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31 Verses About Unity in the Church and How To Use Them

I miss the simplicity of childhood where we all wanted unity. What changed?  We were going to change the world!  Today we will look at several Bible verses about unity in the church that will help us get back to that focus in a powerful way!

Questions About Unity In The Church

So most of us started out in life longing for unity. We wanted to change the world. What happened?

Real life with family and jobs, and with them came division.

Division and change come with each choice I make and are driven by the fast pace of life.

I rarely think about unity in my day-to-day until the media reminds me of our divisions or a church splits and the pain of it affects my life and family. 

How do we get back to a place of unity?  It begins when we begin to pray for unity in the church

Related: How to Pray for the United States of America

We will look at why we must begin praying for unity in the church but first, let’s answer some questions about unity.

  • What does the Bible say about unity in the church?
  • What does unity mean in the church?
  • Why is unity important in the church?
  • How is unity expressed in the church?
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What Does the Bible Say About Unity in the Church?

There are so many Bible verses about unity in the church. So many. The word unity, however, is only used a few times (7-10).

What we know is that God expects us to live from a place of love and holiness. Unity flows from there. Jesus Himself commands unity in the church… but I get ahead of myself.

Unity in the Church requires a community that is working together- setting aside the preferences of the individual in order to reach for the Kingdom of God! Share on X

What Does Unity Mean in the Church?

Unity in the church Scripture shows us a picture of what this word means.

  • Unite – Join together for a common purpose or goal.

Our common goal is found in Christ Jesus’ last words – save the lost and disciple the saved!

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 29:19-20 NASB)

Why is Unity Important in the Church?

Why is unity important in the church? The world is lost. God has made a way for salvation!

If unity is about joining together for a common goal, and that goal is saving the lost world, we know it’s important. In fact, the importance of unity in the Christian life can not be overstated.  

How is Unity Expressed in the Church?

But how is unity expressed in the church? There are not many examples of unity in the church throughout Scripture. In fact, we see disunity. Maybe that’s why Jesus desired to see a change.

We are prideful, selfish people. That’s what makes unity so difficult. We each have a different plan and different preferences.

Unity could look like fellowship. We see many Scriptures on fellowship throughout the Bible. We know we are to gather together and that requires joining together.

“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25 NKJV)

Unity could also look like working together. In the stories of unity in the Bible what we see are people working together to spread the gospel. We need that in our world today!

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,” (Hebrews 10:24 NKJV)

Jesus Calls Us To Unity In The Church In 4 Ways

That’s right, Jesus Himself calls us to strive for unity in the church! It is a high calling for all disciples. See this Scripture on unity in the church direct from our Savior!

““My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.

May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.

Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23 NASB)

1. Remember That God Still Desires Unity

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!


It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard,
Even Aaron’s beard,
Coming down upon the edge of his robes.


It is like the dew of Hermon
Coming down upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forever.” (Psalm 133: 1-3 NASB)

Even though unity is difficult and life is busy, God desires unity.  If God desires unity we must work hard toward that goal!

Think through all the preaching on unity in the church you’ve heard. Let those sermons fill your mind, helping you remember that God desires unity. We have to remember this or we will not focus on change or at least prayer of unity in the church!

2. Division Hurts the Church – the Whole Body of Christ

One of the reasons I believe Jesus advocated for unity is that disunity hurts people. Jesus loves us and does not want to see us needlessly hurting.

It is easy to be a church that is divided because we are a people that are divided.  We each have our own preferences, convictions, and pasts that influence our lifestyles, and on and on we could go.

But when we see all the Bible verses on unity in the church and fellowship Scriptures we know God wanted something different.

Forgiveness Leads To Unity

One way we can overcome the hurt that keeps us divided is to learn how to forgive.

Are you struggling to forgive the hurt in your life, maybe even the hurt by those in the church?

That is something I understand all too well.  God took me through a process to find a Pathway to Forgiveness – it leads to Freedom!  Can I share it with you?

