God demands unity! There is but “one way” (John 14:6). The apostle Paul wrote “unto the church of God which is at Corinth …Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:2, 10). This world cannot and will not be won to Christ until we are one in Christ. The Psalmist wrote, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psa. 133:1).
Paul wrote to “the saints that are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus…There is one body…” (Eph. 1:1; 4:4). Paul informs us that the Law of Moses, that middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile, had been broken down (Eph. 2:14-ff). Thus, the faithful in Christ are members of the one body, which is the one church for which Christ died. New Testament Christians must give “diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). There is not a Jewish church and a Gentile church; Jesus is the head over His church which is His body. Paul told the Ephesian brethren, that God “put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23). A unity based upon the Bible cannot be shaken. Our standard of unity must be found in the divine and authoritative Word of God. Most of us preach the “one body”; but do we practice it? If we cannot be at peace one with another in the local congregation, how can we ever win others to the Christ?
In Ephesians 4, Paul listed the seven ones which, if followed, will result in the unity that God demands of His people. I call this “Paul’s Platform for Unity” (Eph. 4:4-6). “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3); let us consider the path to true unity:
One Body—Unity of Organization (1 Cor. 12:20; Eph. 2:14-16)
One Spirit—Unity of Guidance (Gal. 5:16-26; Rom. 8:1-17)
One Hope—Unity of Expectation (Heb. 6:19; 9:7)
One Lord—Unity of Authority (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:22-23)
One Faith—Unity of Message (Jude 3; Rom. 10:17)
One Baptism—Unity of Immersion (Acts 8:26-ff; Rom. 6:1-5)
One God—Unity of Worship (John 4:23-24; Matt. 4:10)
The night before His crucifixion, our Lord prayed diligently for unity for those who would follow Him (John 17). In order to build the ark, God gave a “pattern” to Noah (Gen. 6:14-22); in order to build the tabernacle, God gave a “pattern” to Moses (Exo. 25:40; 40:16; Heb. 8:5). Likewise, God has given to us a “pattern” for unity within His church (Eph. 4:1-6).
When it comes to that “pattern” for unity, let us heed the words of Mary, the mother of Jesus, when she said to the servants, “Whatsoever he (Jesus-JLW) saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5).