In a previous post I offered this definition for unity: unity is a togetherness of mind and spirit that looks to the good of the group without demanding sameness within the group. You may have a different and possibly better definition, but I imagine there would be many similarities to mine.
How do we achieve this unity within the church family? Paul answers this question in the well-known passage of Philippians 2:5-11. The difficulty is not knowing how to bring about unity; the struggle is actually living it out. The reason for this is that unity comes through humility. Paul writes the following in 2:5-11:
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
In this much loved Christ Hymn, Paul tells us that unity stems from humble living. The apostle then shows us the greatest example in history by discussing the work of Christ on the cross. Jesus died not only as a sacrifice for our sins, but also as an example of the servanthood we are to show others.
Paul's desire is that the Philippian believers display "the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind." How does this occur? Through humbly thinking of other Christ-followers before self.
As we ponder what brings unity, we see that intellectual agreement on a certain set of doctrines is not what is important. Rather, what is critical is attitude and action. When we follow the path of Christ, considering others better than ourselves and treating them as such, we will indeed have sweet unity in the body.