The Doctor: Unity Isn’t Built, It’s Maintained

The unity that the apostle speaks of is a unity that can never be produced by human beings – never!  ‘So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members of one another.’  This, again, is something that follows of necessity from the illustration of the body.  As we have seen, the human body starts with one cell, which becomes impregnated and grows and develops.  The proliferations come out and form neck and arms and feet and trunk and so on.  And it is exactly the same with the church.  This is something supernatural; it is miraculous; it is the divine ‘something’.  And so the illustration proves to us that men and women can never produce this unity, and, of course, the Bible never exhorts us to.  What Paul does exhort us to do, is to maintain the unity – which is entirely different.  – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans Vol. 12, pp. 188-189

2 thoughts on “The Doctor: Unity Isn’t Built, It’s Maintained”

  1. Maintaining unity. Oh how we have failed! From the East/West split of the Church around the 10th century or so, to evangelicals and emergents duking it out, to local churches splitting over whether or not they should have an organ (or trumpet, or guitar, take your pick), we have failed miserably. Yet in the midst of this depravity-determined destituteness (destitude?) God still accomplishes His divine purposes. Alleluia!


  2. On another note. I >love< the diversity within the unity! Paul of course talks about this in the same passage: how each has his own gifts given him, and each should exercise them according to his measure of faith. It feels me with awe of God when I am in church (or small group, etc.) and people are going about ministering to one another with the gifts that have been bestowed upon them. And I love how not only individual gifts are different, but different combinations of gifts (say, prophecy, exhortation, and mercy) are vastly different than other combinations, even if only one gift in the set is different (as vs. prophecy, teaching, and mercy). It's so complex! God has gifted His bride with vast giftings, yet they all click in the way that He has prescribed.


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