Ephesians 3,4

"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." Ephesians 4:3-6, NIV 

One of the hardest things that we Christians are commanded to accomplish, is unity. That statement may surprise some until we start thinking about the numerous divisions, splits and denominations in the religious world.

The fact is that we all have different opinions. Some of these opinions are so different that they prevent some from worshiping with others because they are not sure that they can worship in the same way. I suppose everyone can understand when people do not take part in something that they are not sure is pleasing to God, but we also have divisions that are caused by nothing more than personalities, struggles for power, and sometimes just an outright dislike for the other group.

How do we solve this? We do it by keeping the unity of the Spirit! Note that we are not commanded to keep the unity of the opinions of others, we are commanded to keep the unity of the Spirit. Since we believe that the entire Bible is the inspired word of God (otherwise, why bother?) we can then go to the Bible and find out what God has to say. Once we find out what God has to say on a matter, then we do it in order to keep the unity of the Spirit. And if I am in unity with the Spirit and you are in unity with the spirit, then we will necessarily be in unity with one another.

The point of unity is not that you and I agree with each other, it is that we agree with God! Then we won't argue about how many bodies (churches) there are. We won't argue about how many Holy Spirits there are, or how many hopes we were called to. We will not argue about how many Messiahs there are, or how many faiths God intended. We will not fight over how many baptisms there can be, and we for sure won't argue about how many Gods there can be.

It's already been settled: There are one of each. We know this is true because the Word of God tells us it is true.

When we finally accept this, we will have gone a long way towards unity that God has always desired for the church. Until then, there will be divisions.

This is why we study! 

 

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."  Colossians 3:12-14, NIV