Reading: 1 Peter 3:8

The people of God enjoy a unique relationship with each other. The church is not just a society of people; it is a family united in a common bond. This is the sense behind the word brethren in 1 Peter 3:8. We have this union with one another because of our union with Christ. The Westminster Confession of Faith teaches, “All saints, that are united to Jesus Christ their Head, by His Spirit, and by faith, have fellowship with Him in His grace, sufferings, death, resurrection, and glory: and, being united to one another in love, they have communion in each other’s gifts and graces, and are obliged to the performance of such duties, public and private, as do conduce to their mutual good, both in the inward and outward man.”

By virtue of our union with Christ we have union with each other, and therefore believers have certain obligations and duties towards each other. They are to be of one mind and one spirit. This exhortation carries the thought of saints dwelling together in harmony, in a union of sentiment or opinion. It does not mean that we have to think alike on every issue even, every religious or spiritual issue. That would be impossible. However, we should be of one mind on those issues that are vital to the very essence of Christianity. One commentator put it this way: “Be united, be entirely united in those views both doctrinal and practical, the possession of which is essential to the very being of genuine Christianity.” This can only be achieved as each believer prays for the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5).

The more each Christian becomes like Christ and possesses the mind of Christ, the more we will be of one mind collectively. Christ-likeness is the secret to true Christian unity.

The saints in prayer appear as one
In word and deed and mind,
While with the Father and the Son
Sweet fellowship they find.

 —James Montgomery