Let us start by looking at the definition of unity from Noah Webster:
The state of being one; undivided. In Christian theology, oneness of *sentiment, affection, or behavior. *Concord.
*Concord- Agreement between persons; union in opinions, sentiments, views, or interests; peace; harmony.
*Sentiment- Properly. a thought prompted by passion or feeling. In a popular sense, Thought; opinion; notion; judgement.
Looking at this definition of unity, in full light of the terms used, we get this amplified definition:
The state of having oneness of thought, opinion, notion, judgement, and interest, from the prompting of the spirit of GOD, instead of being divided by individual passion or feeling.
The only way oneness can be experienced in the body of Christ is by the cross; the mortification of the flesh. As the flesh is kept in check, the spirit is free to reign and do the work of transforming us into one harmonious body of Christ.
Making it plain. Carnality and worldliness are what keeps us divided. That’s it. Misunderstandings, confusion, strife, and contention are the works of darkness and can only be eradicated through surrendering to light. We must humbly submit to truth in honesty and transparency, while despising the shame produced by pride.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. (James 3:13-16 NKJV)
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? (James 4:1 NKJV)
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV)
From those scriptures, it is very evident that the disunity in Christian assemblies stem from the works of the flesh, or the misapplication of the cross. I will finish this letter by speaking to the misapplication of the cross or the abuse of grace perpetuated through heresy.
Ministers, tickling ears will not save feet which are close to hell. Teaching that salvation doesn’t require any effort on our part is heresy, because that doctrine isn’t supported by scripture. The act of taking up our cross as required by Christ speaks to the daily effort we must exert. Listen to the Apostle Paul:
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:26-27 KJV)
In the Greek, that word castaway refers to unapproved, rejected, or reprobate. Obviously, Paul didn’t believe in the doctrine of once saved always saved, but rather in doing what Christ taught, the work of taking up your cross daily. Christ also taught that he who endures to the end shall be saved. For Christ, it is not about what you did yesterday or last week, it is about what He finds you doing in the hour He comes, or in the day He calls you home. Grace is the opportunity given everyday we wake up to draw closer to Him. Grace is the opportunity to array ourselves in the white raiment of the Lamb of GOD, provided through His fleecing on the cross. We must put on Christ. That takes effort…repenting, turning, seeking, praying, yielding, obeying, abasing, prioritizing, planning, trusting, hoping…BELIEVING.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (John 3:18-20 NKJV)
Please also read the scripture at the link below.
The cross is where we give up what we feel our rights are that we may give GOD what is rightfully His…the whole of our being. If we try to hold onto what we believe are our own rights and those around us do the same then we will be divided, but if we each surrender our personal rights in surrender to Love as a sacrifice to GOD, then He can unite us in a way that allows us to live in true unity and harmony. The suffering of the cross is what puts this process in motion. If we are unwilling to suffer and insist on pleasing ourselves then we will never experience what lies on the other side of the cross, righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. When we die to ourselves, then the Holy Spirit will resurrect us with new life. This new life allows us to live like Christ.