ONLINE CHURCH BULLETIN
In the Interest of Unity: Becoming One
In describing the marital relation- ship, Jesus taught that the husband I and wife become one, yea, to the point that "they are no more twain, but one flesh" (Mt. 19:5, 6). Even so, in describing the close relationship among Christians, again, the word "one" was used. There is one New Testament church (Eph. 1:22, 23; 4:4) and her members are to live as one, that is, in harmony enjoying a relationship of being close to each other (cf. Rm. 12:10,16; Gal. 5:13; 6:2; Eph. 4:2,32; 5:19,21; 1 Thes. 3:12; 4:18; Heb. 10:24; Jas. 4:11; 5:16, 1 Pet. 4:9).
TO WHAT EXTENT SHOULD CHRISTIANS LIVE IN HARMONY? According to "Christ's prayer for the church, " Christians are to be one "even as" Christ and his Father are one (John 17:21-23). A beautiful concord existed between Jesus and his heavenly Father (cf. Jn. 10:38; 14:9-11; 17:2.4.6,7,8,9,11,12,22,24). They were of the same mind (Jn. 6:38). They spoke the same things (Jn. 7:16, 12:48-50). They manifested the same love (Jn. 3:16; Gal. 2:20). In essence, they were coworkers (Jn. 5:36). Even so, this concord is to exist among Christians (cf. Acts 2:47; 4:32). They are to be of the same mind (Rm. 12:16; 15:5,6; 2 Cor. 13: 11). They are to speak the same things doctrinally (I Cor. 1: 10; cf. Rm. 15:6). They are also to love one another with the same love (Phil. 2:2; cf. I Cor. 12:25, 26). They, too, are to be coworkers (2 Cor. 6: 1).
According to "Christ's prayer for the church, " Christians are to be one even as Christ and the Christian are one (John 17:23). Note the phrase of Jesus, "I in them." A togetherness is shared between Christ and the Christian. The Christian dwells in Christ (Rm. 6:3; Gal. 3:27; cf. 2 Cor. 5:17), and Christ, through His Word, dwells in the Christian (Cor. 3:15, 16; 1 Jn. 2:24). Christians are "made alive together with Christ" (Eph. 2:5); they are raised up with Him and sit with Him in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6), being created in Him for good works (Eph. 2: 10). Even so, a togetherness is to exist among Christians, They are to be perfected together (I Cor. 1: 10), workers together (2 Cor. 6: 1), be together in heart (2 Cor. 7:3), being framed together (Eph. 2:21), builded together (Eph. 2:22), fitly joined together (Eph. 4:16), and knit together (Col. 2:2). Paul's words could sum up the extent of fellowship which is to exist among Christians and Christ: "Jesus Christ...died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him" (I Thes. 5: 10).
-condensed from Harmony Among the Heirs of Heaven
Dan Winkler, Nashville, Tennessee
House to House/Heart to Heart
Volume 8/Number 2