The psalmist wrote; “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133: 1). The context of this verse would be concerning the people of God in the times of David in the Old Testament, but the truth or principle would apply to the Lord’s church today. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians the very first issue that he wrote about was the lack of unity that existed in the congregation. “For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you” (1 Corinthians 1:11). Before he began to touch on the many other problems in the church at Corinth Paul wrote first about the division among brothers in Christ, and division not because of doctrine, but because of personal pride that existed among them. It is true that there were many other problems such as their immorality (1 Corinthians 5-7), corruption of worship (1 Corinthians 11-14), as well as other spiritual problems, but it was the division that existed between brethren that Paul first brought to their attention. Paul knew that it would be very difficult for them to address the other problems that they had as a congregation without first having unity in the family of God. Paul encouraged them to seek to restore the unity among them when he wrote; “That no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Each Christian has to desire to have unity with other brothers and sisters in Christ and be willing to let opinion always take second place to God’s Word and unity in the church. That part is under our control
It is true that sometimes there will be divisions when some brethren want to follow the pattern of God’s will and others do not. Sound doctrine or the truth will cause divisions between people when some want to obey God and others want to do their own will (Jude 3), but the division under the context of Psalm 133:1 and in the letter to the Corinthians did not come about because of sound doctrine, but in reality just the opposite and that of practicing the false doctrine of pride and the opinions of man taking first place. A Christian must be one who seeks unity among brothers and also promotes it. Paul wrote to the Ephesians; “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4: 3). This challenge is for each brother and sister in Christ. We keep the unity as we obey God’s Word because it is the Word that provides a spiritual unity (Ephesians 4: 4-6). Christians keep the unity when they have humility of mind and attitude toward one another. If a Christian always has to have his way (opinion) about everything then that congregation will see divisions and problems. True biblical unity comes about when a Christian is willing to follow the truth set forth in God’s Word and to put off the pride that bring about division.
by Wayne Brewer