Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

What Does it Mean to be in One Accord?

on February 10, 2014

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1

The day the “church” was born, one of the greatest days in church history, it says that the disciples of Jesus were together in one accord in one place. This is important, because God is going to perform great miracles and show His mighty power on this day, but it seems important that the disciples were in one accord and together to set the scene. Throughout scripture we see the Lord calling us to be in “one accord” with one another in the church. We accept this, but I think so often we do so with our own idea of what “one accord” actually means. What does it mean to be in “one accord”? Does it mean we agree on every single issue? Does it mean we are mindless robots without having any understanding of our own? Does it mean we have to agree on each and every theological issue in order to be in fellowship? Instead of forming our own opinion on what God means here, we need to search the Word for the answer.

In Acts 2:1 when it says “one accord”, the Greek word is “homothymadon” which means “with one mind, with one accord, with one passion.” Blue Letter Bible gives a beautiful description of the use of this word here: “A unique Greek word, used 10 of its 12 New Testament occurrences in the Book of Acts, helps us understand the uniqueness of the Christian community. Homothumadon is a compound of two words meaning to “rush along” and “in unison”. The image is almost musical; a number of notes are sounded which, while different, harmonize in pitch and tone. As the instruments of a great concert under the direction of a concert master, so the Holy Spirit blends together the lives of members of Christ’s church.”

As a musician myself, I love the way this is described. I direct a choir, and I’m always telling my choir that each one of their voices is unique and different. The sing different parts. Not all of their notes, rhythms, tones or words are the same all of the time, but when brought together they make a beautiful song. In the same way, God knits His church together with a variety of colors, flavors, strengths (and weaknesses), visions, gifts, preferences and callings and He brings them all together with One Mind, One Accord, One Passion to make Him a glorious song.

So this word for “one accord” is used several times in Acts. Let’s see what these men of God are doing in one accord:

Prayer and Supplication – “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” Acts 1:14 

Fellowship and Community – “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,” Acts 2:46

Praised God – “And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is…” Acts 4:24

Experienced Miracles – “And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.” Acts 5:12

Raised Up and Sent Out Missionaries – “It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,” Acts 15:25

And in Romans…

Glorify God – “That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:6

These disciples of God were most definitely in one accord and had one passion: Jesus Christ. They were rushing along toward one goal: Jesus. Praise Him. Serve Him. Love Him. Love His people. Bring others to Him. Glorify Him. It was all about Jesus. We lose sight of that so often in the church today! We think we have to agree on every single issue to be in “one accord”. I say that we don’t see that example in scripture. We don’t see division over minor issues. What we see is humble men and women coming together in one place and uniting with one passion, one goal and one mind to serve Jesus. That’s what being in one accord means. It means setting aside your differences and following Jesus together.

Another word for being in “one accord” in the NT is found in Philippians 2:2, “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” The word for “one accord” is “sympsychos” and this is what Blue Letter Bible has to say about the etymology of the word: “This word is made up of two words syn (together with) and psychos (soul, self, inner life, or the seat of the feelings, desires, affections). So the word refers to being ‘united in spirit’ or harmonious (BDAG). Paul desired the Philippians to be united in their affections—one in Christ in all desires! Phl 2:2 is the only occurrence of this word in the NT. (Wayne Steury)”

It’s such a beautiful picture, and in it we see the heart of the Father. He desires His people to be in one accord in their desire to follow Him, serve Him, know Him and love Him. Do we have to agree on every issue to do this? We don’t see that in scripture. Being in one accord doesn’t mean we will always agree on every issue that comes our way. There’s just no way for that to happen. We won’t always agree. Awesome, God-fearing Bible scholars have studied the Word their whole lives and come to different conclusions on issues like the balance between predestination and free-will, use or cessation of spiritual gifts, worship preferences and expressiveness, eschatology and so forth. We study the Word to show ourselves approved, being Bereans, and we stand on the truth of God’s Word, but that doesn’t mean we cannot and should not be in one accord with other Christ-followers who know and love the Jesus Christ of the Bible. We do not embrace false teaching/doctrine by embracing men and women who may be getting it wrong in some areas. As Jesus did, we love people. We spend time with them and we encourage them in the Word. We see them as God does…His children, His people, the Bride of Christ and our fellow heirs.

* I’ll say something that is a bit controversial here: some churches seem to think being in one accord or in one mind only applies to the people in their church body. They think it means we are to be in one accord on every single theological issue that pops up or we can’t be in one accord. I say with confidence that this is not at all what God is showing us here in scripture, but rather a skewed understanding based on man’s logic. Actually, it takes great maturity, grace and love to be able to put the “unimportant” or “secondary” issues aside and be in one accord with our brothers and sisters who serve the Jesus Christ of the Bible.

Last point and clarification – when I say “Jesus Christ of the Bible”, what I mean is that for a person to be a brother or sister in the Lord, he or she must confess the Jesus we know from the Word. They must believe He is God, part of the triunity of the Godhead, born of a virgin, the Messiah of prophecy and the Messiah of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the author of salvation and the author of the inspired Word of God (Bible), who was sinless but died on the cross for our sins and rose again, standing at the right hand of the Father. These are foundational truths that we must agree on to be in one accord. Can we be in one accord with people who follow another, false god or who follow their own version of Jesus? No. We have to be in one accord in the Spirit, which means we have to have the Spirit of God inside us and that happens when we call upon the Jesus of the Bible.

God desires His people to be in one accord. He wants us to be able to join together to worship and serve Him in one accord. We need to stop looking at believers from other churches, or those who differ on minor issues, as outsiders or enemies. This harms the church as a whole and hurts the heart of our Father.

God bless!

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3 responses to “What Does it Mean to be in One Accord?

  1. Latondra Black says:

    You are spot on! So many churches are using “one accord” to control and manipulate. That is not GOD and HE is not pleased!

  2. CA Jenkins says:

    Very well explained. Thank God for those who teach and have divine revelation.

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