Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.Philippians 2:1-2
Unity does not equal uniformity. God has uniquely created and gifted you for a specific purpose within His Kingdom. We all have a role to play, but we all must learn what it means to synergize for the sake of the Kingdom. As a new creation in Christ, it takes time to renew our mind and restore our vision for the world around us. In the end, it is our love for Christ and our love for one another that must bind us together with a singleness of mind, heart, spirit, and purpose.
Unity of mind begins not with everyone believing exactly the same trivialities, but it does mean we are focused on the absolute truths of the essentials of our faith. Most specifically it means that we have an understanding of who Jesus is and that His authority overrules everything, even our own selfish desires. And that requires a new way of thinking about the world around us. It requires a new way of thinking about the people around us and how we ought to treat one another for the sake of the Kingdom.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2
Unity of heart will only happen after we have experienced a renewal of the mind, but it is an ongoing process that will last as long as we are on this earth. When we “maintain the same love” for one another within the Kingdom, by extension we supernaturally extend that same love beyond the borders of the Kingdom. It’s more than just a passing affection for one another, but it is love that must be maintained through pain and disappointment and discouragement and disagreement. When our need to be right becomes more important than our need to be in a right relationship with one another, we are no longer maintaining the same love for one another.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.1 John 4:7-8
Unity of spirit means getting deeper than the heart of the matter and recognizing that it is the Holy Spirit of God that must drive our decision making and our vision for the Kingdom. Not our own pet projects and causes. For too long we have begged and pleaded with God to bless the work of our hands. It is time that we start seeking the heart of the Father and earnestly seek out what God is doing in our world and join Him, because His work is already blessed.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets it desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.Galatians 5:16-17
Unity of purpose will come only after we have experienced unity of mind, heart, and spirit. It takes renewed thinking, restored love, and reconciled Spirit in order to full comprehend and contextualize the purpose that we have in unity for the Kingdom. Our purpose in this world is a very simple calling, but it is one that requires a proper mindset, a submissive heart, and Spirit-led discernment acting in unison with one another to fulfill. The advancement of the Kingdom of God is the fulfillment of the Great Commission – to make disciples. This is not a responsibility of the clergy, but rather it is the responsibility of the entire Body of Christ.
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commended you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:18-20
The advancement of the Kingdom of God is made effective through a collective unity of mind, heart, spirit, and purpose. Paul’s ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-20) was all about building up the body of Christ so that each of us together can further the cause of the Kingdom. However, that requires that we understand what it means to be reconciled to God and to one another within the Kingdom before we do the work of expanding the Kingdom. The gifts and empowering of God in us are for the purpose of “equipping the saints for the work of service to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity fo the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs in the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12-13)