In One Accord
"Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind."
Certainly every church should seek to be in one accord and of one mind in all matters, because all thinking and serving should be directed by the Holy Spirit and according to the teachings of the Bible. One accord should be the goal we are praying for, and working for, but it can never be forced. If we try to force unity, we only get uniformity, like school uniforms. If we try to force one accord, we only get suppressed anger, waiting to explode. If we try to force obedience, we only get rebellion. That is why Paul says we must have the same love and purpose.
We can never achieve "one accord" until we truly want to hear one another and freely talk to one another about our different understandings. This cannot be achieved in a business meeting. It must occur in prayer, Bible study, and discussion. First must be the desire to know and obey the teachings of Scripture. What does God say about the issues that divide us? But “one accord” does not come until we are committed to trusting the love and goodness of God and believe we should follow His way as right and best always.
If we view one another as having an evil heart, there will be no "one accord" among us, and reconciliation will be difficult.. We will remain a divided church. If we view one another as true brethren in Christ we will acknowledge our differences and seek biblical solutions from the Word and Will of God. Paul says "let each esteem others better than himself" (2:3). And "Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (2:4). He does not allow us to ignore those who may disagree and push for one opinion. He says we must also "look out . . . for the interests of others."
While some believe Scripture must simply be obeyed, others may believe it to be an ideal to strive for, but never actually achieved. Some believe Scripture must be obeyed, no matter what, with no love nor mercy offered. Others seek "best alternatives" that seem workable in today's culture and circumstances.
The Pharisees are the biblical examples of "letting the chips fall where they may" position without mercy or grace. Abraham and Sarah are biblical examples of the "best alternatives" position. They come up with a better idea. We are still fighting those wars today.
Jesus offers a different approach than either of the above. In the woman caught in adultery, Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more." He admitted that she had sinned – that adultery is a sin deserving stoning before God – but in His mercy and grace he forgave her and gave her a second chance. "Go and sin no more." He did not bless her conduct nor reasons for doing it. He demanded new conduct, new reasons for choosing her actions and shaping her life.