Section 8: The Church
Week 4: Life in the Church
Day 5: Unity
The Bible makes it clear that members of the Church are expected to live in unity with one another.
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others (Phil 2:1-4).
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought (1 Cor. 1:10).
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3).
Why is the unity of the Church such an important theme? According to Paul, God’s overarching plan is to bring everything together under Christ (Eph. 1:10). In the Church this process has already begun. The Church is intended to serve as a “pattern” of the restored universe God will one day bring to fulfillment in Christ.[i] That’s why unity within the Church is important. The imagery of all things being brought together under Christ is lost if we are fractured by internal divisions and strife. When churches are divided, we look more like the world right now than the world to come.
Do you consider unity an important goal for the Church? Is it easy to maintain? Why not? What can your Church do better in this area? What can you do better?
Commit to making at least one change this week that will enhance the unity your church experiences.
[i] Peter T. O’Brien, The Letter to the Ephesians, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (1999), 248.