3. We Are One Body (Church Body) and Need Unity

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Romans 12:4-5  NASB)

Some of the unity in the church verses that don’t actually say unity talk about the body of Christ. This is not a body like the human body of Jesus.  

This is about the church of Christ functioning together, church leaders and members, in humility.  It is about God’s people, setting aside our own interests in order to show God’s love, and Jesus’ heart to the lost world around us.

The Lord made us all different. He did it on purpose. We each have different spiritual gifts and talents that should fit together in unity in the local church to accomplish His mission.

God can and does use our division for His glory.  We just need to be on guard. The enemy can also use it to quench the Spirit and destroy our testimony –  if we don’t handle it well… if we give in to our own weaknesses and preferences above the unity of the church.

4. Humility Leads to Unity in The Church

Lastly, we see humility laced through unity in the church verses. See this Bible verse for the church to see what I mean:

“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3 NASB)

Humility… seeing our lowness compared to the holiness of God.

That definition of a humble person will help keep our pride in check when the enemy points out the differences in our giftings.

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What Breaks The Unity in The Church?

The problem with the dreams of our youth is that they depended upon us, sainted sinners. We fall short daily.   

Unity in the Church requires a community of fellow believers that is working together- setting aside the preferences of the individual in order to reach for the Kingdom of God!

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13 NASB)

In the study The Battle Plan for Prayer, The Kendrick Brothers make reference to the 4 D’s of the enemy used to foster disunity. These are the areas where we fall short most often.

  1. Distraction
  2. Deception
  3. Derision
  4. Division

The fast pace of our own lives is no coincidence. Busyness distracts us. All too often we miss the opportunities God presents us to love and support the body of Christ. We miss the opportunities to witness. They just pass us by.

Deception

And that enemy we all have… he lies to us. We believe the lies so easily. He whispers to us about ourselves, our church, and even God.

When we believe the lies, we are rendered ineffective in the battle.

Derision

Derision is a word we don’t use much. Think of this as mockery, being made to feel foolish.

Each of us has a past we are not proud of. The enemy is quick to bring that past up convincing us we could never be used by the Father.

We make this even easier for him when we are quick to point out the faults of others in the body causing them to doubt and divide.

Division

Then there is the simple tactic of division. We each have preferences:

  • How we worship
  • What color the carpet should be
  • How we share the gospel when we take communion

We can be quick to assume that when things don’t go according to our preferences we should just leave the church.

And if we do stay, we often voice our negative opinions (planting seeds of doubt in others) to others before we voice them to God.

Fighting For Unity in The Church

We have to fight for this unity. If we want unity, we have to fight the real battle.

How do we fight?

Prayer!

How do you pray for peace, or unity in the Church?

A clue… this is more about praying Scripture on going to church. This is not about church, it’s about maturity, grace, and love.

“Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27  NASB)

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” (Colossians 3: 12-13 NASB)

God urges us to:

  • Fight back against the enemy’s strategy. 
  • Pray for unity! 
  • Fast and pray regularly.

Now to be fair, it is okay to have convictions, preferences, and opinions about things.  That is how God wired us and they can be a great catalyst for reform when directed in Unity.

Related Resources: 10 Powerful Books On Fasting

We Must Pray to Have a Spirit of Unity Even When We Disagree!

Let’s take an example of unity prayers from the Old Testament.

In 2 Chronicles 30 things in Israel had gone bad again. The entire chapter shows us how the Israelites continually turned away from the Lord, followed the ways of the culture, and fell into trouble.

God called them to return to celebrate the Passover and remember how He had rescued them.

  • It was hard
  • It required sacrifice
  • and they were mocked for the attempt.

But we see that when a few men humbled themselves in obedience – God honored them and blessed the land.

“For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.” (2 Chronicles 30:2 NASB)

We serve the same God Today! The same God who showed that where there is unity, God commands a blessing!

