It’s hard to examine the biblical call to oneness without first considering the Lord’s prayer for His followers found in John 17…
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20-21 (ESV)
It was the cry of Christ’s heart that we would be one with Him and one with one another just as He and the Father are one. It’s an unmistakeable, unshakeable, unchangeable oneness that exists to resonate the reality of Christ to the world.
As you read through Ephesians 4:1-16, you find that Paul’s call to the Ephesian church echoes the very same heart of oneness.
In Ephesians 4:4-6, Paul stresses the eminence of oneness inherent to the Christian faith as he stresses that part of God’s call to walk worthy is the consistent pursuit of unity.
Since there is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God and Father, then it only stands to reason that part of our DNA as Christians should be the obvious manifestation of the oneness of us.
The problem is we are all flawed and fallible people with different personalities and backgrounds. In fact, Paul’s call to oneness falls in context with his reminder that God’s “grace-gifts” were given to each of us according to His own choosing. Those varying gifts that make us unique are the very things God uses to demonstrate the oneness of His body.
When we are unified, yielded to and walking in the Spirit and fully functioning in our giftedness, the body of Christ becomes like a well-oiled machine producing Christlikeness as a testament to the world that we are His and He is Lord.
Ephesians 4:13-16 tells us that our unity develops and demonstrates the following:
♥ MATURITY – “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”
♥ STRENGTH & WISDOM – “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes”
♥ LOVE – “Rather, speaking the truth in love” “when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love”
♥ SUBMISSION & TEAMWORK – “we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly”
Unity is how we grow…it’s how we function as a body! We’re all on the same team. Not just the local church, but the church of God as a whole. We accomplish more when we work together hand-in-hand, side-by-side – cheering each other on and impacting a world for Christ.
Colossians 2:19 says we are knit together. As one body we are woven together like threads of a beautiful tapestry. Each strand holds its own unique color and texture, but when laced together with the others it becomes a stunning work of art. Our giftedness, our races, our cultural and even denominational backgrounds add beauty to the body of Christ. When the body of Christ is unified it’s like a beautiful work of art displayed in the museum of life.
Our unity – the oneness of us – validates our love for one another and communicates Christ in us to a lost a dying world. Our oneness is an answer to the Lord’s prayer!
As we examine the oneness of us today, I can’t help but wonder if anyone reading this is struggling in a relationship with a brother or sister in Christ. If that’s you, please get that thing right today.
What are some ways disunity can hurt the cause of Christ?
Do you struggle with unity with other believers because of differences or difficulties?
What are some ways to deal with disunity in the body?