John 17:20-23 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”

     The Unity of the body of Christ signifies God’s presence in this body.  This unity affirms Jesus as sent by God and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in His church.  This unity signifies God’s love for His church to the world.  No wonder Satan does everything he can to draw people away from God’s Word so he can splinter the church and create division. Then Satan uses a false call to a false unity to the soulish and carnal doctrines of the worldly church.  That is his strategy – to split with lies and bind together with lies thereby creating an unholy monstrous parody of the true church.

     Jesus knew this would happen.  Barnes’ Notes states; “He saw the danger of strifes and contentions in the church. He knew the imperfections of even the best of men. He saw how prone they would be to passion and ambition; how ready to mistake love of sect or party for zeal for pure religion; how selfish and worldly men in the church might divide his followers, and produce unholy feeling and contention; and he saw, also, how much this would do to dishonor religion.” 

     Matthew Henry describes the essentials of true unity; “The real holiness of all true Christians is the fruit of Christ’s death, by which the gift of the Holy Ghost was purchased; he gave himself for his church, to sanctify it. If our views have not this effect on us, they are not Divine truth, or we do not receive them by a living and a working faith, but as mere notions.”

     Jesus said the mark of a true disciple is obedience to His Word; ” If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed: . . . ” (John 8:31)  Love for Jesus is evident in obedience to His Word; “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)  And this unity in His Word would be the true basis of love for each other and a sign to the world; “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34,35)

     The carnal church has multiplied itself into many, many, many disciples of diverse and divisive doctrines.  Worldly super-apostles now enrich themselves by calling for a ‘new unity on essentials’ to bring the church back into a kind of  ‘wholeness’; “If Christians ignore the Lord’s call to unity, they risk ignoring the Lord Himself and the salvation He offers through His Body, the Church: ‘there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name … by which we must be saved.’”  (Message to the World Council of Churches)  Who could possibly find fault with such nice notions.

     The Bible tells us that God offered salvation to mankind through His Son – Jesus Christ  (John 3:16) not the Church.  And Jesus Christ is the only name by which we are saved; “He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11,12)  This has always been the true unity built on His Word.

       Nice worldly notions just don’t cut through the dirt and lies of Satan’s dominion rather they add to it.  It was and is Jesus’ prayer that we be sanctified through the truth of His Word;  “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:17-21)

    This is Love’s evangelism!

    Praise the Lord!
    

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