A popular saying goes “united we stand, divided we fall”. This saying could also be applied to the church. By “church” I don’t mean the building or a denomination. What I mean by “the church” is the body of believers worldwide…those who are the sons (and daughters) of God.
The body of Christ is not based on denomination or doctrine. It is not based on “I am for Paul” or “I am for Cephas” but any gathering of believers where Christ as the Savior, part of the Triune God is the center, is the church…the body of Christ. (1 Cor.1:10-12)
We must remember at all times that we are members of one body (1 Cor. 12:12). “A damage caused to one is damage caused to all.” I see many believers rejoicing over the fall of a fellow believer and it ought not to be. We must take it upon ourselves to pray for such a person and help the person stand again (Gal 6:1; James 5:19-20). In fact, the backsliding of a brother is enough grounds for sorrow for the church. Whatever affects the tooth, is sure to affect the jaw, face, and even the head.
The purpose of the unity of the church is to foster growth and advancement. When we are united, we would gladly build one another up without rivalry coming in between. The best teams in a game or sport are not necessarily those with superb players but those with great teamwork. We would get on with the Father’s business quicker and better when we remain as one –with one aim and mind. (Eph 4:16; 1 Cor. 1:10)
Christ Jesus makes us one. There is no Greek or Jew, no circumcision or uncircumcision in Christ Jesus. We all remain one in the body. In the times of Apostle Paul, the church was experiencing a lot of division and apathy towards one another because they were ignorant of their oneness in the body. But as we know, the devil is very skilled in playing on our ignorance. So, we must be very careful to remember at all times that we are all one in Christ Jesus. A body can only function properly when the members are working in unison. (Gal 3:28; Amos 3:3)
The Giant Sequoia trees native to California, USA are a perfect study for this post. These trees grow as high as 8000ft high but have roots that run only 12ft deep. Unbelievable! But here’s how they manage to stand strong, resisting every form of storm or quake over the centuries. The Sequoia redwood trees do this by growing together. The roots form a mesh network, spread out within the soil, and grow together. Talk about oneness. The church remains at her strongest when she is one.
Love unites the body of Christ (Colossians 3:13-14). The only way we can remain in unity is if we remain in love. Love for one another would cause us to give honor to one another because love doesn’t puff up. Love is patient, love is kind. (1 Cor 13:4-7)
For unity to thrive in our midst, apart from remaining in love, we must also come into the consciousness that God’s love -which we now possess in Christ Jesus -constrains us to follow peace with all men (Eph. 4:3, 29). Don’t be too quick to anger or quarrel. Whatever can bring about discord should be done away with. Avoid pointless and baseless arguments. Focus on what is edifying. Ask yourself “would this build up my brother/sister, or pull them down?”
Ephesians 4 tells us to let go of anything that can sabotage the oneness of the body. Offenses would come…no one is above mistakes. However, we are encouraged to be kind to one another, forgiving just as God forgave us in Christ Jesus –completely and undeservingly (Eph. 4:32).
When there is division in the body of Christ, we create crooks for the enemy to slip in. This division also distracts us from looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Remember, “though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” Eccl. 4:12 NIV.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken”Eccl. 4:12 NIV