“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." John 17:20-21
On the first Lord's Day of each year, we of the O'Fallon Church of Christ choose a theme on which to concentrate for the next 12 months. This year, we have chosen the theme of "One." Inspired by John 17:20-21 and surrounding verses, our goal is unity in spirit, purpose, action and love with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit and one another.
There are many reasons to pursue such a direction but one that weighs heavily on the mind is the state of the world today. It is no secret to anyone that Christian values are under an increasing amount of attack. More and more it seems that society wallows in wantonness, debauchery, sensuality and greed. Tragically, these things seem to be finding their way into the church more so than righteousness finding its way into society from the church.
Beloved, now as much as ever, it is important that those who call upon the name of Christ pursue unity. To do so, we must first understand that unity is not the same as uniformity, unanimity or unionization. In fact, it is the oneness of inner heart and essential purpose through the possession of a common interest or life. For the Christian, the inner heart is belief in and adherence to the truth of the gospel, and the life is the spiritual one available only in the Lord. Jesus said in John 17:23 that oneness yields perfection (completeness) in unity. This indicates that in order for us to achieve our purpose, we need each other and we need to be one. And what is that purpose? Jesus said in his prayer to God on our behalf, "...that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me," John 17:23-24.
There is much more to be said about believers being one. Let us walk together and pursue unity in all that we think, say and do.