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And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

True Unity

By Louis Rushmore

Jesus prayed for unity.

"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believeon me through their word; That 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. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me" (John 17:20-23). (Emphasis added.)

The apostle Paul also encouraged the Corinthian church to practice unity.

"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" (1 Corinthians 1:10-13). (Emphasis added.)

From both passages of Scripture one learns that biblical unity requires a singleness or a oneness. Both passages place Jesus Christ at the center of this desired unity. In both references, unity depends on revelation of God's will to man. By revelation Jesus Christ is identified and honest hearts believe that evidence; through revelation believers can "be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

The apostle Paul taught the Ephesian church that unity is dependent on revelation or what the Gospel teaches. Between references to "unity of the Spirit" (Ephesians 4:3) and "unity of the faith" (Ephesians 4:13), the apostle listed seven Bible topics which are included in the Gospel.

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Ephesians 4:4-6).

Rejection of any New Testament teaching destroys the possibility for religious unity.

True unity is a distinguishing trait of the New Testament church. This unity results from agreement on and practice of the Gospel alone. There is no basis for unity where something less than, additional to or instead of the New Testament or Gospel is believed.

Jesus did not pray for denominations with their differing names and creeds which cause religious division. Jesus prayed for unity based upon the Gospel which God revealed and which men are required to believe and practice.

H. A. "Buster" Dobbs, email:
P. O. Box 690192
Houston, Texas 77269-0192
(281) 469-3540

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