Lack of unity is an issue, in most local churches and in many denominations. Unity among a variety of Christian denominations is another challenge and puzzle. Paul exhorts Philippians to celebrate unity so that Paul could rejoice. (Philippians 2:1-4)
1) Consolation in Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah was given a title: consolation of Israel. (Luke 2:25) As sufferings increase, consolation of the Lord also increases. (II Thessalonians 3:16)
2) Comfort in love: Love provides acceptance, dignity, and comfort. Lord Jesus is God of all comfort. (II Corinthians 1:3) Church is a community of love in which grace, generosity and forgiveness is evident.
3) Fellowship in Spirit: The Holy Spirit fills, guides, empowers and enlightens to be united in Lord Jesus Christ. It is not just friendship; it is rooted in the spiritual reality of being born-again i.e. born of spirit and a member of God’s family.
4) Affection: God’s love to believers is demonstrated in fellowship of affection with one another. Affection is liking someone. The Church is a community where people who can exist together in the world, joyfully serve one another.
5) Mercy: Blessed are those who are merciful, reflecting the mercy of Lord Jesus Christ on humans. (Matthew 5:7) Mercy helps a person to respond to other people’s needs. Church is filled with merciful people who rush to help others inside and outside the church.
6) No Selfish ambition: Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated selfless love and sacrifice. Believers should be seeking the interest of others, not themselves. There is indeed a competition, to serve others, celebrate progress of others and create opportunities and platforms for others.
7) Humility: Esteeming, respecting and honouring others is an expression of humility. Lord Jesus taught his disciples not to take a place of honour in public events. (Luke 14:8)
Paul wrote that these qualities that result in unity would bring great joy to him. Yes, any pastor or bishop would be glad to lead a church that is united in spirit for the glory of God.
Am I a contributor for the unity in the church?