Our last post traced some root causes for our many divisions among Christians. In this post we show why unity is necessary and offer ways to restore it.
Part 1: If Christianity is to recover from its malaise, we believers must lay down our swords and move towards each other in peace. God’s ultimate plan for our broken world is “to bring all things together in unity through Christ both in heaven and earth.” (Eph 1:10-12) . In the meantime, may we help heal our broken church that she may find ways to model agreement and harmony, fulfilling God’s dream for His church.
WHY IS UNITY SO IMPORTANT?
- 1. Jesus’ heart cries out for it “I pray for them Father…that they will all be one,…may they be one. May they be together in unity…may they be one.“ In this, his high-priestly prayer, urgency grips the Saviour. Over and over he repeats his plea to the Father for us “to be one.” [BTW: Wesley wisely observed that the Bible’s most essential truths are the ones most repeated].
- Unity reflects the nature of the Tri-une God. Other words in his prayer shine a light on the doctrine of the trinity–God’s unity within himself. “Father, as you and I are one— as you are in me– as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.”
- We are called to ”Imitate God and follow Christ’s example of love” (Eph. 5:1), If we imitate God and follow Christ we will find grace to resist temptations to argue and disagree with each other. After all, if you are a believer, is it my job to criticize or correct your beliefs or is it to love and encourage you? [see Galatians 6: 1-5]
- Without unity our witness to the world is stymied. Jesus emphasizes how Christians in harmony authenticate their mission. “…then the world will BELIEVE you sent me” and “…the world will KNOW you sent me.”
- When we demonstrate God’s unity among ourselves, outsiders will notice and be impressed. The gospel of love we preach will become visible to them when we imitate God’s unity and model Christ’s love among ourselves.
- When we quarrel and disagree, compete but don’t cooperate, we lose our saltiness and hide our light. (Matt. 5:13-16). Jesus called us to “be” his witnesses,” living the gospel before we “tell” a broken world God’s good news. (Acts 1:8)
- Unity goes hand in hand with Jesus’ new covenant love command to: 1] “Love one another” as I have loved you—that’s how you should 2] “love and treat each other” 3] “your love for one another will be proof to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 3: 34, 35). In John 15; 12, 17, We read: 4] “Love one another as I have loved you” 5]“love one another. Five times he pleads for this so we see how urgent is this for Him and vital to us!
- The promised results for obeying his command is the same as the one in his prayer: Brotherly love offers proof to lost, hungry souls we are genuine and our message is true.
Part 2: Vital Ways To Restore Unity. DWJD: We can pray corporately and privately as Jesus did, with fervent expectation ti the Father for….
- Mutual love and harmony to take root in our fellowships and for that spirit spread across our divided church and land. Who knows? Our prayers may help put “united” back in the USA. Pray we will put aside differences, focusing on our common faith and love for Jesus –obeying his command to “love one another.”
- Peace in our homes. Paul offers 365 words of good counsel to families In Eph. 5,6. When family members follow them, God’s peace will strengthen our family ties.
- Harmony in other relationships Charity (love) starts at home, but it mustn’t stay there: “As far as possible, be at peace with everyone.” (Rom. 12:18) “Do good to all, especially to those of God’s family.” (Gal 6:10)
- Prayer Requires Actions. Ask God as if everything depended on Him. Act as though it all depends on you.
- Our next few posts will explore Biblical nuts and bolts strategies to implement Christ’s law of love and fulfill his plea for unity. Please, share your comments. It encourages us if we know folks read our stuff.
P.S. Seven Words From Scripture To Help Confirm This Truth To Our Hearts.
- Peace: (eirenei) Inner peace comes when we have peace with God & others.
- One accord: (homothumadon) In Acts whenever disciples are “of one mind and heart,” God blesses them with rapid growth and miracles.
- Agreement/harmony: (symphanos) Jesus promised His special presence when we agree. “How good it is when brethren dwell together”…like a symphony
- Reconciliation: (katalogei) God unites and restores us to himself, then calls us to be his ambassadors of reconciliation to unite others to God and one another.
- Love: (agape). “I show you a more excellent way.” Where I Cor. 13 love is practiced, unity follows. If we are in unity, expect miracles of grace.
- Friendship: (philei) “I now call you my friends. If you are my friends, you will obey my commandment to love one another as I have loved you.”
- Fellowship (koinonia) is our common love for Christ and one another.
Feedback encourage us to continue in this ministry until Christ’s dream for us to be “ONE” comes true.