I pray that all of these people continue to have unity in the way that you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be united with us so that the world will believe that you have sent me.
John 17:21 (GW)
…fill me with joy by having the same attitude and the same love, living in harmony, and keeping one purpose in mind.
Philippians 2:2 (GW)
I am pleading with all of you, brothers and sisters, to keep up your guard against anyone who is causing conflicts and enticing others with teachings contrary to what you have already learned. If there are people like that in your churches, stay away from them.
Romans 16:17 (VOICE)
Satan will use false teaching to deceive people.
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
1 Timothy 4:1 (NIV)
Satan will use false teaching to divide people.
…men from your group will begin to teach things that are wrong. They will lead some of the Lord’s followers away from the truth to follow them.
Acts 20:30 (ERV)
Satan will use false teaching to damn people.
There used to be false prophets among God’s people, just as you will have some false teachers in your group. They will secretly teach things that are wrong—teachings that will cause people to be lost. They will even refuse to accept the Master, Jesus.… Many will follow their evil ways and say evil things about the way of truth.
2 Peter 2:1-2 (NCV)
4 THINGS I CAN DO TO FIND UNITY WITHOUT LOSING TRUTH
1. I ARTICULATE CLEARLY THE TEACHING IN QUESTION.
While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
Acts 15:1 (NLT)
2. I ALLOW FOR OPEN COMMUNICATION.
When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported everything God had done through them. But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.”
Acts 15:4-5 (NLT)
3. I AGREE UPON A DEFINITIVE AUTHORITY.
TWO PRIMARY AREAS OF AUTHORITY THROUGH THE BIBLE
FIRST: God’s word
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT)
SECOND: Godly leaders
…the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue. At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe.
Acts 15:6, 7 (NLT)
Everyone listened quietly as Barnabas and Paul told about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me.
Acts 15:12, 13 (NLT)
Fourteen years later I went to Jerusalem with Barnabas. I also took along Titus. I went there because God had told me to go, and I explained the good news I had been preaching to the Gentiles. Then I met privately with the ones who seemed to be the most important leaders. I wanted to make sure my work in the past and my future work would not be for nothing.
Galatians 2:1-2 (CEV)
When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me Peter[c] has told you about the time God first visited the Gentiles to take from them a people for himself. And this conversion of Gentiles is exactly what the prophets predicted. As it is written…
Acts 15:13-15 (NLT)
4. I ACCEPT AND ACT UPON GOD’S REVEALED TRUTH.
And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood. For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.” Then the apostles and elders together with the whole church in Jerusalem chose delegates, and they sent them to Antioch of Syria with Paul and Barnabas to report on this decision. The men chosen were two of the church leaders[f]—Judas (also called Barsabbas) and Silas. This is the letter they took with them…
Acts 15:19-23 (NLT)