be done though those who have truly humbled themselves before God and are seeking Him and are striving with Him for the cause of souls. I ask you to strive together with God's Spirit through Christ. To seek Him yourself and not depend on anyone else. WE must walk with Christ. We must be in fellowship with Him. He must be our Shepherd. And this He promises to do through His Spirit within us. Read and study John chapter 14.
I will end this message here but I ask you to strive together with me (sunathleó) in prayer to our LORD and ask Him to unify His church under HIS leadership. Just as Paul taught and teaches today by the words God spoke through him to the churches of Christ.
Your brother in Christ, Thomas Richards
if you have never repented of your sins and been saved and feel the desire to do so now please say this prayer. This is how I was powerfully saved 20 years ago!
"My Lord and my God, Have mercy on my soul, a sinner, I believe Jesus the Messiah died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe God raised Jesus from the dead and Jesus is now on the right hand of God and can hear my prayer at this moment and wants to live through me and give me power to keep His Word. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You into my heart Lord Jesus. Please be my Lord and Savior in every aspect of my life. Thank you God for saving my soul and I vow to serve you with all my heart which is the first and greatest commandment. Amen"