16 Oct 2018
Recently, I sat behind a four year old child. I listened as he asked his parents a steady stream of questions beginning with the word “why?” While some of his questions were easy to answer, others left his parents scratching their heads wondering what he would ask next.
When it comes to the unity of the church we are not left to guess why it is important. The purpose of unity is clearly stated in John 17:23 where Jesus declares “Then the world will know that you sent me, and have loved them, even as you have loved me.” The purpose of unity is mission.
In a world with so many false claims, preaching the gospel in words alone is not enough to impress the world around us. The gospel must be lived. If we fail to display unity within the church, doubt is cast upon the message of the gospel and its power to change lives. Because the church belongs to God and takes his name, how it acts also reflects directly upon God. The Church can either honour or dishonour God’s name by its words and actions. If the people of God argue and fight, God is misrepresented as divided, and unloving.
On the other hand, unity among God’s people provides living testimony of the power of the gospel. Since humans have such difficulty with relationships, unity amongst Jesus’ followers provides convincing proof of the power of God, to both transform lives, and heal the divisiveness of sin.
Take time this week to examine your own relationships with others. Do they misrepresent the gospel, or do they provide a living witness to the power of God in your life? Choose today to be part of the proof of God’s love and power to the world around you.