Unity in the body burns in Christ’s heart so much so that it consumed His last prayer before His crucifixion (John 17:20-23) and by the Holy Spirit who speaks only what He receives from Christ instructed the Church to reject a divisive man (Titus 3:10). For my part, through the communion of the Holy Spirit, my heart has been broken over the disunity that plagues the Church today. The Scripture certainly hit the nail on the head, saying, “know that the divisive man is warped and sinning” (Titus 3:10).
But I am not without hope! The very nature of “love” always hopes, and I believe that those who love Jesus will be broken over the state of disrepair the Church’s love for one another has fallen into, and we will all be compelled together again someday; even that one day tears will run over the time and fellowship that we needlessly lost!
Does this make me ecumenical? By no means! I believe the Church will unite in sanctification and honor. I believe that in humility and meekness we will one day endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Perhaps it will be through trial and tribulation that we will have our pride and arrogance purged from us and learn to walk in the grace of God, rather than just being content to talk about the grace of God. But I am certain that through the work of God love with be revived in the Church again and unity restored to our Body!
The difference between the move of God towards unity and the apostate ecumenical movement is that the latter is made on man’s terms, on man’s timetable, but the former is according to the infinite wisdom of God who works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose; one is made in the peace of Christ, and the other is made in the peace of the world.
Ephesians 4:11-16 (MEV) He gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, for the equipping of the saints, for the work of service, and for the building up of the body of Christ, until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, into a complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so we may no longer be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men, by craftiness with deceitful scheming. But, speaking the truth in love, we may grow up in all things into Him, who is the head, Christ Himself, from whom the whole body is joined together and connected by every joint and ligament, as every part effectively does its work and grows, building itself up in love.
“Teachers” were given, in part, for the purpose of building up the body until we all come into the unity of “faith” and “knowledge of the Son of God”. Though teachers today are more known for accomplishing division rather than unity, it is my hope here to offer something by which the body may be strengthened according to the timely work of God for the “unity of the faith and the knowledge of His Son”.
WISDOM IS JUSTIFIED BY HER CHILDREN
Matthew 11:18-19 “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon. The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a wine bobber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”
Luke 6:43-45 “A good tree does not bear corrupt fruit, nor does a corrupt tree bear good fruit. Each tree is known by its own fruit. Men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a wild bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bears what is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bears what is evil. For of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. ”
Perhaps one of the greatest stumbling blocks to Christian unity has been in knowing how to exercise unity in light of faithfulness to God. There can be no doubt that many of the “divisions” that have occurred in Church history have followed great moves of the Holy Spirit to separate His children from various apostasies (1 Cor. 11:19 & 1 John 2:19). But the vast majority of divisions within the brotherhood throughout our history have come from contentions over the appearance of godliness, but which in substance had nothing to do with godliness.
If we will humble ourselves and wait to observe the fruits of a matter, perhaps we will not be so easily divided against one another. In waiting- and praying- for the fruits of a matter to be revealed we will more clearly see the hand of God at work in our midst, and we will be slow to form harmful and unrighteous judgments against one another. But one thing may be said of this that I can see no way for the boastful, the proud, or the mighty who are puffed up with knowledge to practice this kind of patience; I believe this practice will only bear fruit worthy of the Holy Spirit when it is received with the meekness of wisdom, then we will see the fruits of righteousness that are sown in peace by peacemakers in the church of Christ again.
Perhaps the Lord will create the platform and provide the environment for the Church to be strengthened by what every joint and ligament supplies for the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God; perhaps we will again see the love of God awakened and rekindled to a fervent pitch in the heart of the Church until we can no longer stand to walk in the darkness and be divided against one another like we were enemies (1 John 2:11).