Should there be unity among all believers? This question has captivated the heart of man since the time of Christ. The Catholic church still embraces this notion of unity, but now allows great diversity among its ranks. The evangelical church has splintered off into a multitude of denominations each with their own exclusive doctrines and practices shunning the rest. This has also given rise to other fringe groups producing both fanatical and the heretical. Yet, Jesus Christ prayed for unity among all true believers, that they would be one as the Father and the Son are One, in unity of thought and action. Jesus went on to say that this unity among true believers would be a witness to the world that He was sent by the Father. Unity among all true believers would be a witness! Let me suggest that this would be a very powerful witness to a dying world that has all but rejected Jesus Christ as the only Savior. The voice of Christians and the diversity of His churches has had little effect upon the world. No one is listening. Yet they listen to the heathen in protest, while their numbers are very small, their voices are united. The unrighteous minority has had a profound effect upon the direction of this country, while the Christian Church has had almost none. Christian unity can have a formidable voice to a divided world, but before we continue it’s necessary to deal with the one objection that many have in our day when discussing unity.
So, what is that objection? Perhaps the greatest objection is what we see in the Catholic Church which has brought great diversity of doctrine into the church. Moreover, as of late much of this doctrine is embracing a liberal theology and an openness to accept other world religions on equal footing with Christianity. This kind of unity was aggressively disputed by the early Church and should also be aggressively disputed by the evangelical Christian. But even all this should not close the door to the kind of unity that our Lord and His Apostles spoke so highly about in the Bible. The unity that we as believers should strive for should be the fundamental truths of Christianity, that all believers must adhere to if they claim to be a Christian. If every true believer accomplished this and came together in unity they indeed would turn the world upside down. The world would hear a formidable voice! A voice that would tell the world that Christ did come in power to offer His salvation to the world; that we are not going quietly into the night; that we will not be overcome; and, if necessary we will all together suffer persecution rather than deny our faith. Let’s be clear the last thing we want is another denomination or another splinter group. On the other hand, we want all believers from whatever church they decide to attend to come together in unity of faith to stand up to the world with one voice. Let’s also be clear that we are not necessarily talking about standing against a certain administration, but we are talking about the world in general. We are letting our voice be heard for the people, all the people.
So, what is this fundamental faith that all true believers should possess? It’s actually quite simple, but very profound. Only fallen humanity has made it difficult. Before we get started you might ask yourself a question, “What’s in your faith that you would be willing to die for?” This will be the yardstick that we will use to measure the importance of your beliefs. Anything else in our cherished doctrines could be debated until Christ returns, but should not separate true believers in the Lord. It’s these open disagreements that have separated believers, thus having the world turn away shrugging their shoulders and stopping their ears. This must change. Only what we can agree on, can be openly proclaimed to the unbelieving world, all other religious discussion must remain mute. Even when having discussion among so called believers it must be made clear what’s imperative and what’s open for discussion. Until this happens we will never have the effect we want to have on the unbelieving world.
So, let’s look at the simple yet profound fundamentals of the Christian faith that we should all agree, to become that formidable voice to a divided world. It’s essential that we have a clear understanding of who Christ is and an understanding of the Gospel message. Clearly Jesus Christ is and was the expected Jewish Messiah fulfilling all the Old Testament prophecies about Him. He came to fulfill the role as a Suffering Servant and One who would take away the sins of the world. He came in the flesh, all human, but at the same time all divine as the only begotten Son of God. To reject either is counter Christian and aligns you with the cults, false prophets and other world religions that reject Christ’s divinity, such as the Islamic religion. Furthermore, all power in heaven and earth was given to Jesus Christ by the Father. Truly there is great power in the Name of Christ. Jesus Christ was pre-existence with the Father before the creation of the world and for humanity He is the alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Finally, it’s imperative to understand and agree with the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ that it is a gift from God, not by works unless anyone should boast, but it is by grace, an unmerited favor. Through faith believing that Jesus Christ is exactly who He said He was, and believing He did what He said He would do, to bring salvation to humanity. Yes, Jesus Christ did die on the Cross and all our sins was placed upon Him as an atoning sacrifice. And, yes on the third day Jesus Christ did arise from the grave and is now seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven making intercession for His followers. And, yes all our sins are forgiven and salvation is offered to all of humanity through faith, allowing us to escape the eternal damnation of hell, and to have life everlasting in heaven. Finally, Jesus Christ made it very clear that He is the only way to the Father, which eliminates all other religions. The Bible says, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:7). For this every true Christian should be willing to die. We believe in the simple, yet profound Gospel, which should unite all true believers in Christ.
The second fundamental is, what God does for the new believers in Christ. After repentance of sins and belief we are forgiven of all our sins past, present and future so that we can be made into a brand-new creation in Christ. This is more than just a clean slate. We are given a new personality, new likes and dislikes, and the heart of stone is replaced with a heart of love and compassion for all the people. Then immediately the Holy Spirit is given to every true believer as a guarantee of our future inheritance in heaven. Through the indwelling Spirit we now have direct access to the Father as a child of the King. There are many wonderful and great promises in the Bible, but by far these are the greatest. We accept these promises on faith. To do less is to doubt God and seriously question your position as a true believer in Christ. Not only does the indwelling Holy Spirit open our eyes to the truth and bring to memory everything that Jesus Christ taught He also comes bearing gifts for every believer in Christ. Along with this awesome gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit comes all the needed tools (or Spiritual gifts) for the ministry. Although, there may be some disagreement of which Gifts are available. Everyone should agree that a needed gift for a specific occasion does take place and I would venture to say that all true believers will experience the use of at least one Spiritual gift in their life time. Furthermore, it is the indwelling Spirit that produces Spiritual fruit in every true believer as we continue our Spiritual growth from one degree of glory to another.
The third fundamental is, what God expects from us. He expects us to grow spiritually from one degree of glory to another by daily putting off the old life (or the old man) and putting on the new life in Christ. Again, we have been given the tools to make this possible by allowing the indwelling Holy Spirit to write God’s commandments upon our hearts and then to bring conviction and encouragement when we fail to apply them to our new life in Christ. Christ said if you love me you will keep my commandments. And His commands are not burdensome but each helps us to love God and one another. It is sad to say that most of God’s commandments, even the ones in the New Testament alone, are completely overlooked, ignored, and not applied to the believer’s life. Yet, it is these commandments that really show us how to love God and our fellow man. It is these commands that takes us by the hand and leads us into the new life in Christ. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit that always convicts us and encourages us to apply them to our new life. If you are growing in Christ, then I can assure you that you have a great desire for unity with other true believers that hold to these fundamental beliefs. I can assure you that you have a great desire to allow your voice to be heard in a divided world.
All our marching to get the heathen world to obey God’s commandments will change nothing. All our preaching to the heathen about doing the right thing will change nothing. Even our favorite doctrine about eschatology will change nothing. It will not change hearts. The only thing that will change the heart of man is the Gospel along with the fundamental truths that all Christians share. To change the heart of man is only possible through the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only when we come together believing that Christ brought us a new life in Him giving us the Gift of the Holy Spirit as our guarantee will we be able to affect the direction of this country. I say it again, where is the united and formidable voice for Jesus Christ? If the heathen can come together in small numbers and change the direction of this country and the world, imagine what God’s children can do if they only speak up. Speak together as one united voice for Christ. Please don’t take all your favorite hotly debated doctrines to the heathen, but only take the fundamentals of God’s Truth, what God has done for humanity and what He expects us to do. Nothing more and nothing less, then we will truly change the world for Christ.
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