Unity in the church is a big deal to God. Jesus prayed for it just before He went to the cross to make it possible. In what is often referred to as His “high priestly prayer” (John 17), Jesus specifically asked that all those who would come to believe in Him would be one, just as He and the Father are one. Because the oneness of believers reflects the intimate relationship within the trinity, it glorifies God when there is unity in the church. Further, Jesus prayed for our unity so that the world would know that the Father indeed sent the Son because of His love. Unity among Christians is a witness to the reality of the incarnation and passion of Jesus. It matters to God.
After the resurrection, as the gospel spread and churches formed in city after city, the apostles repeatedly called on Christians to live together in unity for God’s glory and as a witness to a watching world. By appealing directly to the humility of Christ – in both His incarnation and death on a cross – the apostle Paul implored the Philippians to abandon all selfish ambition and conceit in the pursuit of loving service to others. “Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:2.) A unified church is a joyous church!
This unity was never intended to be uniformity. We all have diverse backgrounds, giftings, passions, and preferences. Our differences make church interesting! And demonstrate that God loves everyone. But we must keep the main thing the main thing. We have one Lord, one Spirit, one hope, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father who is over all. And together we comprise one body – the body of Christ. He loves His church and has instructed us to work hard to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).
Over the last couple months there have been 2,000 people attending Calvary each week across our three campuses. That’s a lot of people to be united with! Thankfully Jesus is praying for us: Father, let them be one, just as you are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us. Let’s join Him in praying that Calvary will continue to move forward together on our mission to build Christ-centered communities of people fully devoted to loving God and loving others.
With you on the journey,