This unity is that which is
resultant from the indwelling and dominating control of the Holy
Spirit. The illustration is that of the head and the body. Every
limb or member or faculty of the body is controlled by the nerve
system, and this nerve system works from and to the head, where
it has its base.
In the Body of Christ, the Holy
Spirit is the great nerve system, and only as there is an
immediate response to every intimation of the will of the Head,
and the life is unbrokenly in correspondence with His mind, can
there be the unity of which the New Testament speaks.
Three things must be clearly
noticed. (1) We cannot "keep" what does not exist. The
admonition presupposes our having received the Holy Spirit into
our lives in a vital way, and having surrendered ourselves
entirely to His control and direction. (2) We cannot create
this unity. It is essentially spiritual. Creeds,
organizations, the social spirit, compromise on matters of
interpretation, can never achieve it. (3) There is the
paradox of unity. "Peace" in the Scriptures means
harmony. But while Christ is called "the Prince of
Peace," and while that harmony has been created in many
lives and spheres where He has been enthroned, He clearly said
that one result of His coming would be, not peace, but the sword.
It is clear that, wherever His
Cross has been fully presented, there has been trouble and
upheaval. All the things against which His Cross stands have at
once created a state of war. The world and the flesh, in all
their forms and expressions, make spiritual unity impossible, and
to the extent that Christians are influenced in their
judgments, their standards of reckoning, their conceptions, as
well as their methods and means and motives, by the world spirit
or the "Adam" nature, true spiritual unity is so far
The fuller the presentation of
the Cross, the greater the arousing of the fallen nature
elements, and therefore, on the one hand the greater the peril
and possibility of discord, and on the other hand, the call for a
more complete capitulation to the life of the Spirit as against
the life in the flesh.
This work of separating will be
carried out in ourselves personally, in our homes, in our local
churches and in Christendom at large. On the basis of "flesh
and spirit," the "house divided against itself"
True unity has its birth at
Calvary, where the world, the flesh - with the devil working
through both to maintain his discord in the universe - were dealt
with and for ever ruled out of the New Creation.
It is this unity, which Calvary
creates, which is the call for our diligence for its maintenance.
This diligence must take the form of an earnest watch on the part
of every member of Christ's Body against discordant elements, and
a stolid refusal to be disaffected towards another member by
anything short of a positive and persistent resistance of the
purposes of Calvary.
First published in "A Witness and A
Testimony" magazine, March-April 1946, Vol 24-2