Unity in Christ (Psalm 133:1) - Radical

Unity in Christ (Psalm 133:1)

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”
(Psalm 133:1)

And there’s an exclamation point at the end of that verse. It is good and pleasant when brothers, and I’m going to add sisters here, when brothers and sisters dwell in unity. Now we have to be careful whenever we hear the word unity not to think, okay, that means we just unite together no matter what because the reality is there are foundations for unity here in Psalm 133. There’s foundations for unity all across scripture.

May local churches come together in light of the good news of Jesus Christ. Lord help churches to be filled with unity around the gospel.

Our unity ultimately is in God and his word is truth, so we don’t just say, hey, truth doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if there’s a God or not. We can still unite together. Like no, part of what it means to be the people of God, the church, specifically is to unite together around God, around the gospel, around the truth of who Jesus is, what Jesus has done for us, around the authority of God’s word, the truthfulness and accuracy and errancy of God’s word, faithfulness of God to his word. Like all these things unite us together.

What’s dangerous though is when we look for unity in things outside of that, when we go to our opinions or our preferences on this or that, and maybe even strong opinions, maybe even to the point of like convictions. And we see all throughout scripture, even I think Romans 14 is a great example of, hey, hold on to opinions, convictions, preferences. At the same time, don’t let them keep you from experiencing unity around the most important things and that’s the picture here. A unity together around God, his word, a unity together ultimately around the gospel in Christ and this is what we see all throughout scripture.

I just think about the story of the New Testament in particular as we see Jews and Gentiles who were totally divided, coming together in the same church. I think about Ephesians chapter two talking about Jesus breaking down this dividing wall of hostility and bringing Jews and Gentiles together such that Ephesians chapter four talks about a unity of the spirit and the bond of peace. And this is what we pray for in the church, it’s what Jesus prayed for the church for in John chapter 17 that they would be one that we as followers of Christ would be one, even as the father and the son are one.

Unity in the church is so important that Jesus died for it. He died to us together in him. So God, we pray right now and I just want to pray for the church that I’m a part of and for churches that people who are listening to this are a part of specifically that you would give us unity in the body of Christ and specifically in the local bodies of Christ that we’re a part of. God, that when we gather together for worship on Sundays, that there would be a sweet, unmistakable unity around the gospel. Help us. Help us to keep our focus on the gospel, not our own preferences, our own thoughts, even at points like convictions about how your word applies in this way or that way.

But God, may our unity be around your word, around that which is true and clear in your word, around the truth of who Jesus is and what he has done for us. God, we pray that when we gather together in our churches, there would be a beautiful unity that is good and pleasant that we long to be a part of and that is attractive to the world around us. I think about God, the church that you’ve entrusted me to pastor over a hundred different nations in this church in Metro Washington, DC with all kinds of political opinions represented all across the church and people on different sides of the aisle, people from very different perspectives, backgrounds with very different experiences.

And yet we come together on Sunday and it’s like what brings these people together? And the only explanation is Jesus has died on a cross for us, risen from the grave, and we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Yes, we may have differences on all these other things, but we are together as family in Christ. So God, I pray for the preservation of that unity in the church that I pastor and for the growth of that unity. And I pray for that across the churches of every single person who’s listening to this right now as we pray.

May Psalm 133 verse one be true in our churches, specifically that it would be good and pleasant as we dwell in unity with the brothers and sisters we are walking through life with. May it be so we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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