The Unity of the Spirit
1) I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
A very well known and often quoted passage of Scripture, especially when trying to maintain peace and order between feuding parties in Christian circles.
Let's look at this closely and see what this "unity of the Spirit" actually entails.
Unity is based upon something. It takes a UNIFYING of something to be in unity.
What unity is based upon in it's basic nature is, of course, AGREEMENT. There can be no UNITY without AGREEMENT. Unity has got to be based upon something which both parties AGREE on.
The unity of the Jones family (for instance) has got to be based on something. It might be the agreement that "in this household we put voting on everything as a family as the way we do things". In the Wilson family it might be "we agree that talking about each other to others is not allowed".
So now, to maintain the "unity of the Jones home" in the bond of peace....would be to adhere to the voting rule. To maintain the "unity of the Wilson home in the bond of peace" would be to obey the no talking to others about each other rule.
You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
Here we have God talking to His people and telling them that they (Him and them) cannot ever hope to walk together in unity unless they agree, and that He will punish them if necessary to bring about that agreement. Amen.
This is STILL the only kind of "unity" which God requires and strives for between Him and His people. A unity of agreement.
Now let's take a look at how Paul defines UNITY....
1 Cor 1:10-11
10) Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11) For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
Could it be any more clear? Unity is based upon individuals being in AGREEMENT....speaking the same thing and being of the same mind and judgements.
How does this come about? By a common, unified, harmonious agreement of understanding together.
There is only one hope of this, and that is in the Spirit of God revealing and making known Truth to individuals. The Spirit of God revealing and developing into the hearts of individuals a oneness of understanding. Understanding the Truth and Purposes and Ways of God in a unified agreement.
That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
So, what is the "unity of the Spirit"? It is Truth.
It is the revealing of the SAME THING to individuals. A revealing of spiritual things to separate individuals to where, when brought together, their portions of Truth will perfectly dove-tail and compliment each other.
Yes, this takes humilty, forebearance and patience between God's people, the family of God, sharing our effectual measures UNTIL we come into the unity of the faith! Unto maturity and perfection. But TRUTH, and a common understanding of God's Kingdom and ways....is what this unity of the Spirit is based upon.
To keep this unity of the Spirit would be to recognize where each are at in Truth and growth, and cherish that unity each level and step of the way. As each level of Truth is attained...we are to "walk by the same rule". Even young and old, in their various levels of understanding, will dove-tail and compliment each other. No contradictions or schisms in the body. Truth will always build upon Truth.
Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Here we see Paul focusing on the goal of "pressing toward the mark", and exhorting the saints to be "followers of his example". Now as long as everyone minds these directives there is unity. As soon as someone is "otherwise minded" they are exposed and marked.
But amongst those who walk in agreement toward these goals and in these rules of purpose they are to walk in unity at each level attained!
"Unity of the spirit" means the same thing in an army or a business company. There are rules, directives, visions and purposes to uphold, and each member is to be in agreement over these foundational understandings. It is called being TIGHT and READY for any kind of attack or challenge!
So, let's be rid of the false concepts of unity, and the foolish ideas of "agreeing to disagree". There you only have a substitute for agreement of Truth to where individuals care more about "getting along with each other" than about incorporating Truth and God's purposes into their lives.
They care more about a false sense of unity, based upon a fear and honor of man and compromise, rather than accomplishing God's directives in the earth. They are not fit for God's use or His Kingdom.
But God has an army which shall walk hand in hand in agreement....
They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:
Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.
They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.
The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?