Please note the following is an excerpt from the book, “Jesus’ Prayer from A to Z”, of which I’m Editor.
S - Seeking Unity -
By Stone, Sam
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace”
(Ephesians 4:3). Seeking to maintain unity among believers must become as important
to us as it is to Jesus. Christian unity is like many other things in life, if you don’t
look for it, you probably won’t find it.
The unity of the Spirit isn’t something men create; it is given by God. Our
responsibility is to maintain it, to guard it, to preserve it.
David Lipscomb put it this way: “The spirit that promotes unity and harmony
among men comes from God. Unity and harmony of action are impossible in a way
not provided by God. That unity is gained and maintained by doing the will of God.
It requires no negotiations or arrangements among men to unite them as one in Christ.
If we are in Christ, we cannot help being one with all who are in Christ” (Commentary
on Ephesians, p. 71).
Some years ago I took a graduate class at Earlham College, Richmond,
Indiana, a school operated by the Society of Friends. Six students were enrolled. We
learned that each of us came from a different religious group. The professor, of course,
was a Quaker. One day we were each telling about our church background. I said
that I was from the Christian Church. A lady from the United Brethren Church asked
the professor, “What does the Christian Church believe?”
He began by saying, “They feel that denominationalism is wrong. They feel
that Christians shouldn’t be divided. They don’t want to wear any human names.
They try to follow the church in the Bible; they depend largely upon the book of
Acts; and they feel there is just one church.”
The lady said, “Oh, and they think that they are….”
I interrupted her. “Just a minute,” I explained. “We have a saying, ‘We are
not the only Christians, but we are Christians only.’” The professor affirmed that this
was indeed our position.
In this movement to restore the church to the order, faith, and life of the
church pictured in the New Testament, we have never said, “Only those in our group
are Christians.” Our understanding is that any time a person obeys the requirements
of Christ to be saved, God adds that person to the church, and he or she is therefore
a Christian (Acts 2:47). Our question is, “Why can’t we all just be Christians? Why
should we set ourselves apart from other believers?”
We don’t want to be another denomination. We are saying to other believers,
“Why can’t we all lay aside all of our labels? Why can’t we all just take God’s Word
as our sole authority and all simply wear our Savior’s name?”
When we seek unity in this way, we are helping answer Christ’s prayer that
all of His followers be one (John 17:21). And by doing that, we can hasten the day
when the world may believe on Him.
Prayer: Lord, we ask You to remove our pride and selfishness. Fill our
hearts with a desire for unity with all our brothers and sisters. May we humbly
seek both to speak the truth in love and to live it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Stone, Dr. Sam - Cincinnati, OH - Former Editor, Christian Standard (25
years). Educated at Ozark Christian College (B.A.), Cincinnati Bible
Seminary (Th.B; M.Div). Two honorary D.D. from K.C.C. and Milligan.
Authored How To Be An Effective Church Leader and (his latest) Simply
Christians. He continues his ministry of writing and speaking from home.
He and wife Gwen have two sons, Dave and Jeff, and six grandchildren.
And the Lord make you
to increase and abound
in love toward one another
and toward all,
even as we do toward you.
I Thessalonians 3:12
7 Keys to Effective Prayer
1 - Must be prayer for a definite object
2 - Must be in accordance with the revealed will of God
3 - Must be in submission to the will of God
4 - Must be offered from the right motives
5 - Must be persevering prayer
6 - Must be offered in the name of Christ
7 - Must be offered in faith
- Charles G. Finney (1792-1875)
If we are not the only Christians, where are my other brothers
and sisters in Christ, and how can I stand with them?
Pray Jesus’ prayer for people including:
Security services/ Scientists/ Sports
Pray Jesus’ prayer for:
Believers in Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone,
Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Soloman Islands, Somalia, South Africa,
Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent &
Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, SyriaThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Tom (Jn.17:21) M.,
Fellowship of John 17:21
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