Author: Ron Graham
A United Purpose
—1st element of spiritual wellbeing
In this study, we consider the first element of spiritual wellbeing, namely a united purpose.
1 Our common purpose gives us joy
Many Christians are go-it-aloners and are "untied" not "united". They are not tied in to the local church or fellowship of Christians. Sometimes this is not their fault, nevertheless being untied instead of united deprives one of the joy of brotherhood, sisterhood, and common purpose.
Philippians 2:2. Paul said to the saints at Philippi, "Fulfill my joy, being likeminded, having the same love, being of one mind" (Philippians 2:2).
Paul was saying, "if you think as I, love me as I love you, and if you are one mind with me in our common purpose, then it will be well with my soul; you will fill up my joy to the full."
Surely the Philippians would likewise be happy and spiritually well, if they had that unity locally among themselves, with one another as well as with Paul.
2 God’s glory is our common purpose.
Philippians 1:11. What is this common purpose in which Christians are to be joined? Paul says that we are to be "filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God" (Philippians 1:11).
That last phrase, "the glory and praise of God", is our common purpose. There is no higher purpose in life than to praise and glorify God, and no greater joy than fulfilling that purpose together.
Philippians 3:14. The glory of God is a glory we will share, and for those who answer God's call to glory, unbounded joy is the prize. Paul says, "I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).
What sense of purpose in those words! What joy or spiritual wellbeing is derived from helping one another answer God's call and helping one another strive for the prize of glory in God.
3 We are true companions in our common purpose
Philippians 4:3. In this common purpose, we become true companions labouring together. Paul says, "True companion, help those women who laboured with me in the gospel" (Philippians 4:3).
In the same verse Paul speaks of his sisters and brothers in Christ as "fellow workers whose names are written in the book of life" (Philippians 4:3).
If your name is written in the same book as mine, and I don't mean the telephone directory, I mean the register of the citizens of the eternal city of God, then surely you and I share something too wonderful for us to be divided.
What could be so important to divide us, compared to the common purpose that unites us?
Philippians 1:27. Paul encourages the Philippians to be "striving together for the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1:27).
In many cases, sad cases, Christians are "striving" together in the worst sense of the word. They are strife-torn, fighting each other instead of fighting the good fight together.
We must strive together in the best sense of the word —labouring together as fellow workers, showing unity of purpose.