Connecting in Unity
What the Scripture Says
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! It is like fine oil on the head, running down on the beard, running down Aaron’s beard onto his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon falling on the mountains of Zion. For there the LORD has appointed the blessing – life forevermore.”1
“Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us.”2
Unity Involves Setting Aside Differences
Dr. Thom Rainer talks about unity in the Fall 2014 session of Bible Studies for Life, “What if the church operated with such courage and resolve? But we can still set aside our differences, sacrifice our personal comfort, and work together to fulfill our call.”3
Few things damage the mission of a church like a lack of unity. When members are going here and there, pulling left and right, it is difficult to head in a single direction; difficult to make progress.
Not only that, the fighting that takes place in some churches ruins their testimony and hinders the witness of Christ.
Three Things to Remember About Unity
1. Unity is good!
The psalmist wrote above that unity is good and pleasant. Isn’t that true? When members of a church are ministering together, loving each other and living in one accord, it is both good and pleasant. Both the congregation and the ones who lead it are blessed.
2. Unity reflects the Trinity
When Jesus said, “I and the Father are one,” He wasn’t merely being poetic or metaphorical. He referenced a literal union of which the Holy Spirit is the third part. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit exist in a perfect unity of will and action. The Trinity may be beyond comprehending, but that doesn’t mean we cannot learn from the example set forth.
When God’s people are unified, we reflect the unity of the One we claim to worship. This truth is brought home to us when Paul refers to the church as one body with many parts. The parts may be different, but the purpose must be singular.
3. Unity is a result of being on mission.
Many think a church must unify before it can be on mission for God. It might be true a church can decide together to be on mission, but true unity occurs after the members are striving together on the mission, encouraging the weary, lifting up the fallen, praying toward the same end, and reaching the same goal.
Think about a couple at their wedding. They make a commitment to one another and take vows until “death do us part.” But that’s only the beginning. If they really love each other, strive to please and serve each other, then they will grow together, and think alike toward their goals, hopes and dreams. They become more unified as they pursue the goal.
Unity is essential in the life of a church. When churches are on mission, their members will connect in ministry together, and unity will be the result.
1– Psalm 133, HCSB
2– Ephesians 4:1-3, HCSB
3– Bible Studies for Life, Connected, Dr. Thom Rainer