Is Unity in the Church Important?

Jesus Desires Unity

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that you have sent Me.” (John 17: 20-21 ESV). Unity. It’s something Jesus Himself asked for on our behalf. It’s something we give away so easily.

What does it mean to be unified as the church, the bride of Christ, His very body? To be in unity is something the early church took for granted as a given of the faith. How could any believers not be united in the message of Christ? It is something we have nearly lost in the interim years. It is something we must get back if we are to do what God has called us to do on the earth.

Choosing Division is Easier

Too often, we reject unity for the sake of being right. The message of the Bible is astounding in that it can be understood by the simplest child and yet hotly debated by the greatest minds. God has both revealed Himself in simplicity and hidden some things of the Kingdom in mystery.

Unfortunately, instead of unifying around the simple truths and exploring the vast complexities of His character together, many of us have chosen to divide on that which we disagree, rejecting our very brothers and sisters in favor of the doctrine we hold to be of more value than the very people God died for. Like the Pharisees, we die by the letter of the law, missing its very heart. 

We divide on every detail, from the ‘right’ kind of worship music we must play at our services, to the ‘correct’ way to evangelize, to the version of the Bible that is ‘most’ true (conveniently ignoring the fact that so many are waiting for any version at all as we compare and contrast the value of KJV, NIV, and the like). We draw uncrossable lines in the sand on women preaching, the use of spiritual gifts, predestination, and a million other, varied  topics.

We open churches across the street from each other, each believing we have it right and the other, wrong. How it must grieve the heart of the God who says in the Psalms “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!” (Psalm 133: 1-2 ESV)

Called to Something Greater Than the “Easy Way”

Is this to say that those doctrinal commands don’t matter? Of course not. We are called to seek the scriptures and live with understanding. Yet, the greater call is to unify as one, to be the body on the earth; a body at war with itself can not reach out to a dying, broken world. What can we unify around? The man Jesus.

The simple gospel message that God put on flesh, came to earth, died, and rose again to save us from our sins. That we are to give Him our whole selves and beings for His good purpose and submit ourselves first to Him and then to one another in reverence. This is the gospel. This is the message of hope, that we were dead and now can live. 

God will use us each as He sees fit. The great evangelist and the simple homemaker will stand before God and be judged alike, not for their methods but for their obedience to His call. The one who used their single talent wisely will be rewarded just as surely as the one who used their ten, and the one with ten can not and should not look down on the one with one, wondering why they didn’t do more, do it differently, do it as they would have done it.

Instead, we must act as Christ has decreed, honoring the weakest parts of the body, working together for the great commission, unified around the message of Christ and His purpose. 

It’s Time to Join Together

The world is dying, it’s far past time that we stopped crucifying one another, feeling high and mighty in our movements, our churches, our preachers and looking down our nose at those who do it differently. We must join together, pull together to do what God has commanded, to love Him on the earth and make Him known- whether you do so by sharing Christ at your job, making disciples through stories, using tracts, the Romans road, or any other tool you know.

We are all a part of the same body, the same bride, the same movement, and we must stand together in unity until Christ calls us home.

After all, one day we will all be seated together around the wedding feast table, celebrating the lamb. The name of every church, ministry, and movement will fade away until we see them all for what they were: varied, creative strategies used for a time to spread the one message, pointing to the one God, and calling all of us to the one man, Jesus. 

unity in the church

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are inspired by God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Peter 1:21)

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent who has revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Luke 3:22)

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us, in His present rule as Head of the Church, and in His personal return in power and glory. (Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:31)

We believe in the creation of mankind in God’s image, and the fall of man, resulting in universal guilt and total depravity; and the necessity, therefore, of redemption and restoration; that all men and women are lost spiritually and face the judgment of God, that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and that repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for regeneration by the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:17)

We believe salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life. (Luke 24:47, John 3:3)

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the saved unto the resurrection of eternal life in the presence of our Lord, and the lost unto the resurrection of damnation and eternal punishment. (Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-48)

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and that all true believers are members of His body, the Church, which has the duty to preach the Gospel to every person. (Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 2:22)

We believe that we must dedicate ourselves to prayer, to the service of our Lord, to His authority over our lives, and to the ministry of teaching, preaching, the prophetic, the apostolic, and evangelism. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

We believe in upholding the ordinances of the church of water baptism and holy communion.

The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:47,48, Romans 6:4)

The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements—bread and the fruit of the vine—, is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4), a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26), and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26), and is enjoined on all believers “till He comes!”