Through the sacrificial death of Christ, believers are one with God. It is the miracle of salvation. A holy God and sinful man unified.
God also desires the miracle of unity for the church — for your church. Without the miracle of unity, churches divide and ministry suffers. And all this occurs while the world watches. In the finality of Jesus’ life, He was burdened for unity. In the garden He prayed that believers would be one. He said to the Father, “May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me” (John 17:21).
That is a huge statement. Jesus prayed that His followers would be as unified as He and the Father are. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are completely one. They are inseparable. Jesus prayed that believers would be that intimate, that united, that aligned. Unity reflects the glory and character of God because God is unified.
Jesus continued, “I have given them the glory You have given Me. May they be one as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me” (John 17:22–23).
Not only does unity reflect God’s character, but it also gets the attention of the world. People are attracted to unity. Jesus said earlier that all people would know we are His disciples by the love that we have for one another” (John 13:35).
Unity is powerful. It is magnetic. It is a beautiful thing. And the impact is great.
A church is wise to unite not only in their theology, but also in their approach to ministry based on their theology. A church moving in the same direction, guided by the same process for making disciples, is much more likely to stay focused on their mission, and thus much much more likely to gain traction in their community.