In the beginning of the church, God created unity. God sent Jesus to seek and save the lost, and by doing so, to build his church. Jesus prayed for unity among the apostles, and among the millions who would believe on Jesus through the teaching of the apostles. God had one plan for human redemption, one new covenant to offer all people, and one church for all who would accept his covenant.
God created unity among all people who are in Christ. By abolishing the Mosaic Law, he removed the barrier between Jew and Gentile. He did this so that “he might create in himself one new man, so making peace.” God also reconciled to himself every human being who accepted the new covenant. All of these people were brought back to God “in one body,” the church. This is God’s divinely created unity. There is but one body of Christ, one church, in which all people come together with one another and with God.
Unity in the church exists because we are led by one Spirit. The one Holy Spirit revealed God’s truth to the apostles and prophets. The church is built upon those divinely revealed truths and divinely revealed instructions.
Unity in the church comes from pursuing a common hope. We all look forward to the return of Christ, our bodily resurrection from the grave, a final reckoning, and an eternity with Jesus in Paradise. We are marching to Zion, together!
Unity in the church comes from obeying the same Lord. Our Lord Jesus gives us all the same commands. We walk together in Christ because we are following the same directions from the same source. We are all slaves of the same master, subjects of the same king!
Unity in the church is based on one faith. The faith was once for all delivered to the saints by the apostles, the ambassadors of Christ. We contend earnestly for this ancient faith together.
We are one in Christ because we share in one baptism. All of us trusted in the redemptive work of Christ, repented of our sins, confessed him as Lord, and were baptized into his death for the forgiveness of our sins. We all entered the church through a common door.
All of us serve the same God, the Father of Jesus Christ. We all call upon him as our Father and we are his family.
Though all of these things serve as the doctrinal or theological basis of our unity, we must still work at practical unity. Paul says we must exercise humility, gentleness, and patience with one another. Paul says we must put up with one another, and try very hard to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Church leaders must work hard to be one with each other and to encourage unity in the church. We must cast a common vision and work in harmony to attain it. Let each of us be diligent in being part of the answer to our Savior’s prayer, “…that they may all be one, even as you Father are in me and I am in you, that they maybe one in us that the world may believe that you have sent me.”