Reasons for Unity in Christ

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Isn’t unity dangerous? Yes. It is because we live in a fallen world and other people could be dangerous, wanting to deceive me and rob me of all I possess. They might even take my life.

But, what if the One you are joining with is completely trustworthy, all knowing, all powerful, and filled with love? What if He modeled unity successfully and perfectly for all eternity?  He is the God of the Bible, the trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. What if His desire is for the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and every Christian church practice “complete unity” so the world would sit up and take notice? last-supper-2

 

What if Jesus prayed like this?

“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:21-23)

Jesus gave three fundamental truths, which He said would lead His Church into oneness such as the Father and Son enjoyed. That state of divine unity would be accessed when we correctly (1) relate to Christ’s name, (2) relate to His Word and (3) relate to His glory. [1]

When He prayed, Jesus was speaking of the continuation and replication of His life, which is manifested and defined in His teaching; and culminated in the fulfillment of the Great Commandment (Matt. 22:37-40) and the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20).

There is great power when we cooperate with God and collaborate with each other.  This is demonstrated by the team of twelve disciples, the teams of two (Lk. 10:1-3), Paul’s partnerships with Barnabas and Silas, and many others throughout church history changed the world.

In their book, The Art of Neighboring, Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon make the following observation:

“Given all these good results, it seems strange that believers and churches are not better at working together. Why is it that partnerships between people of different congregations seem to be the exception and not the norm? This is a question both ministry leaders and believers need to address. For starters, we believe Christians stay apart for two reasons: we fear that unity equals uniformity, and, we want to focus solely on our own church.”

They continue:
“Often Christians and churches define themselves by how they differ from one another. But we believe there’s incredible power in focusing on the 98 percent on which we all agree. It’s important to realize that, at the end of the day, we are on the same team. If other groups believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he gave us the Great Commandment, then it’s probably safe to partner with them when it comes to neighboring.” [2]

Is unity dangerous?  Yes.  Is unity difficult?  It can be.  Is unity mandated by Jesus Christ the Lord?  Yes.
In my Unity in Christ Bible study, that I published October 2015, I asked that you consider the things that you and other Christians, and your church and other churches have in common.  Then consider what appropriate actions must be taken to repent and obey the Lord and His Word by practicing unity.

[1] Francis Frangipane. A House United: How Christ-Centered Unity Can End Church Division (Baker Publishing Group, 2006), p.150.
[2] Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon. The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside your Door (Baker Publishing Group, 2012), p.178.

 

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