With One Voice
Pastor Steve Ellison
A lot has been made of the “of one accord” condition of the church in the first century. Some would have called that church the New Testament church. That would be an accurate name, but it is an accurate name for the church of 2013 also. There is no reason to believe that the church should be anything less today. Romans 14 and 15 tell us how to get along with one another. The specific example used is giving one another preference in the question of how to worship. Romans 15:1-9 is a marvelous passage about how to be of one accord.
The passage begins by telling the strong to bear the weaknesses of those without strength. Next, we are told that we should strive to please others not ourselves. The goal is specifically spelled out. It is not just to please them but rather to please them for their edification. Christ is held up as the example of such ministry. We are told that the Scripture was written to instruct us so that we would be encouraged and persevere and live with hope. Verse five makes it very plain that any perseverance and encouragement that we have is absolutely a gift from God. We don’t work that up on our own.
In addition, verses five and six go on to tell us how things ought to be in the church. It specifically says that we ought to be of the same mind with one another, with one accord, and with one voice in glorifying God. One of the great purposes of the church, if not the purpose, is to glorify God. He orchestrates everything so that we can easily see His worthiness to receive worship. He commands us to worship Him. He gives us the encouragement and perseverance to worship Him. He gives the ability to be of the same mind with other believers. Verse six starts with the words “so that”. It reveals the grand purpose for striving to please others, for refusing to be offended, for refusing to judge others, for accepting weaker brothers and sisters. The reason for all of that is not simply to keep the peace and make the church a harmonious place. Surely that is important, but not as important as what verse six declares. Verse six says, “so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” NASU
God is worthy to receive praise and honor and glory. He longs to hear His church arise with one voice in praise of Him. He longs to hear the blood bought church arise with singleness of purpose to praise Him. He longs to hear His church arise to praise Him without bickering, without seeking self, without judging one another, without taking offense, without harboring resentment, etc. God longs to hear His church with one voice united in praise, glorifying Him. The style of music does not matter. The place does not matter. On-key or off-key does not matter. Standing or sitting does not matter. Raised hands or bowed heads does not matter. Romans 14 tells us that even eating meat that may have been offered to idols or the day of the week do not matter. What matters is the attitude of our heart. God longs to hear His people with one voice united in love for Him and each other regardless of our differences. Expect to be of one voice. Do everything in your power to be of one voice..…….…..firstname.lastname@example.org