What does the Bible say about unity?
God has been leading me to pray for more unity amongst believers. This is something that has burdened my heart because I believe it burdens God’s heart.
We would be able to do so much more if we took the time to stop bickering over the most meaningless things and we went out to serve Christ. My hope is that you are blessed by these Scriptures and God ignites a fire in us to love like we’ve never loved before.
Christian quotes about unity
“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”
“Believers are never told to become one; we already are one and are expected to act like it.”
“Paul’s vision of the body of Christ is of a unity which consists in diversity, that is, a unity which is not denied by diversity, but which would be denied by uniformity, a unity which depends on its diversity functioning as such – in a word, the unity of a body, the body of Christ.” James Dunn
“All Christians enjoy a unity of mission in which we have one Lord, one faith, and one baptism (Eph. 4:4–5). There is surely disunity in the visible church, but that is not as important as the reality of the unity that we enjoy by virtue of our shared communion in Christ.” R.C. Sproul, Everyone’s a Theologian
“If we fighting each other we can’t fight the enemy.”
“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”
“Satan always hates Christian fellowship; it is his policy to keep Christians apart. Anything which can divide saints from one another he delights in. He attaches far more importance to godly intercourse than we do. Since union is strength, he does his best to promote separation.” Charles Spurgeon
“You (Millennials) are the generation most afraid of real community because it inevitably limits freedom and choice. Get over your fear.” Tim Keller
“The Church is everywhere represented as one. It is one body, one family, one fold, one kingdom. It is one because pervaded by one Spirit. We are all baptized into one Spirit so as to become, says the apostle, on body.” Charles Hodge
“Few things are sapping the strength of the church of Jesus Christ more than the unreconciled state of so many believers. So many have matters deeply imbedded in their craws, like iron wedges forced between themselves and other Christians. They can’t walk together because they do not agree. When they should be marching side by side through this world taking men captive for Jesus Christ, they are acting instead like an army that has been routed and scattered and whose troops in their confusion have begun fighting among themselves. Nothing is sapping the church of Christ of her strength so much as these unresolved problems, these loose ends among believing Christians that have never been tied up. There is no excuse for this sad condition, for the Bible does not allow for loose ends. God wants no loose ends.” Jay Adams
“Christians spend too much time arguing over scripture, the bible tells us that the early church were one, this was Jesus prayer for his church. Let’s spend the time that we spend fighting each other showing the love of Christ, giving our time to helping others supporting the church as commanded.”
“When the people in a church dwell together in the unity of the gospel and together pursue the building up of one another in love, they are providing fertile soil for the roots of deep joy. But […]” Matt Chandler
“No one is perfect—there are always going to be little things that people disagree about. Nevertheless, we should always get on our knees together and seek to maintain the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace (Eph 4:3).” John F. MacArthur Jr
“Unity in essentials, liberty in non-essentials, charity in all things.” The Puritans
“One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organizations do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always.” A.W. Tozer
“To gather with God’s people in united adoration of the Father is as necessary to the Christian life as prayer.” Martin Luther
“Love as distinct from “being in love” is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit.” C. S. Lewis
Unity among believers
We are told to live in unity. Our unity is based on the essentials of our faith and we need to grow in our faith. Every individual believer is part of the body of Christ. It’s not that we are trying to be part of the body, we are part of the body!
Ephesians 1:5 tells us that we have been adopted into His family through Christ. One mark of a maturing believer is that he will be unified or growing in his desire to be unified with other believers.
Some believers are so theologically sound, but they cause more harm than good to the body. If you know me or if you read a good number of my articles on Bible Reasons, then you know I am reformed in my theology. I am a Calvinist. However, many of my favorite preachers are Arminian. David Wilkerson is my favorite preacher. I love listening to his sermons. I love Leonard Ravenhill, A.W. Tozer, and John Wesley. Sure, we disagree on certain things, but we hold to the essentials of the Christian faith. We hold to salvation by Christ alone, the deity of Christ, and the inerrancy of Scripture.
It hurts my heart that there is so much division between those who are reformed and those who are not reformed. If you are into church history, then there is a strong chance that you know of John Wesley and George Whitfield. Why do I bring these two men up? Both men were phenomenal preachers who brought thousands to the Lord. However, they both disagreed on free will and predestination. John Wesley was an Arminian and George Whitfield was a Calvinist. They were known for having tough discussions on their opposing theologies. However, they grew in their love for each other and learned to respect each other. Wesley even preached at Whitfield’s funeral.
Here is a question that was asked to George Whitfield that reveals what he thought of John Wesley even though they disagreed on non-essential matters.
Do you expect to see John Wesley in Heaven?
“No, John Wesley will be so close to the Throne of Glory, and I will be so far away, I will hardly get a glimpse of him.”
Reformed people are some of the most doctrinally sound people you will come across. However, you can be reformed and still be loveless, prideful, cold, and lost. Are you growing in unity or are you growing in fault-finding of the smallest things? Are you looking for the smallest things to disagree with or are you growing in your love for other believers?
