According to John 17:20-23 one thing the Lord had on His mind during the ordeal of His death was our unity. Jesus wanted us to be united in purpose and in mind so that the world would look at us and know that the Father had sent the Son. Jesus knew the value of unity. He knew that a splintered body accomplishes nothing. He knew that the sense of community that is sewn into the fabric of fellowship would be important to our spiritual well-being, and that ultimately Heaven would be won or lost in large part to the unity and fellowship of brethren. Acts 2:42-47 is an important passage that illustrates how seriously the early church viewed our Lord’s desire.
Notice the pattern. The church “continued steadfastly” (Acts 2:42) meaning they were “strong toward” or “persistent” in five areas: doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers. Additionally, “all who believed were together…” (Acts 2:44). The grammatical force suggests that the kept themselves together. They also continued daily “with one accord” (Acts 2:46) and possessed “gladness and singleness of heart” (Acts 2:46) indicating a concentration of their collective desires on a single purpose. These emphasis on unity absolute jumps off the page in these passages.
Now, notice the purpose. Acts 4:31-37 indicates, among other things, that needs arose among the brethren. Those needs were met. Remember that the Jews had come to Jerusalem for Pentecost and stayed later than expected. They became Christians together and they continued learning and growing together and taking care of one another. This unity continued to bear fruit ad they endured persecution in Acts 3-5 and again in Acts 7.
The early church recognized the value of being together and we should too. There is no substitute. May we work to be of one mind and one purpose, serving the Lord and one another as the unified body of Christ.