We live in a period of history that is woefully marked with division and strife. It goes without saying that the religious world is sadly divided. Should we be alarmed over this? Is God? Unity must have been of great concern to our Lord, for during the closing hours of His life on earth, He earnestly beseeched the Father on behalf of unity of believers. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:20-21). From this prayer, we learn that we are to be one as Christ and God are one. Can you imagine God teaching one thing and Christ another?
The entirety of God’s word extols His desire for unity of believers. Note the emphasis of the scripture on this theme. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalms 133:1) “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3) “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3) "Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” (Philippians 2:2) From these passages, several conclusions emerge. First, it is good and pleasant for brethren to be united. There is nothing so bad or unpleasant as discord among brethren. Second, we can never walk together without unity. Third, we must work at maintaining unity. Fourth, as Christians we are to be of “one mind.”
Unity is a powerful thing. You may recall the story in Genesis 11 when men determined to build a tower whose top would reach heaven. We are told “the people are one.” They were united in purpose. Then the record says, “nothing will be restrained from them…” Here is an example of the power of unity, even in that which was contrary to the will of God.
The power of unity is further illustrated in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. According to the book o Nehemiah, this task was completed in 52 days. How could this be? It was because the people were united. They said, “Let us rise up and build.” Think of the power God’s people can have today when they rise up in unity.
Another example of the power of unity is in the church in Jerusalem. They were of “one accord.” (Acts 2:46) They “were of one heart and of one soul.” (Acts 4:32) It was the Jerusalem church that was spread throughout the world by persecution, but they maintained the spirit of unity and preached the gospel to the whole world. (Colossians 1:23)
Next week we will continue our thoughts on this subject. We hope you have an amazing week. May the Lord bless you and keep you!
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