Abstract: Unity is a key ingredient in all successful work for God and foundational in our relationship with Him. To pray for unity should be a continuing focus of our prayers. The following quotations have been a blessing to me and I have shared them far and wide. They are based on the Scripture heading this page, John 17:21 (also 23)
“That they all may be one, as You Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
“As a people, we have received great light.… With power from on high we are to beseech men to be reconciled to God. We are encouraged to pray for success, and we are given the divine assurance that our prayers will be heard and "if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." "Ask of Me, and I will answer your requests." The promise is made on condition that the united prayers of God's people are offered, and in answer to these prayers there may be expected a power greater than that which comes in answer to private prayer (italics added). The power given will be proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another.” Central Advance, February 25, 1903
God's servants are to labor in perfect harmony. Contention brings alienation and strife and discord. I am instructed that our churches have no need to spend their time in strife. When a spirit of contention struggles for the supremacy, call a halt, and make things right, else Christ will come quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of its place. Let an earnest work of repentance be done. Let the Spirit of God search through mind and heart, and cleanse away all that hinders the needed reformation. Until this is done, God cannot bestow on us His power and grace. And while we are without His power and grace, men will stumble and fall, and will not know at what they stumble.—Ye Shall Receive Power, p. 288
The cause of divisions or discord in the church is separation from Christ. The secret of unity is union with Christ. Christ is the great center. We shall approach one another just in proportion as we approach the center. United with Christ, we shall surely be united with our brethren in the faith. Paulson Collection, p. 153
The vine has many branches, but though all the branches are different, they do not quarrel. In diversity there is unity. All the branches obtain their nourishment from one source. This is an illustration of the unity that is to exist among Christ’s followers. In their different lines of work they all have but one Head. The same Spirit, in different ways, works through them. There is harmonious action, though the gifts differ.... God calls for each one ... to do his appointed work according to the ability which has been given him. Amazing Grace, p. 211 We have a character to maintain, but it is the character of Christ. Having the character of Christ, we can carry on the work of God together. The Christ in us will meet the Christ in our brethren, and the Holy Spirit will give that union of heart and action which testifies to the world that we are children of God.... Amazing Grace, p. 211
“He in whose heart Christ abides recognizes Christ abiding in the heart of his brother. Christ never wars against Christ. Christ never exerts an influence against Christ. Christians are to do their work, whatever it may be, in the unity of the Spirit, for the perfection of the whole body. There is a vast power in the church when the energies of the members are under the control of the Spirit, gathering good from every source, educating, training, and disciplining self. Thus is presented to God a powerful organization through which He can work for the conversion of sinners….” Signs of the Times, February 7, 1900
"Is Christ divided?--No. Christ abiding in the soul will not quarrel with Christ in another soul. We must learn to bear with the peculiarities of those around us. If our will is under the control of Christ's will, how can we be at variance with our brethren? If we are at variance, we may know that it is because self needs to be crucified. He whom Christ makes free is free indeed. We are not complete in Christ unless we love one another as Christ has loved us." This Day With God, p. 262
"Unity existing among the followers of Christ is an evidence that the Father has sent His Son to save sinners. It is a witness to His power; for nothing short of the miraculous power of God can bring human beings with their different temperaments together in harmonious action, their one aim being to speak the truth in love."—Vol. 9, Testimonies, p. 194
“It is not the opposition of the world that most endangers the church of Christ. It is the evils cherished in the hearts of believers that works their most grievous disaster and most surely retards the progress of God’s cause. There is no surer way of weakening spirituality than by cherishing envy, suspicion, faultfinding, and evil surmising. On the other hand, the strongest witness that God has sent His Son into the world is the existence of harmony and union among men of varied dispositions.” Acts of the Apostles, p. 549
When the laborers have an abiding Christ in their own souls, when all selfishness is dead, when there is no rivalry, no strife for the supremacy, when oneness exists, when they sanctify themselves, so that love for one another is seen and felt, then the showers of the grace of the Holy Spirit will just as surely come upon them as that God's promise will never fail in one jot or tittle. But when the work of others is discounted, that the workers may show their own superiority, they prove that their own work does not bear the signature it should. God cannot bless them. Selected Messages, Vol. 1, p. 175 (1896).
God's people have close, severe battles to fight; but these battles are not to be against their brethren. All desire to hurt and weaken and destroy the influence of even the weakest of God's workers, is registered in the books of heaven as desire to weaken the influence of Jesus Christ. The warfare we are to undertake is to be waged against the confederacy of evil, which is arrayed against the people of God. But woe unto those who shall turn their implements of warfare against their own brethren. God reminds us that we are to fight in unison with the angels of heaven, and that more than angels are engaged in the warfare. Home Missionary, August 1, 1896
“True religion unites hearts, not only with Christ, but with one another, in a most tender union. When we know what it means to be thus united with Christ, and with our brethren, a fragrant influence will attend our work wherever we go.” Gospel Workers, p. 483
“Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together. Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other’s hearts in prayer. Their spirituality begets a feeling of union and confidence, highly important to the prosperity of the Church. …It can be doubtful whether Christians can ever be otherwise than united, if they are in the habit of really praying together. And where they have had hard feelings and differences among themselves, these are all done away by uniting in prayer.”—Charles Finney, Lectures on Revival
“I do not believe in the full faith of any man who does not extend the loyalty he professes to God to God’s people as well, who does not feel as sensitive to his brethren on earth as he does to his Father in heaven, who does not practise piety toward the Church as he does toward her Head, or find in her fellowship and her service a joy and a gladness which is one with his deep joy in God, his Redeemer. Nay, is it not just in loving people who are still imperfect, often disappointing, and far from their ideal it may be, that in our relations to them we are to find the greater proof and test of our religious faith? George Adam Smith, from his sermon on "Assurance"