There are different beliefs on unity. The dictionary defines it as:
20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21That 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.
These were spoken by Jesus, praying to the Father, for the church. He wasn’t praying for one specific, for all that believe in Him. Those that are IN Christ. That they/we may, would be one, unified, as Jesus and the Father were unified. That we may be one, unified with them and that the world may/would believe that God sent Him.
Unity is not a human thing, it’s something God created and intended. It already exists, we just need to get in on it. (Paraphrased from Pastor)
How do we do this? Let’s check Ephesians:
1I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
We are to “walk worthy of the vocation” or walk worthy of our calling. There are 5 things we must do through this walk:
- With lowliness, also known as humility. (Did you know that Paul more than likely introduced the word humility to the Greek? Before that, it didn’t exist. Some surmise because there was no humility in the Greek until then. I’ll have to investigate that further to see how accurate that is.)
- Meekness, also known as gentleness of our rights and possessions. They all belong to God.
- Longsuffering, also known as patience
- Forbearance, meaning a refraining from the enforcement of something (as a debt,right, or obligation) that is due. (Debt not meaning monetary, but the need to pay someone back on something they have done to you.
We are to make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit. How? We need a good foundation. Here are the 7 items for the foundation, found in Eph 4:3-6
3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
I’ll list them out to make it easier:
We are to endeavour, to exert oneself to do or effect something; make an effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond (something, as an agreement or friendship, that unites individuals or peoples into a group; covenant) of peace.
- One Body – Christ has one body which is made up of believers (see Acts 1 and 2)
- One Spirit – See 1 Corinthians 6:17, Romans 8:14-17, 1 Corinthians 12:11-13
- One Hope – See Hebrews 6:18-19, Romans 8:24, 1 Peter 1:3, and 1 Corinthians 8: 4-6
- One Lord – See Acts 2:26, Romans 10:9
- One Faith – See Galatians 1:8, Jude 3
- One Baptism – See 1 Corinthians 12:13
- One God and Father – See Deuteronomy 4:35, 6:4, 32:39, Isaiah 45:14, 46:9, 1 Corinthians 8:4-6
Pastor provided us with a lot of verses to go back and reference, So, instead of looking them all up for the blog, you can do it. 😉 Really, it just shows that throughout the bible (yes, I acknowledge most of those verses are in the NT) there is talk of being One, unity.
We ended our study with the following verses:
7But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
According to this section, all of us are given grace. When He ascended to heaven, the led captivity captive and gave gifts to men. Verses 9 and 10 refer to when Christ died on the cross and descended into hell, and as some reference it, he took the keys from Satan, and then rose again, walked the earth for 40 days, then ascended into heaven. This was to fulfill the prophecy. He gave gifts, vocations, to some of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, as an example. This was for the purpose of edifying, to instruct or benefit, especially morally or spiritually; uplift, the body of Christ.
I’ll discuss verse 13 after the next study, since it leaves us hanging on until what.