What does the Bible say about unity and love among God's people?
What did you imagine the Christian life would be like when you were first saved? I pictured comfort and peacefulness while being surrounded by humble people who always got along. That has not been my reality though.
It turns out, Christians can be as difficult as anyone else, and unity is far from our norm. It shouldn't be that way!
Unity is a notion that we all want but often struggle to achieve. In order for unity to exist within the body of Christ, it is imperative that there be an understanding and acceptance of one another's differences.
Today we will look at 41 Bible verses about unity in hopes to become part of the solution to this problem.
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What Does the Bible Say About Unity
It doesn't take a long look in the Bible to see that the issue of unity has been a struggle from the beginning. There are hundreds of Bible verses about unity which tells me it is normal to struggle with this idea. However, if all embraced how much God loves us I believe we could all live in unity together.
It doesn't take a long look in the Bible to see that the issue of unity has been a struggle from the beginning. There are hundreds of unity Bible verses which tells me it is normal to struggle with this idea. But we are all members of the body of Christ and, as such, must come together in unity of the faith.
This passage summarizes the call for unity among Believers.
“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism…” Ephesians 4:1-6 ESV
Why is Unity so important?
- Unity is seen as a reflection of the unity of the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and a witness to the world.
- When Christians are united, they can work together more effectively to fulfill the mission of the Church, which includes spreading the Gospel, serving others, and making a positive impact in society. Unity enables Christians to pool their gifts, talents, resources, and efforts to achieve common goals.
- Unity promotes love and fellowship among believers. When Christians are united, they are more likely to support and encourage one another, bear each other's burdens, and build meaningful relationships. This sense of community and mutual care is an important aspect of Christian faith.
- The unity of Christians is a powerful testimony to the world. When people observe believers from different backgrounds, cultures, and denominations coming together in love and harmony, such unity can challenge their skepticism and demonstrate the transforming power of the Gospel. Conversely, disunity among Christians can weaken the credibility of the faith and hinder its influence.
Related Post: Bible Study on Unity
What Did Paul Say About Unity?
Of all the authors of the Scripture, Paul penned the most books. It is fitting, therefore, to ask, what did Paul say about unity? A lot.
As you read these scriptures on unity you will notice that many of them were written by Paul. I've picked three that best reflect his overarching theme.
There should be no division among Believers. Division is a tool the enemy uses to disqualify Christians. So unity, where it is possible, helps share God's message. Unity leads to peace which is Paul's message.
- “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10 ESV
- “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12:18 ESV
- “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,” Ephesians 4:2 ESV
Peace follows unity, but how can we live at peace with others who are so different? Humility is the key to a life of unity. Humility leads to gentleness and patience as we love others like Jesus.
Examples of Unity in the Bible
The Bible is very clear that we are to be united as one body and conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. All throughout scripture, you'll find scripture encouraging us to put aside our individual differences and work in unity towards the common goal of sharing the Good News of Jesus.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV
We can find many exaples of unity in the Bible to learn from.
The importance of unity is so apparent in these well-known Bible stories:
- Soloman describing unity that he saw in life
- Joshua and Isreal walking around Jericho. (Joshua 6)
- Nehemiah and Isreal working to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 3)
- Ruth and Naomi helping each other against all odds. (Ruth)
- Esther and Israel fasting to save the nation. (Esther 4:16)
- David and Jonathan standing together against King Saul. (1 Samuel 18)
- The nation of Nineveh repenting and turning to God. (Jonah 3:5-10)
- David and his mighty men surviving on the run from King Saul. (2 Samuel 23:8-39)
- The Disciples on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1)
- The 1st Century Church of Acts (Acts 4:32)
Related Post: How to Study Bible Characters and Their Stories
Bible Verses About Unity
How do we act on these Scriptures about unity? I use them to pray over myself, my attitude, and others I see struggling with walking in unity. To make the list easier to read and apply, let's separate the Bible verses about unity into categories:
- Unity in the church
- Prayer and unity
- Unity and love
- Equality and unity
- Unity in marriage
- Unity among believers
And as we begin, here are two verses that encourage me but don't fit into a category exactly. I couldn't leave them out!
- “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” Psalm 133:1 ESV
- “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 ESV
Dear friends, living in agreement with other Christians brings the peace of God. Of course, that is something we all want. So these verses inspire me to keep reaching for unity!
Bible Verses About Unity in the Church
Most of the time we see Scriptures about unity directed specifically to the Church. Why? Paul tells us that a life of unity is how we walk worthy of sharing the Gospel! This means that churches should get along with each other.
But again, how do we walk in unity? It requires a different mindset according to Peter. A mindset of love, tenderness, and humility is how we walk in unity. This allows even churches outside your denomination to walk in unity.
- “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,” Philippians 1:27 ESV
- “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” 1 Peter 3:8
- “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” Philippians 2:2
- “Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” Matthew 12:25 ESV
Another aspect of unity is agreeing with other Believers. That is not always possible, as we tend to disagree about some doctrinal issues. Honestly, though, most of the areas where we disagree and break fellowship are preferences. That robs us of this joy.
