1 Corinthians 1:10, “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
Paul desperately pleads with the Corinthian church to come together and agree. He asks them to eliminate divisions and to be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. The phrase from the Greek, "that you all agree" is translated literally, "that you all speak the same thing." What a fantastic statement.
When God saves people, He puts them into a community called the Body of Christ: the Church. It’s the primary place where He teaches us to love one another and live in unity. Along with love, unity in a church is one of the most potent witnessing tools to a community.
The early church was so united that the Book of Acts describes them as having everything in common. They saw themselves as one body of believers in Christ. It was not every man for himself, but rather, one for all and all for one. They had not joined an organization; they were joined together as an organism, a living, multi-membered body, of which Jesus was the head. They had genuine unity.
Unity can be found in three areas in the church: a unity of hope, a unity of heart, and a unity of mission. We are united in a common belief that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. We listen to His voice, and we obey His commands. It is our hope in Him that brings us together until our every desire is to follow Jesus. We are also united in our hearts: the seat of our emotions. It is a feeling of togetherness and belonging. Furthermore, we are united in mission: to bring others to Jesus where they can experience the abundant life he has for them.
When a church is working in harmony of hope, heart, and mission, it is a dominant force in the community because it is singularly focused and led by the Holy Spirit.
Do you think it is possible for a church today to live in the same kind of unity as the early church? Why or why not?
In what ways do you see unity in the local church being expressed?
In what ways do you see a lack of unity in the local church? What can you do about it?