Ps 133:1 how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. The Lord said this. He said it is good and pleasant when brethren dwell together in unity.
Brethren dwelling together in unity is like the precious ointment upon the head… skirts of his garments. Pictures a man filed with the Holy Spirit.
Think about it. The Holy Spirit is one with the Father and the Son, 1 Jn 5:7. When we trust Jesus Christ we have one body etc Eph 4:4-6. We are one with the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost and we are in one body. This is union. But it is not necessarily unity.
Aaron and Moses were brothers and they were both called by God in a common purpose. Moses was to Aaron instead of God and Aaron was to Moses instead of a mouth. That’s union. But when Aaron made the golden calf that was not unity.
You see, the Holy Spirit put us together. The devil wants to break us apart. The Lord wants accord, the devil wants discord.
This unity of the Spirit is so good and pleasant, that Paul said we must endeavor to keep it. That means we must exert some effort and strive to keep it. It’s not simply the result of our spiritual union.
We endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit by three things.
By the bond of faith – Eph 4:11-16. Verse 13 the unity of the faith. Eph 4:5 there is one faith. Titus 1:4 Titus, my son after the common faith. Jude 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
You endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit when you keep the bond of the faith. There are men who used to come to the meetings in Idaho that were not with us those days. We’re in union with them but we aren’t in unity. We can’t be. They didn’t keep the common faith.
Common = shared by the members of a group. Common = characterized by lack of privilege or special status. What happened to them? They were carried about with a wind of doctrine.
This Bible and these doctrines we hold are loaded with riches. Prov 11:16 strong men retain riches. Don’t let go of our common faith in this book. If you come across some seductive new doctrine that gives you superior spirituality to this group of Bible believers, don’t go for it.
Endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit by keeping the unity of the faith.
By the bond of peace – Eph 4:3. We keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. The Spirit breaks down enmity between people when they get saved. How many marriages, for instance, were restored after the couple got saved. In marriage there is union. But at times there isn’t unity. When there isn’t unity, you have to sit down and reconcile the difference to restore the unity.
Likewise, peace is something that we must endeavor to keep. Peace is obtained and maintained by reconciliation, Eph 2:14-17. When people have something that comes between them, they have to reconcile the enmity to have unity. Don’t let a crack in the relationship become a wedge. People in relationships are going to bump heads. Work that out and restore the peace. We keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
By the bond of charity – Col 3:14. We keep the unity of the Spirit when we put on charity. Charity is the bond of perfectness. Jesus said to his disciples, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”, Matt 5:48. Do you know what the context of that statement is? Love your enemies, Matt 5:44. Jesus told his disciples to love people that didn’t love them.
We keep the unity of the Spirit when we love one another as Christ loved. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another,” Jn 13:35. You say, but he is different than me. Peter said, “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins,” 1 Pet 4:8. For more on this subject see Keep the Unity of the Spirit.