“And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Act 2:46-47
“And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Act 6:7
Many times in the scriptures, the Bible mentioned that the early Christians were in one accord, either in prayers or in breaking bread. We also see magnificent growth of that time with ease and very simple but powerful message. I have taken time to find the meaning of accord and I discovered something.
The early Christians were not united in diversity of belief… I have often thought it was so! They were united in agreement and mutual respect. Every decision that was ever taken at that time was done in one accord and that is, in agreement and mutual respect. The message of the Church at that time was not complicated, they had just one message and it was about Jesus, his advent, his death, his resurrection and his glorification. They were interested in souls rather than in buildings and there was increase beyond borders! The word of God increased and the number of disciples multiplied greatly.
There is a difference between increase and multiplication. Increase may be little addition but multiplication means that there was a greater addition beyond the normal! If they used to be hundred, they quickly became five thousand! We see a story in Acts 1:13, the disciples were in the upper room praying in agreement and mutual respect (one accord), they were not concerned if a woman is weaker or a man is stronger. They were not distracted by if the woman had something on her hair or not, they were not distracted by lots of things that distract the Church these days… They were simply in the upper room because they were passionately hungry for Jesus and the promised Spirit. They were so tasty and hungry for God… Jesus ascension was a wowing sight but they even had no time to discuss the fun of seeing Jesus ascend into the heaven… They simply walked up to the upper room, praying in agreement and oneness of spirit!
With same agreement, they selected Joseph and Matthias (Act 1:24-26) and presented them before God. There was no room for Church politics because there was no room for disagreements… They were amazingly praying in agreement! Agreement destroys favoritism; it gives way for God’s will in all circumstances. With agreement, they casted lot and it felled on Matthias and he became a replacement for Judas! What a church!
In Act 2:1, we see another story of these early Christians! They were in agreement before the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn’t like a divided Church! Do you know? They were able to receive the Holy Spirit at the same time because they were all in agreement… With diverse tongues in verse 11, they were saying the same thing and giving praise to God! There was no body in that room who did not receive the Holy Spirit. With the power of the Holy Spirit in this united Church, more than three thousand souls was added in just a day!
I believe that part of the agreements of the early Christians was to increase on every side! If the Church had continued with the pattern of the early Church, there is no place that would have been left in the universe! They were not agreeing in disagreements like we see in Churches today, they were not united in diversity of belief… It was one faith, one Lord, one baptism (Ephesians 4:5). There were always disagreements among them as they increased but there was always a solution to that via God’s word rather than giving room for factions. The early Church was more of a home than an organization.
The secret of increase is agreement and the secret of agreement is love! In the ancient Middle East, one of the ways to know if someone is saying the truth is if there are witnesses to agree with him! To know a false witness, it doesn’t agree together. Talking about the power of agreement, Jesus said in Matthew 18:19
“Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”
Jesus wants the Church to work together because they belong together! The Church is the body of Christ and the body of Christ is not divided! When we divide, we are not dividing the body of Christ; we are rather pulling out of the body of Christ because Christ can never be divided. Jesus said
“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:9
People often think Jesus was referring to Peter as the rock on which the Church will be built! No… Jesus was referring to the revelation that God gave to Peter. The Church was built upon Christ, the son of God! Peter can fail as a rock but Christ is the solid rock! Then when Jesus had promised the keys of the Kingdom of heaven, it wasn’t meant only for Peter too, it was meant for all who will be united unto him as one body! In Matthew 18:18, Jesus repeated the powers that accompany the keys of the kingdom of heaven and wasn’t referring to Peter but to everyone that will be united unto him.
What am I trying to point out? If Mr A and Mr B are both believers and yet they are praying in disagreement, it doesn’t work! For instance, Mr A is binding something in heaven and Mr B is losing it, it doesn’t work! At that moment, God doesn’t recognize them as Church because they are not united! The Church is meant to be united… Not necessarily by answering the same name, staying in the same building or using the same liturgy! The Church can only be one when their message is one! What should be our message? It has to be based on the revelation God granted Peter about Jesus, the Christ, the son of the living God. Our message must be about Jesus and him alone. God sees the Church as one individual… as Christ! We are not representing the body of Christ in our disagreement.
Agreement is an element of unity; unity is an element of love! Sometimes, when people agree to disagree, they are simply living in pretence while really dwelling in hatred but when people agree to one thing; it is often a result of unity.
Let me show you another instance of agreement done out of love! In Act 12, Herod decided in his heart to anger the Church and perhaps disrupt their growth. He quickly captured James, the brother of John and killed him with the sword. He personally killed James and it pleased the Jews who had refused to accept the good news of Jesus Christ that liberates people from the Law of Moses. To please the Jews even more, Herod captured Peter and planned killing him after Easter. Peter was therefore thrown in prison to await his death. The Church did something amazing… They prayed without ceasing and in fact they prayed in agreement. How did I know they prayed in agreement? The bible didn’t suggest that some brethren prayed but rather said that the Church in its entirety never ceased in praying. There was an agreement that Peter will not die!
The story gets more interesting, just before Herod would order the killing of Peter, God has ordered his salvation! An Angel of the Lord came upon him and raised him up. At some point, Peter had loosed faith of getting out of that mess. When the Church prays in agreement, it doesn’t take the faith of everyone to be accomplished! As long as there is agreement, lack of faith from some persons cannot stop it. In verse 11, we see that Peter had to pass the first and second ward before he would agree that God has indeed delivered him. This shows his faith has been shaken but God remained true to his word which says that whatever we agree on earth (according to His will) has been agreed in heaven! Whatever we loose on earth has been loosed in heaven!
I will show you another thing in that story that clearly show how strong agreement can be even without the faith of 90 percent of people. In verse 13, when Peter knocked at the door, Rhoda came to check out who it was and on hearing the voice of Peter, she ran in out of excitement to share the good news of Peter’s breakthrough. But, the same people that have been praying for Peter accused her of madness because they never had enough faith to believe their prayers have been answered.
Agreement is what the Church needs at this time of terrorism! The Church leaders are busy calling for peace and mutual unity in diversity of belief instead of calling for the unity of brethren and agreement in prayers. The Church has become more political than spiritual! The Church isn’t talking about scriptures any more but rather they are considering the reasoning of men. Why will a Church be voting for a reform at all when the Scripture is there to be our guide? Why will the Church need a vote to consider homosexualism or Gay marriage when the Scripture is there to guide us? I don’t believe in a church that places tradition and reasoning above the scriptures… Call me a fanatic, but if our Churches aren’t about Christ and Christ alone, we are not a real Church!
I have made up my mind to love and to cherish one another, to encourage others and make them see the truth I have seen. To agree in prayers, we must first of all agree in the word of God together… Just like the first Church, it begins with agreeing to the one message that sets free… THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Is there anything that you want to change? Is there any big issue you want to destroy? Look for brethren of the Christian faith, let them agree with our in prayers! Don’t forget to testify.
Hope you are blessed?