Unity of Believers
UNITY OF BELIEVERS
In John 10:1-16 we are informed that “…there shall be one fold and one shepherd” [verse 16]. Jesus declares that he is the door of entrance into the sheepfold [verse 7]. Jesus knows his sheep by name and the sheep likewise ‘know his voice and will not follow the voice of a stranger [verses 4-5]. He also says “…the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” and that a hireling, who is not the shepherd “careth not for the sheep” [verse 13].
The 17th chapter of John finds Jesus praying for the ones of his disciples (sheep) and he also gives conditions of this unity or oneness of believers. First, they must be believers, that are justified and not of this world [vs.6,9,14,17]. Second, they must also “keep the word”. [vs. 6] Holy Father keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me.” [vs. 11] They can only be kept through the name of God, not the name of Christ, or the Holy Ghost, but “ through thine own name”. We also learn that to achieve perfected unity, believers must be sanctified [vs. 17-21].
The bible contains many scriptures declaring that Christ has one body, or one Church, and that he is the head of the body. [ Eph. 2:16; Col 3:15; 1 Cor 12;13; Col 1:13; Eph5:30]. This body or church of God can only have unity through the Spirit of God [Eph. 4:3]. Ephesians 4:4-16 teaches us that “there is one body, on Spirit, 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.” God’s people also have ‘no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness’. [Eph 5:11]. They also possess ‘one mind’ as they strive for the faith of the gospel. [Phil 1:27]