What Holds a Church Together
What holds a church together into a cohesive unit? It is the truth. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13). Ephesians 4:3 uses the phrase “unity of the Spirit.” The truth and unity go together and both proceed from the Holy Spirit. Unity comes from the truth, so truth comes from the Holy Spirit, which is what brings unity. There is only one Spirit in Ephesians 4:4 and one faith in Ephesians 4:5. Truth is the basis of unity, the Holy Spirit revealed the truth in scripture, and illuminates the truth to believers. The church is called “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). What unifies a church is careful preaching of the Word of God, which is the truth (John 17:17, Thy Word is truth), and agreement upon it by believers, who are controlled by the Holy Spirit. All of the means for keeping the truth are given to the church and to the church alone. Those must be used to maintain this unity, but God wants unity in the body. In 1 Corinthians 12:25, the Apostle Paul writes that there is to be “no schism in the body.” God doesn’t want division in the church, which is why the church endeavors to keep “the unity of the Spirit.” It’s not just the common belief in the truth, but it is also the practice of it. This manifests itself in love. “Love rejoiceth in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6). Error, lies, and compromises of the truth do not aid in unity. They undermine it. It’s important for a church to preach the truth, all of it, and to defend all of it. This is how a church keeps unity.