How can we attain and maintain unity upon the “one faith”? Why is true unity so difficult to attain? Does true unity exist?
The “one faith” is the body of truth once and for all revealed (Jude 3) and is the faith Paul mentioned in Galatians 3:23. Unity is attained when men believe and obey this body of truth. Faith comes from hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17). Jesus made provision for the attaining of the unity of the faith (Eph. 4:11-16). If we learn Christ and walk accordingly, there will be unity (Eph. 4:17-21). Division is not based on the truth, for truth is indivisible. Truth is unity. If one’s faith flows from this truth, it follows that he reflects that truth if he obeys it and it alone. However, if one has an evil heart of unbelief to arise in him, there is a disobedience and deviation from truth. That divides him from those that walk by faith.
If one walks by sight and not by faith (2 Cor. 5:7), then there will be a deviation from truth. Again, there will result division between this one and the one who is walking by faith. If all held and walked by the one faith, there would be no division. The one faith does not cause the division. The violation of the one faith causes the division.
Truth and error are such that they always contradict. Whenever we compromise the truth with error, division arises. When men espouse error rather than walk by faith, they are separated and divided from those that walk by faith. The fact of divisions does not argue there cannot be unity but rather argues that unity is destroyed because of unbelief. Causes of unbelief are many. The cause of unity is adherence to the truth. Unity is the result of adherence to truth. “All religious division” does not argue there cannot be unity. It argues that men do not observe the one faith.
It is asked why unity is so difficult to attain. Basically, it is the selfish will of men expressed against the will of God. If men love God, they will keep his commandments (1 Jn. 5:3). Wherein one’s will asserts itself against the will of God, sin results. This sin separates man from God. Accordingly, it separates one from those who obey God. Not all love God as they should. Accordingly, they do not properly respond to his will. Wherein they do not, there is a separation between them and those who respond properly to the will of God. This is why it is difficult to attain unity. There is no mystery. It is cold hard logic. When men leave the truth of God, division is the result between them and those who obey the truth of God. Wherein unity is said to be difficult to attain, it is because men will not adhere to the Lord’s will. Conclusively, unity can only be achieved in the truth of God!