“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)
Unity is an important thing in the life of a Christian. From the very beginning, God has always dwelt in unity with himself. Unity and love have always been in God because it is his very nature. Think on this verse from 1 John 4:7-8, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
There are a couple of points to bring out in this passage:
- Love comes from God; and
- God is love.
What does love mean? Ideologies have different meanings for love and each one would have you believe that their version of love is correct. When society says the word love it is often cheapened by a speaker’s fickle nature. True love is not fickle, proud, or envious. Think about that. If love was fickle, and love came from God, then God would be fickle. The writer of Hebrews says that God is the same now and forever and has never changed (Hebrews 13:8). James even mentions that God does not change like the shadows (James 1:17). In fact, James says that every good and perfect gift comes from God. That being said love is a perfect gift that we receive through grace from a never changing God.
If God were fickle, then his love and grace would be fickle; and, who could trust it? How do we know that God is unified in himself? In short, it’s because of his nature. How can God be unchanging? He is unchanging because of the unity that he has in himself. That is a pretty big statement about what love is really. Love is perfect and love is unchanging.
A fickle love is only truthful for the moment. Once the elation of the relationship has worn off the once interested party becomes disinterested and ready to move on. This kind of love is not unconditional. The condition is to keep one interested long enough or else they will leave you. God has proven his love for us is unconditional in Romans 5: 7-8 which says “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Mankind had to meet no conditions in order for Jesus to be willing to sacrifice himself. You merely had to exist and/or have the possibility of existing.
Once accepting that Jesus has patient, unconditional, and unchanging love for us we can finally enter into unity with him. This unity with God is a powerful thing. Like a court appeal is sealed on the testimony of two or three witnesses, our unity with God seals what we say.
God has invited us to live in unity with him in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Romans 5:8 tell us that, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We can see from this passage that it was not for one person that Jesus chose to reconcile. It wasn’t even for a righteous person, but it was instead for those who were considered to be enemies of God.
God was separated from Adam’s descendants and we can see that it was God’s desire to bring us back into unity with him. After all, Romans 5:8 said he demonstrated his love for us. We can even tell that it was God’s plan from the start to bring us back into perfect union with him. How do we know? We know because of the many prophecies foretold and fulfilled in Jesus.
The bible itself is unified by many different writers across 3000 years’ worth of generations. God’s meticulous behavior allows us to see that his love is patient and mighty to save. Because he is meticulous he has given us apologetics that further point to the truth of his word.
In light of this, let’s look at Matthew 18:18-20, “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Perhaps the unity that is produced by this verse is what the writer of Hebrews means when he says to not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing (Hebrews 10:25).
When we live together in unity (Psalm 133:1) we exemplify the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3-6). You cannot live in unity without love. Our testimony about our relationship with Jesus is based on our love that we have for one another (John 13:35). In order to give an accurate representation of who God is we must strive to love one another patiently, unconditionally, and unchanging.
Peace, love, and Christ because you know he died for you.