One of the signs of falling away from the truth is disunity among the church of the New Testament. When truth is obeyed, there is unity among the believers. When truth is disobeyed, it brings disunity among the believers. How does the truth bring unity in the New Testament church?
Did you know that even our God is a God of unity? There is but one only, the living and true God. (Deut. 6:4) John by inspiration says, “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” (1 John 5:7) Our God is a God of unity because they are three in one. They are inseparable. In His prayer before the crucifixion on the cross, Jesus prayed about the unity of the Father, the Son and the Spirit and made reference to the nature of their unified Godhead four times. (John 17:11, 21, 22, 23)
Did you know that our God desires and takes pleasure in unity? The psalmist said in Psalms 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Jesus said that the world would know that we were His disciples by the love that we have for one another (John 13:35). In Col. 3:14, it says that love is the perfect bond of unity. When we put on Christ through baptism (Gal. 3:27), we must put on love. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity. Love through the truth binds us together! The New Testament clearly speaks about the church being unified in Christ (Eph. 4:5). For the New Testament church to remain as the pure New Testament church, it must continue steadfastly in the truth. (Acts 2:42) When the New Testament church practices the pure, sanctified truth, there is holiness, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, forgiveness, forbearance and love found within the body of Christ. (Col. 3:12-14) Paul strongly admonished the Ephesian brethren to “endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3) Why did Paul by inspiration say these words to them? Because, God desires unity so much!
Did you know that God hates division? In response to Christians who follow after individuals rather than Jesus, Paul says that Christ is not divided (1 Cor. 1:12-13). Though Christ is not divided, His body of believers are. If there is division in the New Testament church, then there is sin. God hates every sin including division in the Lord’s church. (Psalm 5:4) Can anything good come from division? Division hurts feelings. Division separates family and friends. Division literally tears each other apart. Division never heals. Division is against God’s plans for unity. Division destroys people. Division is clearly Satan’s work. In the first century, Paul dealt with division in the Lord’s church. He saw the heavy sinful consequences of division. He had learned of the problems in the church and from the house of Chloe that the church was divided (1 Cor. 1:11). When Paul learned of this, his heart was broken also. What was the solution? The one and only possible solution is for all of us to abide in the truth of God’s Word. The truth allows us to speak the same thing, have the same mind, and be in the same judgment. Without God’s truth, we cannot be perfectly joined together. (1 Cor. 1:10).
Did you know Jesus prayed for unity? It is Jesus’ prayer that we all would be one in Christ (John 17:20-21). Can we not kneel at the foot of the cross, love each other, obey the true teachings of Christ and be united in Christ? Unfortunately, there will be some who will seek division through false teaching, pride, selfishness, etc. It breaks my heart. It is my heart’s desire and prayer that we will unite as the true Lord’s church, obey the true pattern (Rom. 6:17), and live true, undefiled, pure Christianity. (James 1:27) God loves you and I love you!