UNITY in the FAITH!
"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). Paul uses this word in his letters 6 times. All in reference to him working in the gospel field, serving Christ. He says he did it, and he exhorts US to do it. He WARNS US to do it. Just like Jesus did.
In Philippians 1:27 there is another very important Greek word, "sunathleó", which adds "together" with the word "striving". These two words are translated into English as "striving [together]" (KJV 1x) and "laboured [with me]" (KJV 1x). Only 2 usages in the whole Bible. (See here)
“...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...” ~Ephesians 4
"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
Sunathleó ("striving together") is defined in the Strong's concordance as, "I compete together with others, cooperate vigorously with. 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)
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 professing born again believers 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.
In the Good and Worthy Name of Yehoshua Hamashiach, Amen
~Your brother in Christ, Thomas Richards
You can be saved!
God loves the people in the world so much that He came down to die for us. If God is opening your heart to His message and you feel convicted for your sins which have separated you from a holy God and you feel the need to be forgiven, then say this prayer. This is how I was powerfully converted to the Christ in 1997!
Say, "My Lord and my God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe Jesus the Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe Jesus raised from the dead and ascended into heaven and is now on the right-hand side of God listening to this prayer. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You in, Lord Jesus. 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."