Psalms 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
This passage of scripture exhorts us to live together in love and unity, for this aspect of our Christianity is most precious in the sight of God. The unity here spoken of involves much more than a casual hug, or an occasional hello. It means that the ties of brotherhood should be so strong that we would be willing to sacrifice our very lives for the benefit of the brethren. This unity which comes as a result of abiding in Christ, is not manifested only in words, but more so in deeds of unbiased kindness that call for self-sacrifice, and the surrender of our most cherished ideas and possessions, so that the spirit of unity can be fostered.
It is all well and good to speak intellectually about charity, but after all is said and done, it is what we do that makes all the difference. One of the carols that is often sung at Christmas time goes like this: "It's not the things you do at Christmas time, but the things you do all year through". And John gives us practical instruction on how the spirit of unity is cultivated as a tender plant. Let's read:
1st John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
However, there are other aspects to unity that should not be overlooked, for they are also very important to maintaining the ties of brotherhood. We should also be united in the truths of God's word, meaning that there should be oneness in doctrine and interpretation, so that as Christians we can present to the world a united front. One of the main causes of divisions amongst Christians is an obvious lack of coherence and uniformity in the understanding and promulgation of the truth.
For instance some of us believe that it does not matter what we do, that once we believe in Christ, our faith will make us whole. But other Christians believe that faith without works is dead, and therefore, there should be manifest a close interfacing of truth and experience. And it is because of these differing opinions and interpretations of the truth that the apostle Paul was inspired to pen the following words. Let's read:
1st Corinthians 1:10 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.
Last but not least is the unity of purpose which brings us all together on the same page for the dissemination of the gospel through all the world, for a witness unto all nations. This last but very important aspect is embodied in the commission given us by Christ, a mandate that is yet to be fulfilled by many of us in our own personal experiences. As we go from day to day, interacting with men, women, and children, a steadfast and united purpose of teaching all nations should be manifest in word and deed, but it is too often the case that we become converted to the world, instead of the world being converted to Christ. It was to address this important aspect of Christian unity that Jesus gave the great commission, as His last words to the disciples, and to all those who desire the fellowship of like-minded believers. Let's read:
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
It is the will of God that we all should dwell together in unity, and as we interact with each other from day to day, let it be said of us that the ties of brotherhood are so strong that they cannot be broken by any opposing circumstance that may occur. God bless!