The church of Jesus Christ is truly unique: It is composed of people from countless backgrounds, who have a variety of opinions on many different topics—yet they are one in Christ. As believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we all belong to God’s family and have a special relationship with one another. We are spiritual brothers and sisters who are called by our heavenly Father to live in harmony.
Unity in the church occurs when God’s children live in submission to the Holy Spirit and let Him control their attitudes, emotions, words, and actions. When the Spirit rules each one, the goal becomes to please Him in our interactions with others instead of demanding our own way. This is necessary if we hope to “walk in a manner worthy of [our] calling” (Eph. 4:1).
Some Christians try to function independently because that’s easier than living in humility, gentleness, and patience with fellow believers. But we need each other. The fellowship of believers is an important part of God’s design for our spiritual growth.
Unity in the church requires a willingness to yield to each other for the sake of our spiritual family. This kind of self-sacrifice is fueled by genuine love, which unselfishly acts for the good of another (agape in Greek). It’s the glue that keeps the body of Christ together and enables us to live in harmony (Col. 3:14). When we hold tightly to God’s words and are knitted together in love, we honor Jesus Christ and have a strong defense against divisions and factions.