"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"
[Psalm 133:1 KJV]
Psalm 133 is perhaps the classic portion of scripture that we quote when we discuss the subject of Unity. The very first verse tells us two important things about Unity. Firstly it is good, that it is pleasing to the Lord and secondly that is is pleasant, meaning that it is also pleasing to mankind. The emphatic style with which David brings this to us should also tell us something. For example, exclamations marks are unusual within the scriptures, so to find one in this verse lends, I suggest, extra weight to it's message.
Unity is never an accident. No congregation stumbles into a blissful condition of total unity. Rather it is something that is sought out, it is prayed for, it is worked at. It is the blending of the body of believers with the Will of God. It is where we have finally laid aside so many differences between both ourselves and with God, that we have nothing left that does not reflect Him and His Will in every way.
The Lord made mankind for the purpose of fellowship with Himself. We are designed to be in accord with Him. To be other than this is to move away from our most fundamental aspect of being. The deep desire that the world feels is actually a desire to be in fellowship with the Lord, but the enemy has lied to them and told them that it is a need for anything except God, for example: drugs, alcohol and illicit sexual pleasures.
The Lord teaches us that through unity we are pleasing to Him. This in itself should be enough for us to seek unity, yet the Lord goes further and makes unity pleasant for us as well. This has got to be the ultimate "win-win" situation.
Unity is something you do, not something that happens. I will pick two examples out of these three scriptures that typify the path to unity.
"Love as brethren". Now most families have differences between their members: gender, size, age, income and political affiliation to name just a few areas. Yet most families continue in a loving manner accepting, perhaps even cherishing, their differences. They have that bloodline that transcends and helps them lay aside their differences. We have that same blood in our Christian lives, the blood of Christ. With His blood applied to our lives we are washed clean and empowered to lay aside our differences.
"Forbearing one another in love". A good maxim for the ACLU perhaps!? Forbearing is a fine Olde English word that tranlates perhaps as "puting up with". Now, Christians should not tolerate sin, but where there is a difference between them that has no salvational impact, this verse exhorts us to accept the difference and love our brother anyway.
Bro. Simon Chappell
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