The key to unity is found in Jesus’ prayer in John 17. He prayed that His followers be one, as he and the Father were one. How were God and Christ one? Was it not through Christ’s submission to the will of God? He submitted to the will or authority of God. He prayed in Gethsemane, “Not my will, but thine be done.” That is true submission.
Submission to authority unites. When two contractors become submissive to one architect’s drawing, they have two buildings alike. When millions of people submit to communism, unity results. When men become submissive to the gospel, without addition or subtraction, unity is the result.
You will have division when you do not go by the Bible. It is not what the Bible teaches that divides people. It is what the Bible does not teach. Men’s creeds and doctrines divide us.
We need to get together. There is one fold and one shepherd. (John 10:16) The only way that unity can ever be accomplished is for all believers in Christ to submit to Him their lives, putting off all man-made doctrines, becoming and remaining plain New Testament Christians. The church is called a flock – Jesus is the shepherd. Unity among a flock of sheep is not obtained by a conference of rams, but by submission of each sheep of the fold to the leadership of the shepherd. The road to unity can be successfully traveled by lifting up our eyes to Christ and following Him in all matters of faith.
How can we maintain unity? To keep the unity of the Spirit we must practice the golden rule. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) We must also maintain a forgiving attitude. “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man has a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Colossians 3:13) It is by having a mind to work, (Nehemiah 4:6), that unity can be kept among God’s people. It has been said that a kicking mule can’t pull while kicking, and a pulling mule can’t kick while pulling. As long as we are pulling and working together, there will be unity.
Jesus died to unite men in one body. (Ephesians 2:14-16). May we ever conduct ourselves so as to be worthy of so great a price. May the Lord bless you and keep you!
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