GodReflection: Let’s Elevate Unity to the Level of Doctrine.
The Apostle John got it.
Finally, learning from his own mistakes he understood. John, an apostle of Jesus’ inner circle described himself as the one whom Jesus loved. The apostle found love to be a synonym for Jesus.
John records Jesus prediction of Jews and Samaritans uniting in worship. John spends an entire chapter to record Jesus declaration of being the vine that unites and sustains the branches. John writes down the unity prayer of Jesus that I might know his desire for me and all believers. John reports Jesus affirmation of unity among the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
As churches grow toward maturity in Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, and Colossae, the Apostle Paul circulated letters among new believers teaching the importance of maintaining unity in the churches.
I would argue that love serves as a synonym for unity. Every writer of the New Testament stresses the importance of Jesus’ love and the imperative of believers connecting to his love as a conduit to share that same love (unity) with others.
Now, permit me to give an opinion on where the tires grab the pavement in the 21st century.
As a fellow Christian there are times when it is easier to latch onto a statement in the Letters—not understanding the exact context of the 1st century church—and raise my conclusion up the church flagpole as unquestionable doctrine.
I shuffled those who disagree with me to the outside. The unity of the fellowship breaks. It is far too easy to relegate unity to the backseat of Jesus’ church. Unity becomes unattainable.
Isn’t it time to recognize unity as a New Testament doctrine taught and modeled by Jesus and advocated by every New Testament author?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells – Reflecting on Cross Church