Director of Missions
Paul, writing to the Church at Philippi said, “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God” (Philippians 1:27-28).
In these days, people outside the Church are looking for a community where they can be safe and loved. That’s why the ball field is so popular, and the local civics clubs brim over with participants. People are turning to organizations other than the Church to fill a need in their life. One of the things that has driven them from Church participation is the internal struggles that plague many Churches. The bickering and infighting that is so pervasive in some Churches has become well known in the committees that they serve, and people are hesitant to participate in a fractured community.
There are many things that polarize us as a nation and a community. Many people seek a refuge from this tug of war of ideas and personalities. They seek a place of rest and peace where their families can serve, and worship in unity and harmony. The Church must rise to this occasion and live out the unifying Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The unifying Gospel can be seen in Paul’s words to the Church at Philippi, "Therefore, if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out for not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."
This Gospel of unity should be the beginning of our evangelism efforts. The life altering love of Christ is best seen in a community of believers who first and foremost love each other with a genuine selfless love. In the early Church this was evident. In the second chapter of Acts it says, “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (v. 46-47). People were being saved “daily” because the Church was working together, serving together, loving each other, and sharing the reason for their new life.
The Gospel brings transformation to the lives of those who are fully committed to Jesus Christ. As His servants the biblical distinctive of “loving one another” should always prevail in the local Churches regardless of our differences.
May His Kingdom come, and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Serving the King Together,
Dr. Eric Cook