John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
True unity and effectiveness in His Kingdom go hand in hand. Matthew Henry writes; “The word of Christ is spoken to all believers; and there is a cleansing virtue in that word, as it works grace, and works out corruption. And the more fruit we bring forth, the more we abound in what is good, the more our Lord is glorified. In order to fruitfulness, we must abide in Christ, must have union with him by faith.” And what is the nourishing water that carries this cleansing grace that ‘works out corruption’?
His Word! Scripture describes the relationship of Jesus with His Church; ” . . . as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25-27) Jesus is the Living Word in our lives; “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, John 1:1) To depart from Scripture is to depart from Him!
Jesus tells us in this very passage of Scripture that His Word washes us clean; “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:3) Our purity, our unity and our effectiveness comes from His Word. If we depart from the Word, we lose our connection to Him. We return to the world and our fruit becomes rooted in corruption. So it is with the worldly churches today. Divisiveness, bickering, outright hate and condemnation characterize the relations between so many denominations.
Jesus’ bride – His church – has never been fractured. Any call to unity is as unnecessary as it is false; ” My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:27,28) Matt Slick explains the real basis of unity; “Primarily, it is the saving work of Christ that unites us . . . . True Christians serve the true and living God and we know Jesus in a personal and intimate way (1 Cor. 1:9). We have been redeemed by God himself. Furthermore, we have the body of Scriptures which tell us the essentials of the faith and deviating from these essentials means to be outside the camp of Christ.”
Today, some call for the need for Christians to unite and overlook ‘non-essential’ differences. There are many assemblies claiming to be Christian that deny all or major parts of God’s Word. Can there be ‘unity’ with them? The Bible tells us; “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14) Any call to unity with unrighteousness is a false call – a snare set for believers to draw them away from His fellowship.
Jesus’ church has always been united and always will be. And the gates of hell will not prevail upon it (Matthew 16:18). But what a sinister trick it is to point to the disunity in the many carnal churches and call out for false unity. The selfish and carnal ambitions of power hungry clerics have created these very divisions; “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” (James 3:14-16)
Rather call out for a return to Jesus and His Word! “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37)
Praise the Lord