The church will advance in unity through love.
That’s the conclusion I can make when I read Jesus’ prayer in John 17.
Jesus was praying to His father for the unity of the church. Not just unity with Him and the Father but also unity amongst each other.
I believe if Jesus took the time to pray this prayer and the spirit lead the writer of John to write this prayer down, then this must be a very important principle for the church to follow.
The Apostle Paul spends time in his letters and Epistles teaching the church how to live in unity and harmony with each other.
We must unite with a foundation of the Gospel and hold together with the love of God as mortar.
I thank the Lord that I have a church that embraces unity with evidence by diversity in culture.
This past Wednesday we had our Unite service at First Baptist Church in Rogers at the Olive Street campus. During this time we worshipped with our Spanish speaking and Korean speaking members. It was an uplifting time to see all of the different groups come together to worship God in unity.
On most weeks we have three different services, one for each language. And I know our church leaders are always looking for ways to unite all the cultures represented in our community with our church.
“I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
John 17:11-26 NASB