Considering this we might next ask what is the unifying factor that makes the Father and Son one? We find the answer in Isaiah where the angels cried out to one another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isa. 6:3)
The angels were crying out – Holy is the Father, Holy is the Son, Holy is His Spirit. You see the unifying factor of the Godhead is at least twofold. First, is the awesome holiness that unifies them as one, and second, is they are eternally joined together by the truth that unites them. So we see one of the key ingredients of their eternal unity is the very Holiness of their nature.
Digging deeper we find that the word Holy in the Hebrew means “sacred,” and has its origin in the word “qadash” which means (ceremonially and morally) to “be clean.” Here, we see the divine association and alignment between the ideas of holy, sacred, and to be clean.
While holiness is a key factor in biblical unity, Jesus helps us complete its connection to the truth. In the midst of His prayer for the unity of His church is a word Jesus uses three times. In His prayer He said, “sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” He also stated, “for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth” (Jn. 17:17, 19).
Here the word, sanctify in the Greek means “to make holy,” and ceremonially it means “to purify” or “to consecrate.” Mentally, it means to “venerate” which is defined as to regard with deep respect or reverence. The word purify is defined as, to rid of impurities, to free from moral or spiritual defilement, and to free from extraneous, contaminating, or debasing matter.
Truth, Purity, and Unity
Jesus was saying it is the truth of God’s word that makes the believer holy, because it purifies him, making him free from moral or spiritual defilement, and freeing him from unnecessary, contaminated, or corruptible elements. This gives new meaning to Jesus’ words when He says, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:32).
Knowing God’s word empowers and equips us to be free from moral or spiritual defilement, corruption, contamination, and a whole slew of disempowering impurities. It is the continual washing of the water of God’s word that helps us to put on the true righteousness and holiness that He endorses (Eph. 4:24).
Discernment and Unity
It is apparent true biblical unity revolves around God’s idea of being spiritually clean, which is the basis for what He considers to be holy, and is only achieved by knowing and putting on His word. All other forms of unity are outside the realm of God’s spiritually purified view of unity, and therefore are a counterfeit and contrary to true unity.
All the examples of unity mentioned before our definition of true biblical unity are in some way spiritually unclean, corrupt, contaminated, defiled, unholy, or impure in some way. Therefore, to unite with such groups or parties would not be pleasing in God’s sight, and would violate His command to “come out from among them and be separate, and...do not touch what is unclean” (2 Cor. 6:17).