On Unity

My wife and I visited Barnes & Noble recently. As is my custom, I made a bee-line for the “Philosophy” and “Religion” sections. These are the subjects about which I enjoy thinking and studying.

When I looked over the titles and authors on the shelves, I felt an overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction. My mind went to these ancient words:

…there is no end to the making of many books, and much study wearies the body.

In the books before me was a representation of the yearning of humanity throughout its existence to find truth. In their own unique way each author and each book represented a person searching to think and live according to what is true. Yet, there is and has often been so very much disagreement within humanity as to what the truth is. This is the fundamental issue at the heart of all problems in human civilization: a disagreement over truth. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to settle the issue once and for all and be unified around what is true?

Yes! But, how? This is one reason I believe in Jesus Christ. He came and said:

I am the way, the truth, and the life.

He claimed to have and to be the truth come to save the world. If He was right, what a beautiful and amazing thing this would be! It would mean that we no longer need to search for truth for Truth has come to us!

But, if you haven’t noticed already, the followers of Jesus Christ often disagree among themselves as to exactly what the truth is. In creating the church, the people called out of the world to live as His disciples, he intended to give the world a witness of what it is He will do for all of the world in the fullness of time. We are supposed to represent the unity around the truth that Christ wants to give the entire world. What a shame it is then that Christianity has divided into so many factions claiming to have the truth that are too often warring against one another!

This should not be. Christ’s church should be united around the truth and working together so as to be a consistent and clear witness to the world of Christ’s saving power.

We need a revival of unity in the Christian truth around the doctrine of Christ and the Gospel. How will this happen?

We need more Christians to forget commitments to denominations and traditions and seek God in prayer with an open heart for His leading as to their understanding of His word.

I invite you to reflect on this line from a video I watched recently about a man and his theological journey.

I soon realized that to be even remotely objective or serious in my quest, I had to abandon my attempts to defend a system and simply allow the Word itself to take me where it would.

Now, consider these words of the Apostle Paul.

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength. He exercised this power in Christ by raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens — far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he subjected everything under his feet and appointed him as head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way. – Ephesians 1:17-23

Would you join me in praying that God would lead us and guide us into His truth so that we could be unified?

Let me make one very practical suggestion. As you notice in the quoted passage from Ephesians, Paul’s prayer was that God would give the individual readers and the church as a whole His Spirit. It is by receiving the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13) and walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) that we will enjoy the fellowship of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:13). It is in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit that we will find unity.

So, if you haven’t received the Holy Spirit, seek it and God will give it (Luke 11:13). If you have received the Holy Spirit, walk in the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16).

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