What Does the Bible Say About Christian Unity?

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God’s plan is to reconcile all people to himself and to gather all his children into a loving fellowship. This communion is a reflection of the unity between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and is manifested above all in the Church, the family and the Lord’s Supper. All believers are brought together in the Body of Christ and united by the fact that we have the same Lord, the same faith, belong to the same kingdom and have received the Holy Spirit. Being separated from God and his people is part of the fall and is restored in salvation. Internal Christian quarrels and divisions are a sign of unspirituality and the need to spend more time in prayer than in quarrelling. In the future, God will be Lord of all the earth and of all peoples. Until then, all believers should seek a loving spiritual unity based on the confession that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Bible Verses

1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.(1 Jn 5:1)

13For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.(1 Co 12:13)

17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,(Eph 2:17–19)

21that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.(Jn 17:21–23)

34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”(Jn 13:34–35)

31“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.(Eph 5:31–32)

1What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.(Jas 4:1–2)

10I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.(1 Co 1:10)

16The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.(1 Co 10:16–17)

8But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.(Mt 23:8–9)

9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(Php 2:9–11)

Study Questions

  1. What unites all Christians?
  2. What is the difference between spiritual unity and organizational unity?
  3. What would you like Christian unity to look like?
  4. Is there unity among Christians where you live?
  5. Is there unity among Christians in the world?
  6. What can we do to see more of a healthy and biblical Christian unity?

Additional Bible Verses

Deut 6:4, Eph 1:9-10, Eph 2:11-19, Zech 14:9, John 10:16, Mark 11:17, Col 1:19-22, Acts 2:1, 1 Cor 12:12, 1 Pet 2:9-10, John 11:52, Eph 4:4-6, Jude 19, Ps 133:1, Rom 15:5-6, Acts 4:32, Rom 10:12, Gal 3:28

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