Positional and Practical Unity

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.

–Romans 12:10

There’s strength in numbers—and that’s true spiritually. Unity in the body of believers is essential for us to remain strong in our faith.

John MacArthur noted that there are two kinds of unity in the church. The first is positional unity, which is the unity you have with other Christians by virtue of your relationship with Jesus Christ. Let me illustrate it this way: I have two siblings, Jennifer and Tim. It doesn’t matter whether we want to acknowledge one another—we are all tied together because we have the same parents. It’s the same way in the body of Christ. In Romans 12:10, Paul said, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” The word “brotherly” comes from the Greek word adelphos, which literally means “from the same womb.” We as Christians come from the same spiritual womb. When we trust in Christ as Savior, we are reborn into the family of God and joined together with other believers in Christ.

But even though we are positionally unified with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we don’t always act unified, do we? My brother and I got into horrible fights when we were growing up. The main source of our fights was the bathroom that separated our bedrooms. Tim often forgot to unlock the door on my side, so I had to go into the hall and through his bedroom to get to the bathroom. One night, I came home late, and the bathroom door was locked again. I’d had it! I grabbed a vial of stink perfume I’d purchased from a magic shop, marched into Tim’s bedroom, and poured the entire vial on his pillow. It was the most putrid smell you can imagine. Tim bolted out of bed, and World War III began. As we were punching and yelling, my mom stomped into the room and said, “Stop it! You are brothers. Now act like it!”

That’s basically what Paul was saying in Romans 12:10: “You are brothers and sisters in Christ. Now act like it!” He was urging them to the second kind of unity: practical unity. Practical unity is acting in a way toward other Christians that demonstrates our positional unity in Jesus Christ.

The thread that knits us together positionally is truth—the truth that we are one in Christ. But the thread that knits us together practically is love. That is what Paul was saying in Colossians 2:2 when he prayed that the Colossians would be “knit together in love.” Love is what ties us together in friendships, in marriages, and in the body of Christ.

***

Today’s devotion is adapted from “Strength in Numbers” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

John MacArthur, “The Unity of the Body, Part 1” (sermon), March 5, 1978, https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/1909/the-unity-of-the-body-part-1.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

Share This:

Overflowing with Gratitude

This week, we’re going to discover five principles that Abraham’s servant Eliezer exercised in finding the right mate for Abraham’s son Isaac. These principles can help you, your children, and your grandchildren not only to find a mate but also to know God’s will for any area of life.

The Key to Growing in Christ

This week, we’re going to discover five principles that Abraham’s servant Eliezer exercised in finding the right mate for Abraham’s son Isaac. These principles can help you, your children, and your grandchildren not only to find a mate but also to know God’s will for any area of life.
Search

Pathway To Victory
Po Box 223609
Dallas, TX 75222-3609