Me and some of my friends disagree on small points, but I don’t care. I love them, and I wouldn’t change my friendship with them for anything. With me it’s not about how much you know, where is your heart at? Do you have a burning heart for Christ and the advancement of His Kingdom?
1. Ephesians 4:13 “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”
2. 1 Corinthians 1:10 “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.”
3. Psalm 133:1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity!”
4. Ephesians 4:2-6 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
5. Romans 15:5-7 “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”
6. 1 Corinthians 3:3-7 “You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe–as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”
7. Philippians 2:1-4 “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Your love for other believers should be like the love of Christ.
One mark of a true believer is his love for other believers especially when there might be disagreements in non-essential matters. There are some professing Christians who treat you differently if you are from another denomination.
How does this exemplify the love of Christ? We have forgotten that the world is looking at us with a microscope so when we are angry, harsh, and critical towards one another, then how is Christ glorified?
I remember me and one of my friends were outside Chipotle Mexican Grill having lunch. As we were having lunch we started to debate on a non-essential matter. We both love each other but we can get very passionate as we speak. Is debating wrong? No. Debates and tough discussions are beneficial and we should have them at times. We should be careful though with desiring to always want to debate and nitpick everything, but once again I believe they can be healthy for the body when done in love and as long as it doesn’t lead to anger.
The problem with my specific situation was that there were people sitting behind us. Some people might seem unconcerned, but people are always paying attention. For all I know, all they saw were two Bibles and two Christians arguing. We did not do a good job of honoring the Lord. We could have been doing more beneficial things for God’s Kingdom than debating around unbelievers. If we are not careful, we can easily lead people to say, “Christians can’t even get along with each other.” The world is watching. Do they see your love for other believers? There are so much more things that we can be doing for God’s Kingdom if we remain in unity. Sometimes we have to repent of our lack of love for one another and our lack of unity within the body.
8. John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
9. John 17:23 “I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”
10. 1 John 3:14 “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death.”
11. Titus 3:9 “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.”
12. 1 Timothy 1:4-6 “Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God. The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.”
13. 2 Timothy 2:15-16 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.”
Love: The perfect bond of unity
Are your growing in the perfect unity of love? When love is genuine, hospitality grows, being sacrificial grows, and forgiveness becomes easier because you know that you have been forgiven much. Love is selfless. When there is Christ-like love, caring about others becomes a reality. Why do we make little cliques within our church? Why don’t we include people more? Why don’t we feel more like a family? We need to be growing in the love of Christ. We are one in Christ! If one rejoices we all rejoice and if one weeps we all weep as well. Let’s pray for more love for the body.
14. Colossians 3:13-14 “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
15. Hebrews 13:1 “Let brotherly love continue.”
16. 1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”
There is so much value in working in unison.
Great things happen when we learn to work together. Are you a functioning part of the body of Christ or are you allowing others to do all the work? How are you using your resources, talents, wisdom, your workplace, and your school for His glory?
17. Romans 12:4-5 “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”
18. 1 Peter 4:10 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
Don’t put a chain on young believers.
A lack of unity can lead to legalisms for young believers. We should do our best not to cause young believers to stumble. It’s imperative that we do not have a critical judgmental spirit. If we’re honest, we’ve seen this before. Someone walks in and he just got saved and he might look a little worldly, but we notice that God is doing a work in him. If we’re not careful we can easily put a chain on him by demanding that he change certain small things about himself.
For example, we make such a fuss over a Christian wearing jeans with a rip in them or a Christian listening to contemporary worship music. We should come together and not be so judgmental on the small things. Things that are within our Christian liberty. The young believer just got out of chains by putting His trust in Christ and now you are leading him back into slavery. This should not be. It’s better to love him and disciple him or her into a godly man or woman.
19. Romans 14:1-3 “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.”
20. Romans 14:21 “It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.”
Unity does not mean we compromise with important matters.
The worst thing that you can take from this article is that as believers we should compromise. There is no compromise when the gospel of Jesus Christ is opposed. “Unity without the gospel is a worthless unity; it is the very unity of hell.” As believers we must stand firm in the truth. If someone denies salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone there is no unity.
If someone denies Christ as God in flesh, there is no unity. If someone denies the Trinity, there is no unity. If someone preaches the prosperity gospel, there is no unity. If someone preaches that you can be a Christian and live in an unrepentant sinful lifestyle, there is no unity. There is no unity because that person is giving evidence that they are not in union with Christ.
Opposing the things that were mentioned in this section such as salvation by Christ alone will take you to hell. Although, I am called to love a Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Catholic, etc. just like I’m called to love unbelievers, there is no unity. What I mean by this is that if you deny the essentials of the Christian faith, then you are not Christian. You are not part of the body of Christ. I have to stand up for biblical truths and it’s better for me to be lovingly honest with you than allow you to think that you are.
21. Jude 1:3-4 “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”
22. Ephesians 5:11 “Have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”
23. 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
24. Ephesians 5:5-7 “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a person is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.”
25. Galatians 1:7-10 “which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”