The revolutionary “one in heart and mind”

In Acts 4:32 “All the believers were one in heart and mind.” In any culture that would be a miracle, but here in Acts 4 it actually happened. It was clear evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in the church, creating something that had never been witnessed or created by any society so far. It was, to put it mildly, revolutionary. 

It was also an answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-21, that “those who believe in me….all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”

“One in heart and mind” in Jesus’ definition, therefore, was a whole lot more than a group sharing the same beliefs, or partaking in a project together, or creating a community that shares the same interests. It meant being “one” like the Father and Jesus are one, a totally unique relationship based on the Father being “in” Jesus, and Jesus being ”in” his Father. 

But that’s the relationship on offer in the church, enabling ordinary human beings like you and me to be “one as we (Father and Jesus) are one,” verse 22. We too, then, can experience the “in” each other relationship that the Father and Jesus have. 

So, what makes such a relationship possible? Jesus answers that for us in verse 22 when he prays, “I have given them the glory that you gave me, (so) that they may be one as we are one.” There’s a “glory” needed, that Jesus himself gives us – the same glory, it so happens, that the Father gave to him in verse 24

And what is that glory? In verse 24 it’s defined as the love the Father has for Jesus, which Jesus then prayed for us to experience too, in verse 26, “that the love you (Father) have for me may be in them.” 

So, how is that glorious love of the Father for Jesus “in” us as well? Jesus explains how in the last sentence of his prayer, when he adds the statement, “and that I myself may be in them.”

There are extraordinary things being said here, that Jesus can make the glorious love his Father has for him real in us too, by actually living that Fatherly love he experiences “IN” us. This isn’t something we have to cook up for ourselves to make us “one in heart and mind,” therefore, it’s having the eternal Son of God make it happen in us, by living his OWN oneness of heart and mind with the Father in us personally.

But HOW does Jesus do that in us personally? By another extraordinary thing he talked about earlier in John 14. In verses 16-17 he said he’d “ask the Father”to give us “another Counselor….the Spirit of truth.” This Spirit would then “live with you and in you,” verse 17, enabling us to “realize,” verse 20, “that I (Jesus) am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” 

The Holy Spirit helps us realize a wonderful secret, totally unknown to the world (verse 17), that it’s only in the union of God and human that this unique “one in heart and mind” happens. Jesus, for instance, is “in” – or in union with – the Father (verse 20), and that’s how he experiences it. And it’s only when we’re “in” or in union with Jesus, and Jesus being “in” and in union with us, that we experience it. 

And Jesus clearly explains what being “in union” means too: Jesus was in union with his Father because everything he said and did was in obedience to his Father (verses 10 and 24), just as we’re in union with Jesus when we obey him (verses 21 and 23). 

So that’s how this unique “one in heart and mind” is created in us. And it very quickly began to happen in the church – first in Acts 2:42-46, and again in Acts 4:32-35. The church found itself experiencing what the world had never experienced up to this point, or even knew was possible and available.

Being “one in heart and mind,” then, was not only miraculous, it was revolutionary, because it gave visible witness to something totally different happening to humans, that only happens to those who believe Jesus is alive and what he’s alive for.

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