“The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 30:12 NASB)

Humility is a powerful witness.  Humility is a work of ministry that makes the atmosphere shift, creating the kind of unity the early church experienced.  

I want that!

Don’t you?

When We Turn To God in Prayer He Will Give Us One Heart – Unity

The New Testament is also filled with examples of the Church disagreeing, sometimes well, and other times there were broken relationships.

But they never stopped praying for unity in the Church.  It was critical then and it is still critical today! Disagreements do not ruin true unity, Christian unity!

We know that Paul wrote letters as he prayed for the Church.  We can pray as he did:

“Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13: 11 NASB)

“Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.” (Romans 12:16 NASB)

The New Testament is also filled with examples of the Church disagreeing - sometimes well and other times there were broken relationships. But they never stopped praying for unity in the Church.  It was critical then and it is… Share on X The Church disagreed in the New Testament – sometimes well and other times there were broken relationships. But they never stopped praying for unity in the Church.  It was critical then and it is still critical today! Share on X

Does Unity Mean We Will Agree About Everything?

Nope – we are still going to disagree about things.  We can love, support, and pray for each other- even when we disagree.

“To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9 NASB)

Related: Adding Fasting and Prayer for Marriage Blessing

What Happens If We Pray for Unity and Things Are Still Crazy?

There are some times in our personal lives and in the life of a Church that require us to reach deeper and Fast with our prayers.

“But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:19-21 NASB)

Y’all know my passion is powerful, strategic prayer.  So if you are praying for unity in the church but seeing no results, would you join me in a time of fasting and prayer? 

Maybe fasting seems scary? 

I’ve written a short book to help you get started successfully.  A Beginners Guide to Pray and Fast: Taking Spiritual Warfare to the Next Level

Do you need A Beginners Guide to Learn How to Fast and Pray? In this new book on how to fast and pray, "A Beginners Guide to Fast and Pray: Taking Spiritual Warfare to the Next Level" - Kindle edition by Tiffany Montgomery you will start your journey to spiritual breakthrough today. Books on Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. #FastAndPray #HopeJoyInChrist

When we Add scripture to our Prayers they become strategic and powerful.

I’ve pulled over 100 Bible verses to pray for support, unity, and financial blessings.  I even use them in prayer for unity in the family.  Download them below!

Print them out and put them where you will be reminded to pray scripture.

If you need help guiding your prayer time check out The Strategic Prayer Journal in the HopeJoyInChrist Shop!

in HIM,

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Tiffany Montgomery

Tiffany of Hope Joy in Christ inspires Christian Women to grow in faith, live out Biblical Marriage Principles and raise Godly Children.  Join the Wives Only Facebook Group here or keep up with her through Pinterest.

6 thoughts to “31 Verses About Unity in the Church and How To Use Them”

  1. For the past five years our church has been going through some extremely difficult times which have led to lack of unity in the body. This whole post was like it was written just for me as I pray through the situations we face on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis with our church family. Thank you for such a wonderful post!

    1. I’m so glad it blessed you Amber . We have been through crazy church things – even a church split a decade ago… it created in me a deep longing to see a spirit of Unity spread.

  2. Our church is going through difficulty over the church leadership handling of the virus pandemic. Although church has been declared essential, businesses are opening, and people going back to work, we are continuing with online worship with no re-opening being announced. I personally believe that we should make public services available at the earliest possible time, but I don’t believe I would leave over this matter. However, some people are looking to leave including people I have close bonds with. So, I am feeling very deeply about this.

    1. This is such a tough season for all of us for sure, Ruth. Praying with you for your church situation as well as for the rest of the world as we really need each other and the Church.

      1. I appreciate your prayers Tiffany. It seems to me that this period of time has erroded some of our constitutional rights and freedoms that we have enjoyed as Christians and Americans. I fear that if we do not grab the opportunities to have public worship, we may eventually not have that privilege.

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