Why is unity in The Church important? Unity in the Church is the heart and desire of God. Jesus is not divided. There is only one Jesus. The Body of Christ is the Church and the Church is the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23, Col 1:18, Col 1:24). Jesus did not die for His Church on the earth to be divided. The Church may be diverse but not divided. He died for us to be united back to God through Christ. Therefore if Christ is one, His Church, the Body of Christ, must be one.
When Jesus died on the cross, it was for all humanity. For people who choose to believe in the message of Jesus making him the Lord of their life, and becoming a follower or disciple of Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us that we (together) are hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3). This is how we are spiritually unified, but this unity should be manifested. It’s important our unity be shown to the world and celebrated by us, the Church.
In John 13:34-35 Jesus taught that “it is by your love for one another that all would know you are my disciples.” How then is our love shown to the world? As followers of Christ walk in unity with one another it’s an expression of our love towards one another to the world around us. As we do this Jesus himself said it would show the world we are His disciples. Walking in unity with one another, is one way we can visibly show our love one to another.
Our unity with one another reinforces the message of reconciliation the Church is here to share with humanity. How can we expect the world around us to accept a message of love and reconciliation when the representatives of Jesus and God the Father on earth do not walk in a spirit of unity and love towards one another?
Jesus himself prayed for our unity in John 17:20-23. There are two expectations Jesus prays our unity, or oneness, would not only communicate, but prove to the world: 1). God sent His Son Jesus. 2). God loves them as He has loved Jesus.
Our unity is a message in and of itself to people who do not yet know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. In other words, Jesus prays that we would be unified as one so the world would know God sent His own Son, Jesus, for their eternal salvation because God loves them just as much as He loves His own son – Jesus Christ. This is the one mission all disciples of Jesus are instructed to walk out. This should be our primary motivation for unity in the Body of Christ. If we do not desire for people to come to know Jesus Christ, then how much do we really love them?
But how does a city that is literally the “Buckle of the Bible Belt” practically and tangibly do this thing called unity? Though we are unified because we worship and serve the same God, there is a greater expression of unity available through humble collaboration. In Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby encourages us to “see where God is moving and get involved.”
[Why Is Unity Important? – Part 2 coming 10/1/2015]