Within any Christian congregation, unity is very important. Romans 15:6 “That you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Together you worship and glorify God. You edify and build each other up; you work to meet each other’s needs; you work together to fight your common enemy – the devil; and you work together to bring the lost to Christ. However, sin can destroy unity within a church.
Those who commit evil practices must be put away. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13 “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore ‘put away from yourselves the evil person.’”
If a brother is overtaken in a trespass, he should be restored. Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
If one brother sins against another brother, instruction is given in Matthew 18:15-17 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”
If a brother is divisive or causes offenses, avoid or reject him. Romans 16:17-19 “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” Titus 3:10-11 “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.”
If a brother walks disorderly, withdraw from him. 2 Thessalonians 3:6 “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.”
If a brother teaches falsehood and is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, withdraw from him. 1 Timothy 6:3-5 “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.”
My first encouragement to you is that you make sure you are not guilty of any of these sins, such as sexual immorality or being divisive. My second encouragement is that you and your congregation use scriptures such as these to deal with sin in your midst. Sin can readily destroy the unity that God wants you to have in your congregation. Next time, God willing, I will address other issues affecting unity in the congregation.