“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
The context of this passage shows the prophet Amos declaring God’s right to judge Israel (3:1). God proved His right to judge them by reminding them of His love for them and how He had proved that love by delivering them from Egyptian bondage (3:2). Israel was special to God. The world thought little of them, but God chose them out of all the nations to have a special relationship with Him. Anything good they did was due to God. Thus, He had every right to punish them when they chose to disobey Him (cf. Deuteronomy 7:7-11). His rhetorical question cited above reminds Israel of the fellowship shared between them and God and how they were putting that fellowship in danger through their disobedience.
When Christians agree to follow God’s Word alone, scriptural fellowship, cooperation and unity – “walking together” – exists between them and God just as Israel and God “walked together” only when Israel obeyed Him. You can’t walk with someone if you’re going in opposite directions. The only way we can walk with our Creator and Redeemer is if we follow His lead, and that lead is found only in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Unity between man and God will never happen as long as we disobey Him. That’s why Jesus asked, “And why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). Praise be to God that He is always willing to forgive when we repent, but one day His patience will end and He will punish the unrepentant. That’s what Amos was so desperately trying to get across to the Jews.
Walking together – fellowship, unity – only happens when the two parties are “agreed.” We must agree to God’s terms and submit to them for fellowship to exist. All of us have sinned (Romans 3:23), and thus have offended God. Being the offended party, He has set the terms of agreement in the New Testament of His Son (John 12:48). He is God, all-powerful, our Creator and Sustainer. He has every right to do this.
Therefore, it is our responsibility to comply with His terms of pardon. If we love Him, we will obey Him (John 14:15). Eternal life is given only to those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9), specifically to those who obey His gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). The gospel of Christ is the instrument God uses to save us (Romans 1:16). It calls on us to believe in Christ (John 3:16), repent of our sins (Acts 17:30), and be baptized into Christ to be saved (Mark 16:16; Galatians 3:27). To be baptized into Christ requires one to be baptized into His body (1 Corinthians 12:13), because His body – His church – is what fills Him (Ephesians 1:22-23).
There is only one body, one baptism, and one faith (Ephesians 4:4-5); that faith is based on God’s Word alone rather than the teachings and traditions of men (Romans 10:17; Matthew 15:7-9). The New Testament continually warns of those who would depart from that one faith and “wander off into myths” due to wanting to follow their own desires instead of God’s (1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:3-4). This is why today hundreds of different churches with different names and faiths exist, all claiming to follow God yet teaching contradictory doctrines which are not found in His Word. In the end, Christ’s body which is His church is still only one. The Scriptures talk of only one faith, and that faith is rooted in God’s Word. The church which is the pillar and ground of that singular truth is the one to which we must look (1 Timothy 3:14-15; John 17:17), because ultimately Christ is the Savior of His body (Ephesians 5:23).
Following the false teachings which are not found in the Bible causes one to not be in fellowship with God (2 John 9-11). However, for those who have been baptized into Christ all which is required is to humbly and penitently follow His commandments. This causes the Christian to “walk in the light as He is in the light” and thus continually receive forgiveness and pardon when sin occurs (1 John 1:7-9). The Christian who does so is walking together with His Savior, in full agreement and in complete unity and fellowship. What a wonderful blessing!