The Basis of Unity

Beautifully united

Of the infant church it is written that they were “continuing with one mind in the temple” (Acts 2:46).

How is this degree of unity possible? Was it their mutual love for Christ and for one another? No doubt love was a major factor in their unity. But that’s not all.

Four verses earlier it says, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).

They were of “one mind” because they all believed the same thing. They all adhered to the apostles’ teaching.

This teaching was not something the apostles had originated—they had received it from Christ, who in turn had received it from God (John 15:13; 17:8). It was an authoritative message, a standard for all ages to come.

Common ground

Paul encouraged the church at Rome “to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6).

Note especially the phrase “according to Christ Jesus.” If Christian A and Christian B are both in accord with Christ, then Christian A and Christian B are in accord with each other. Christ links them together. He is their common denominator. He is the basis of their fellowship.

But how can we be in accord with Christ unless we adhere to His teachings (Matthew 7:24-27; 28:19; Luke 6:46; John 14:15)?

If Christian A or B were to drift away from Christ’s teaching, then the unity A and B had enjoyed with one another would be compromised.

The New Testament urges Christians to hold to the teaching they had received (Romans 16:17-18; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Timothy 1:13).

Which doctrine?

It has been asserted, “Doctrine divides, but Christ unites.” Yes, Christ does unite, but doctrine simply means teaching. Christ gave us His teaching (doctrine). That true teaching does not divide. It is false doctrine that causes division.

Christ’s true doctrine as revealed in the New Testament can and should serve as common ground for all of us.

If Christ’s doctrine so beautifully unified believers in the first century, why not today?

unity-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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david_gibson6@yahoo.com

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