The New Testament points to three types of unity that the church of Christ possesses:
Unity of the Spirit
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. Eph 4:1-3, ESV
The “unity of the Spirit” is the work of Jesus Christ. There is nothing we need to do to earn it. Christ Himself is our peace who breaks down the dividing walls of hostility. In Christ, we are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens, saints and members of God’s household.
As blessed beneficiaries of this unity, we are called to “maintain” (preserve) it. The way to preserve this unity is to live our life in the light of our salvation, to put on humility, gentleness, patience and forbearance.
Unity of faith
And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Eph 4:11-13 ESV
The “unity of faith” is what the church of Christ can look forward to. It is the destiny of the body of Christ. God bestowed upon the church various offices and gifts in order to equip members of the church. Every member is to participate in the work of service for the building up the body of Christ. The aim is to grow towards “fullness of Christ”, that is, the likeness of Christ.
As blessed inheritors of this unity, let us respond to God’s intent for His church. Every member (not just full time staff or those mature in faith) is called to serve the body of Christ. Let us practice good stewardship with regards to the gifts and resources He has bestowed on us and serve the body of Christ together.
Unity in spirit (soul)
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Phil 2:1-2 NASB
The “unity in spirit” means being in one accord, being knitted in soul. This is more than being cordial to one another and not finding quarrels in the church. It is about embracing the same vision and mission. It is about resonating with God’s calling, purpose and mission for the local church.
As blessed recipients of this unity, let us strive to grow towards this unity by turning away from our self-seeking ways to seek the interest of Christ (Phil 2:3-4,21). God has called YCK Chapel to be an intentional disciple-making church. He has given us the mission to live the gospel and make disciples to reach the world for Christ. He has called us to be authentic, intentional and missional as a community. May God find us not just living harmoniously, preserving the unity of the Spirit, but also being united in spirit over His mission and calling for us as a local church. It is only then we will find ourselves growing towards unity of faith, in the likeness of our blessed Savior, Jesus Christ.
By Rick Toh, Lead Pastor/Elder (YCKC Bulletin 5&6 December 2015)