Common Grounds Coffee
The Need for Unity
by Jerry Harris

Unity is central to the biblical message. Something special rises up when people from different circles get to know each other by learning, sharing, playing, and worshiping together.

We are called to be one. The church is the hope of the world, and we can do far more together than we can apart. God has repeatedly shown us how unity can empower us to accomplish things seemingly impossible for individuals. Some examples might include building a building, launching a church, establishing a mission, impacting a city . . . you name it!

That’s awesome for a church, but on a personal level, unity carries God's fingerprint. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”

To help us understand unity's power, God emphasized something wasn’t good in the perfect world he created. When God created marriage, he showed the power of two becoming one flesh. He created the family, the most basic pattern of discipleship.

Sin destroys unity. We saw fellowship with God broken in Eden. We saw it when Cain killed Abel. We’ve seen it in war, greed, envy, and anger. But in unity, we have peace, harmony, and love.

Unity happens when we are at peace. Unity brings us peace with our beliefs and behaviors. (See Ephesians 4:3-6.) Unity brings us peace with our differences. (See Ephesians 2:14-16; Galatians 3:26-28.)

Unity happens when we are in harmony. (See Romans 12:16.) Harmony isn’t sameness; rather, it’s when all the beautiful differences work together according to God’s amazing plan. (See 1 Corinthians 12:12-13.)

Unity happens when we are infused with love. Love is the mortar that holds the bricks of unity together; love is the catalyst of everything in the Christian life. (See Colossians 3:14.)

Unity must be built on a strong foundation. Jesus connects us to the Father; our unity with him is what draws the world to its only hope. We connect to Jesus when we accept him into our life and he becomes our basis for unity. (See John 17:23.)

Unity is made possible through the gospel. Actually, the whole story of God and his creation is built on his desire for unity. He formed us with his hands and filled our lungs with his breath. He walked with us in the garden, but sin separated us.

God’s plan has always been to bring us back—all the way back. (See Romans 6:5; Ephesians 1:9-10.) This is the greatest thing of all. God reversed the irreversible, redeemed the unredeemable, and healed the unhealable. No matter what we’ve done or how big a mess we’ve made, Jesus can make us whole again. He can cancel our debt, set us free, and bring us into complete unity!

(Excerpted from the Christian Standard. Read the full article)