A lack of unity not only robs us of joy, but it divides the Kingdom. How can we stand for Christ, declaring that He is the way the lost world needs if we are divided?
Related Post: 12 Verses to Pray for Unity in the Church
Bible Verses About Unity in Prayer
Not only are we told that we should have unity in the Church, but we are also given promises to claim. One of my favorite promises of God comes tied to the Spiritual discipline of prayer. Praying together is more powerful than praying alone.
Not only are we told God hears our prayers, especially when praying together, but we are given instruction about prayer. Together we are all to be praying for all people, specifically those in authority over us.
- “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:19-20 ESV
- “First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made in behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.,” 1 Timothy 2:1-3 NASB
- “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;” James 5:14 NASB
Another promise we have tied to prayer in unity is the healing of sickness. When the elders of the church pray together over the sick there is power.
Related Post: 19 Praying Women of the Bible Who Changed The World
Bible Verses About Unity and Love
To walk in unity we must have love. The truth is, we can not stand united with those we do not love. If there are differences of opinion or preference we will split and destroy the witness of the church where there is no love.
This unity is not commanded just of like people groups. God does not show favor or partiality to one nation, race, or gender. All peoples are to walk in unity.
- “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:14 ESV
- “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 ESV
- “From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Ephesians 4:16 ESV
The Apostle Paul goes further than any other in the command to love in unity. He tells us that we are each member of one body. As part of the same body, Believers should live in unity as the human body functions in unity.
Why live in unity? Unity shows the lost world that we are Disciples of Christ. Jesus called for unity and gave examples of unity.
- “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”” John 13:35 ESV
- “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10 ESV
The call to love goes even deeper in the book of Romans. Paul tells us to outdo each other in showing love and unity. We are literally to see it as a challenge to love better. The world would look so different if we lived this way.
Bible Verses About Unity and Equality
While discussing Bible verses about unity and love we see that God is not biased toward any nation, race, gender, or any other thing. There are many Scriptures that should spur Christians on to end inequality in life.
- “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:13 ESV (And Colossians 3:11, Ephesians 4:4, Galatians 3:26-28)
- “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” Ephesians 2:14 ESV
- “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 ESV
How do we live in unity and peace with others who believe differently, look differently, and act differently? Remember that Christ lives within us. He is our peace and has already given us everything we need to live in the perfect bond of unity and love.
Why is it so difficult to eradicate inequality and injustice in the world, even from within the Church? Pride, rivalry, selfish ambition. Paul speaks to that as well.
Bible Verses About Unity in Marriage
You would think that there are so many Bible verses about unity and marriage. There really are not, however. Why is that? I believe it is because God expects us to marry believers and act in unity toward them as these other verses instruct. We'll have to ask Him about that one day.
- “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?” Amos 3:3 ESV
- “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 ESV
What we do see about unity in marriage is that it begins with a separation. Husband and wife must leave their parents and start life in unity on their own. Why? It is hard enough for two people to agree but adding 4-8 others that all need to agree leads to trouble.
Bible Verses About Unity Among Believers
Finally, we circle back to unity among Believers which is slightly different from unity in the Church. Yes, we should avoid church splits and denominational feuds, but that happens best when believers, in general, are walking in unity. Here again, Paul reminds us (repeatedly) that we are one body.
- “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Romans 12:4-5 ESV (again in 1 Corinthians 12:12)
- “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6 ESV
- “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.” Romans 12:16 ESV
How do we walk in unity as individuals? By remembering that we are all a part of the body of Christ. Each of us has an integral part of God's plan and we aren't meant to operate separate from the other parts.
God is within us. It is only through God's strength that we can live in unity.
Prayer of Unity
If you ever doubt that unity is important to God, read John 17 to see the prayer of unity Jesus prayed. He prayed for you and me before we were even born. This is part of what He asked God on our behalf:
“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” John 17:22-23 ESV
It is so important that we, as Christians, live in unity with each other and realize who the true enemy is!
Heavenly Father, I thank you for everything that you have done and continue to do for me. Lord, I ask that you help to unite us as one body – unified against a common enemy and not each other. The enemy is so creative in pitting us against each other so we need you to open our eyes to realize when this is happening.
Lord God, I pray that you fill us with your presence so that we can live in harmony with those who may have different opinions than us. Open our hearts to love them just as you have loved us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
The power of unity is real in in protecting each other from the tactics of the enemy.
I believe that one reason the world has fallen so far away from God is that we, the Christians, have fallen so far away from Him. We are not living in unity.
We bicker with each other and disagree about stupid things like music style and carpet color. All the while the enemy is desensitizing us to sin and pushing the world away from God without us fighting the right battles.
Will you choose today to begin to walk in unity and a life worthy of being called a Child of God?
Beloved brothers and sisters, let us always engage in the real battle for the Kingdom of God.