How Good and Pleasant Unity Is

HOW GOOD AND PLEASANT UNITY IS

by Wayne S. Walker

     “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).  Unity among God’s people is something that is emphasized over and over in the scripture.  Of course, it must be understood that this is not merely unity for the sake of being united; rather, the basis for this unity is a common acceptance of the truth of God’s word (John 17:17).  There were times in Israel’s history when those who were supposed to be God’s people seemed united, but it was a unity in following unrighteousness and it finally led to their destruction.  That is why we are warned to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11).

     The Psalmist describes the beauty of godly unity as “like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron” (v. 2).  Sometimes, especially in the winter, I let my beard grow out, although I doubt that it has ever gotten as long as Aaron’s probably was.  Somehow, in our western minds, the picture of oil running down the head and dripping off the beard of someone is not necessarily a pretty one.  However, it evidently was to the ancient Israelites.  Thus, the Psalmist uses this vision to emphasize the fact that unity is a desirable goal.  And having been through a few, not many but enough to form a conclusion about them, good church fights, I would heartily agree!

     Jesus prayed for the oneness or unity of all who believe on Him through the apostles’ word (John 17:20-21).  The denominational division among supposed believers is a scandal that gives the unbelieving world fuel for their criticism of Christianity.  When division reared its ugly head in the church at Corinth, Paul commanded the brethren there “that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).  The Bible gives us God’s plan for unity in Ephesians 4:1-16 and tells us that we should be “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (v. 3).  Yes, Biblical unity is something that is good and pleasant.

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