Previously we traced some root causes for the many divisions among Christians. In this post we stress why unity is vital and offer some steps to implement it.
Part 1: If Christianity is to recover from its malaise, our leaders must find ways to cooperate and work together, not competitively. God’s ultimate plan for our broken world is “to bring all things together in unity through Christ both in heaven and earth.” (Eph 1:12) . We can help heal our broken church to find ways to model agreement and harmony, fulfilling God’s dream for us.
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 Savior. Five times he pleads for us “to be one.” [BTW: Wesley wisely observed that the Bible’s most essential truths are the ones most repeated].
2. Our unity conforms with and reflects the harmonious relationship within the Godhead. Jesus’ prayer shines light on God’s perfect 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.”
3. 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 seek grace to resist temptations to argue and bicker over doctrines. Is my job as a believer to criticize you and correct your beliefs or to love and encourage you? -Galatians 6: 1-5
4. Divided we fall and our witness is dead in the water. Jesus prayed for unity so the world would know we are genuinely His “…then the world will believe you sent me” and “…so the world will know you sent me.”
- When we demonstrate unity and model Christ’s love among ourselves, unbelievers will be open to us and the gospel of love we preach.
- .Competition, lack of cooperation, doctrinal quarrels, is a real turn-off. Divided, we lose our saltiness and hide our light. (Matt. 5:13-16).
- Jesus calls us to “be” his witnesses,”—live the gospel, then “tell it.” -Acts 1:8
6. Our unity goes hand in hand with obeying Jesus’ new covenant command: “Love one another as I have loved you”—-John 13: 34.
- He promises the same results in his command and prayer: “Your love for one another proves to the world you are my disciples
- Lost, hungry souls need to see we are genuine before they accept our message.
Part 2: Vital Ways To Restore Unity.
1. Pray! Pray! Pray together and alone, fervently with expectation, that mutual love and unity will take root in our fellowships and spread across our divided church.
- It shows our love for Jesus Christ“If you love me, you will obey me.”
- Prayer changes things. Our prayers may help put “united” back in USA.
- Pray for peace in our homes. Eph. 5 and 6 offer 365 wise words of counsel to families. When we follow them, God’s peace strengthens 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)
2. Prayer Requires Actions. Ask God as if everything depended on Him. Act as though it all depends on you.
Future posts will offer more strategies to implement His love and 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.