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Why Is Jesus so Passionate for the Unity of His Church?


#1

There are lots of reasons why Jesus is so passionate about his followers walking in unity with each other. Why? Let’s explore what impact that unity has on Jesus, on his people, and on his work in the world.

To get a discussion started here we don’t need one person to outline them all, so pick one of them that most excited your heart and share it here. Let’s see how many we can come up with.


#2

I’ve been so blessed since seeing the revelation that Jesus is more passionate about me walking in union with Him - He as my very life (“For me to live is Christ.”) I’ve found that true unity in reality is a natural outflow between believers when Jesus is pre-eminent with our single eye of focus and we are in union with Him. Otherwise unity can be in danger of just becoming another “works”. My relationship with Him as my life allows Him to walk where He wants to go today, just as He did 2,000 years ago. We can be the continuing book of Acts. True relationship with others is an outworking from Him when we look to Him and not others and circumstances. What freedom, peace, joy and rest now that I know that His primary passion is for me to be part of His heavenly family so that He can reach out through us to others.


#3

Jesus knows that our strength, and thus our joy in Him, comes from our unity with one another. Joy, unlike pleasure, is a permanent state. Jesus wants us to be joyful because it will give us the capacity to endure the worst of situations, and enable us to enter into the sufferings of other brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jesus knows how difficult the world system is…even He was not spared of its wrath. But in Him and through Him, whatever comes our way we know Jesus went before us and we are guaranteed a transcendent life. At times it is unexplainable, yet there is a knowing among us as followers that somehow everything will be OK, though it may not seem OK. The end of the book has already been written.


#4

While Wayne’s and my understanding of the cross differ in some ways, amazingly, what we see the cross does for us as God’s kids in terms of the type of relationship we now have with him, the sense of purpose God gives us this life and how these things come together and impact our being community in this life is remarkably similar. I would go so far as to say, based on my 30+ years of research on these things, that Wayne’s understanding of how the cross affects these three areas i.e. the type of relationship we now have with him, the sense of purpose God gives us and what all that looks like on community – is unsurpassed in this generation. Don’t get a big head old-timer, because I don’t think I’m that far behind you :slight_smile:

Wayne is aware of our shared passion to see God’s family able to intentionally engage as a family community, something I had my first crack at mid-1985 and have been learning some hard lessons ever since. Since then, numerous attempts to put together a ‘framework’ so to speak which might facilitate a family walking and working with Jesus and each other in oneness and unity, freedom and love as one family under one father on a local level worldwide have ended in the rubbish bin. My last attempt about three years ago saw nearly 40,000 words come together in around six weeks and like all the rest hit the rubbish bin almost as quick as it was written. In the last six months I have started getting a little excited about a whole new approach which I hope to get started on within the next six months (no doubt will end in the rubbish bin as well) and I’m starting to see that my interacting with you guys may help me sort through some of what I’m not sure about yet. Ironically, my last effort to create a framework focused heavily on the same issue of unity or being unified that this chapter is focused on. At this stage I have come to understand that our unity is referring to our being unified in purpose. Whose purpose and what purpose? Clearly God’s purpose must be our purpose and when we recognise what his (redemptive) purpose is, and when we all get on board with that, wouldn’t we be unified with him and each other?


#5

I thinks it’s like paragraph 4 in the chapter shows:

The power of the church lies in the unity they find together— men and women loving and working together wholeheartedly because they have found their life and joy in him instead of their own preferences and ideas.

This one really struck me, because it seems like as we allow God’s love to flow through us, we realize most of our preferences and pet doctrines aren’t really worth fighting for… and treating each other with kindness is much more important (and the Holy Spirit does that by His power working in us). So we can then relax and be much more at ease. We then will realize that we don’t need to chase a bunch of doctrines and practices, but once we let the one important thing take over (God and His love), most other things fall into place or at least become a lot easier to deal with… Perhaps life can even become fun (instead of being miserable and overly complicated). :slight_smile:

Lenny
Bailey, NC (USA)


#6

I had an interesting occurrence whilst reading this particular chapter, one of the several times that I’ve read it and what never ceases to amaze me is you can read something and it speaks to you one way and then you read it another time and it’s speak to you in another way. Could that be called that the “multifaceted wisdom of God” or Wayne’s gift of writing? I think it’s a blend of both, which will fire me straight into this.

God uses our unity to shine Himself through to each of us and in doing so builds His church…

It was as Wayne mentions this quote below here…and what this moment really brought home was the fact of how much we each need each other’s differing ways, thinking and gifts.
It was shortly after reading Jesus’s prayer in John 17 this is said…

It’s not because we’ve read the same books or memorized the same catechism, but because we are coming to know the same Father and learning to trust him enough to lose our own agenda and embrace his. The multifaceted wisdom of God is spread through the entire body, and only as we learn to live in love with one another will we be able to see the fruits of it. No one sees completely. No one has all the answers. Unity is not uniformity; it’s harmony. As God transforms us he takes unique expression in each of our personalities and stories. As he brings diverse people together we all get a fuller view of God and what he is like than any of us would see alone. Like a symphony, it is the harmonizing blend of our uniqueness wrapping around his heart and purpose. As we all are tuning to his frequency we will be in tune with one another and the agreement and collaborations it produces can have a profound impact in the world. This is the dance of growing unity that allows us to reflect one heart, one purpose, and one mind.

What totally amazing words!! As I read and re-read them and sat chewing them, mulling them, and reading them again. I experienced a number of differing emotions from tears to deep sadness, as I am still finding my way into his church, to amazing joy as the Spirit flowed trust into my inner self, IT IS HIS TO DO kept ringing away and so it is…
I did have a brief thought about, could it be a major reason to why, amongst the persecution of the early church we have that famous much used much misinterpreted scripture in our time?
Hebrews 10 25… do not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing

During this time Paul’s mention of one body working in harmony together in 1 Corinthians 12 popped into my mind, I’ve used the Message here for a little fun and to save you going to look it up…

14-18 I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.

19-24 But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?

25-26 The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.

I love this Message version, I see Father with a big smile talking to me saying, imagine your hand trying to pick up that cuppa tea without your eye and the rest of your brain etcetera telling it where it is and all the differing parts it takes in your body to simply move your hand to pick up the tea cup. ( haha… us English do love our tea, what would we do without it… :sweat_smile: )

Ian
from Colnbrook near Heathrow UK.