Why is unity crucial?
God could have chosen to reveal Himself in a number of different ways. But He has chosen to use the body to bring people to Himself. He chose weak people, working together in relationship to show His infinite, unfailing love.
God is relationship. He is the trinity. The three working together in absolute submission and harmony makes up one holy, perfect God. Therefore, it makes sense that we must express our relational God through... relationships!
"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Relationships are crucial to express the character of God and relationships are the foundation of unity: first a persons relationship with Christ, than their relationships with other believers.
To be unified, there must be one truth, one goal, and one purpose to unite around. A body will not see anyone saved if they unite around the purpose of having fun.
The only One to unite around is Jesus Christ!
He is worth uniting around. He gives us purpose. He is our truth. Our goal is to become like Him. He is the basis for all our relationships.
Unity is crucial because it sets Christians apart.
A unified body is like 3,000 lbs of dynamite on the gates of hell. One Christian can be a firecracker maybe, but when we work together for the purpose of the Gospel, we cannot be stopped.
Unity comes when the object is Christ.
I had the privilege of being part of a Bible study last year that was extremely unified. So each person went to the activities not because we always did really sweet stuff but because we wanted to be with each other in the body. So I hate Chinese food, but I’d go with my Bible study because I wanted to be with the body! The object wasn't Chinese food it was Christ! =)
It no longer matters what activity you're doing because the purpose is to bring God glory. Your hobbies become the hobbies of the people you are around, the people you are trying to love and the ones you are serving alongside.
"When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings." 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (NLT)
Unity requires thinking the best of the believers you are serving with.
Unity will grow when you choose to think the best about your brothers and sisters. Satan will attack your mind on this point. You must guard your minds from thinking badly of anyone, and especially those you are serving with. You have to believe that God is just as real in someone else’s life as He is in yours. If you do not believe God is working and convicting them are you really trusting God?
Commit your brothers and sisters to the Lord!
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8
This point from Oswald Chambers daily devotional "My Utmost for His Highest" stuck with me: Sometimes God lets you know others weaknesses for the sole purpose of getting you to pray for them. You may not be able to do anything about it, but it helps your own heart to commit them to the Lord.
Unity requires taking your trials to the Lord first.
I know personally that no human being can handle the rage of emotions in my heart. The chaotic explosions in my heart can only be calmed, sorted, can only be cured and put at peace by the promises of God.
If you are asking others to handle your emotions, and be your source of comfort, you commit idolatry. Putting anyone besides Jesus Christ, between you and God is idolatry.
(See last blog for more about idolatry)
Your relationship with God does not depend on anyone else.
“For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.”
1 Timothy 2:5