“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:1-3). Love is the unifier in the bond of peace.
Pastor Ray Stedman summarized theses verses well in his book, Body Life. “The church is never told to create unity. There is a unity that exists in the church by virtue of the simple fact that the church exists. It can only be produced by the Spirit of God. But once produced, Christians are responsible to maintain it. And maintain this unity through Christlike love.”
All the “one anothers” of the New Testament are most effectively carried out under the overarching umbrella of “love one another”. In fact, I would suggest, they cannot even happen without the power of love. Bearing one another’s burdens only happens well when we love. We will be motivated to pray for one another more often when we love. Can we honestly forgive another person without love? Even our efforts to admonish one another will only have a positive effect on the other person when they know we love them. Love is the answer to every question of unity in the church.
“And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against any one; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity” (Col 3:12-14). Love is the unifier.