The Lord expects believers to be united.
TEXT: Psalm 133: 1-3, John 17:21-23, Ephesians 4:1-6.
The Lord Jesus Christ prayed for the unity of his disciples as we have read in John 17. The unity that Jesus prayed for was not organizational unity but spiritual unity based on believing in Him. Amos 3:3 asked; can two walk together except they be agreed? This question is so pertinent for us to understand the importance of brethren walking in unity. If we have known and experienced the love of the Father and the fellowship of Christ, we ought to obey the injunction of our Lord that we love one another as He has loved us. It is only by loving one another that we can be united as the body of Christ, each of us carry out our functions to complement each other. What Jesus has in mind was not ordinary fellowship but one that endeavors to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. It is spiritual unity of heart, purpose, mind, and will in those who are fully devoted to Him.
The objectives of this study are:
- To understand the meaning of unity.
- To comprehend how to work together in unity.
- To discuss the cause of disunity.
- To know the benefits of unity.
Q1. WHAT DO YOU UNDERSTAND BY THE WORD UNITY?
Unity is the state of being undivided, unbroken or oneness. Unity may also refer to an institution that brings different people together under one roof. In the context of our study, unity is the state of oneness, agreement in the body of Christ, in which all believers are members. We all must know that the Lord Jesus expects us to be united, that is why He took time to pray in John 17, that believers may be one even as He and the Father are one (verse 20). This means that all believers are to be like-minded, striving to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. The death of Jesus Christ brought together different people, differs in culture and upbringing, into one body. Paul by the Holy Spirit describe to church as a human body with different parts but all working together in unity to accomplish the same goal.
Q2. HOW DO WE WALK IN UNITY? Eph 4:1-6; 1 Cor
Unity is a great virtue, when present in any group of people, for it strengthens them. The Bible instructs that we walk in unity. In Ephesians 4: 1-2, we are enjoined to walk in unity by manifesting the following:
- Lowliness: The dictionary defines lowliness as low rank, humble. The humble mind does easily walk in agreement with others. He does not necessarily insist on his own. He seeks those things that will enhance the realization of the common goal of the body.
- Meekness: This is defined as submissiveness. A heart that is submissive can always, at all times live in agreement and oneness with other people. He is prepared to take up any responsibility given to him. He is not argumentative nor disobeys authorities.
- Longsuffering: This is defined by the dictionary as enduring injury, trouble or provocation by other members there will be harmony and unity in the Church.
- Forbearing: This means to bear, to refrain from retaliation, to be patient. If brethren will learn to identify and cope with each other’s weaknesses, the Church will indeed be one body. Life Application Bible commentary has it that “to build unity is one of the Holy Spirit’s important roles. He leads, but we have to be willing to be led and do our part to keep the peace. We do that by focusing on God and not ourselves.”
In essence, for us to walk in unity, we must walk in the Spirit and manifest the fruit of the Spirit.
Q3. WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF DISUNITY 1Cor. 3:3, Gal. 5: 26
There are many things that cause disunity among believers. Satan the accuser of the brethren and his angels are agents of disunity among believers. Satan, the accuser of the brethren ad his angels are agents of disunity. He is constantly working to ensure that unity which is the power of the Church is eroded. The scripture emphasizes that strife, envying, division, vain glory and provocation are all work of the flesh. Believers who walk as canal men are devoid of the fruit of the day. This hinders the move of the Holy Spirit, resulting in disunity among the brethren.
Let the class discuss other causes of disunity in the Church.
Q4. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF UNITY: Eccl. 4:9-10, Lev. 26:8
There are a lot of benefits of unity in the body of Christ. The Bible says five shall chase a hundred and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight (Lev. 26 26:8). There is strength in togetherness. When the people of God are in unity, great peace will be upon them and signs and wonders will flow naturally (Acts 4: 31-33). Being of one heart and one soul is a pre-condition for the move of the Holy Spirit.
It makes the Church to multiply and the harvest of perishing souls easier. There will be peace and harmony among brethren and the work of God will prosper. They will be able to overcome in their battles.
DAILY LIVING APPLICATION
Living in unity among ourselves is a necessary virtue to be practiced in the Church. When the Bible enjoins all to endeavor to keep the unity of the Sprit in the bond of peace, this refers to all believers and not just one. Unruly behavior and division in the Church should be nipped at the bud. Apostle Paul in his epistle advised us to mark them that are unruly and cause division and have no company with such.
Let us therefore endeavor to walk in the Spirit so that we can walk in unity with other believers.
Psalm 133: 1 – “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”