Being One before a Watching World

Last two posts, I wrote about how Jesus prayed specifically and most pointedly for you and me, as if it were the most important request ever That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You (John 17:21a)

Jesus’ oneness with the Father is the pattern we are called to emulate. We know we are called to do so because of Jesus’ prayer. It is a clear insight into what God’s will is. We must obey. It is critical.

This is echoed in His great command to “immerse them [new disciples] into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”. Immersion or enveloping, submerging, absorbed into can be a legitimate translation. It expresses the idea of becoming completely occupied with something, giving as much as possible of your time, energy, or concentration to it.

But Jesus goes even further . . . . .

That they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. (John 17:21b)

How critical ONENESS is, according to Jesus! Unless this oneness with “Us”—the Father and the Son—is a reality here with us on earth, the watching world will not believe Jesus was sent by the Father, the Only true Living God who spoke all into existence!

We appear so weak before the watching world because of our lack of oneness, our divisions, our quarrels, our hardheartedness with fellow believers, let alone our often dislike and even hatred of others.

His wonderful ekklesia which He alone is building is HIS Body and He is its head and we are each joined with one another into him, the head. Unity is found in His Body. That is inescapable. This is serious . . . .

You know that you are God’s sanctuary and that God’s Spirit lives in you, don’t you? If anyone destroys God’s sanctuary, God will destroy him, for God’s sanctuary is holy. And you are that sanctuary! 1 Cor 3:16-17

Oneness of God was the foundation statement of the Israelites. In Paul, God is revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit—yet is one, as Paul who was Hebrew to the core, was at pains to teach his Corinthian hearers :

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit, and there are varieties of ministries, but the same Lord. There are varieties of results, but it is the same God who produces all the results in everyone. (1 Cor 12:4-6)

I urge all of you to be in agreement and not to have divisions among you, so that you may be perfectly united in your understanding and opinions. (1 Cor 1:10).

Paul reminded the Ephesians to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;  one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (4:3-6)

The apostle implored his hearers to stand firm in one spirit, struggling with one mind for the faith of the gospel (Phil 1:27) and having the same attitude, sharing the same love, being united in spirit, and keeping one purpose in mind. (Phil 2:2)

Agreement and being of one mind and spirit is not an option. It is a serious command. And it is possible!

It is perfectly possible when we are joined organically to the Head as branches are in the Vine; when we are found in Jesus. We must put to death this terrible earthly, fleshly thing in us. Become alive in the Spirit, cooperating freely with the Lord and with one another, abounding in His work, abounding in His work and abandoning all else. One together in Him.

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