Like many other spiritual blessings God gives His people, church unity is also a gift of God. Unity is not a human creation through our efforts, good works, and intentions. Fundamentally, Jesus Christ creates that unity through His death and resurrection.
As we appropriate by faith His death and resurrection through baptism and forgiveness of our sins, as we join in common fellowship, and as we spread the three angels’ messages to the world, we are in union with Him and in unity with one another.
Read John 11:51-52 and Ephesians 1:7-10. What event in the life of Jesus is the foundation of unity among us as Seventh-day Adventists?
“Now this he [Caiaphas] did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad” (John 11:51-52, NKJV). How strange that God used Caiaphas to explain the meaning of Jesus’ death, even though Caiaphas did not know what he was doing in condemning Jesus to die. Nor did the priest have any idea of just how profound his statement was. Caiaphas thought that he was making a political statement only. John, though, used it to reveal a foundational truth about what the substitutionary death of Jesus meant for all of God’s faithful people, who would one day be gathered “together into one.”
Whatever else we believe as Seventh-day Adventists, whatever message we alone are proclaiming, the foundation of our unity exists in our common acceptance of Christ’s death in our behalf.
And, furthermore, we also experience this unity in Christ through baptism. “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:26-27, NKJV). Baptism is another bond that we Adventists commonly share, as it symbolizes our faith in Christ. We have a common Father; thus, we are all sons and daughters of God. And we have a common Savior in whose death and resurrection we are baptized (Rom. 6:3-4).
|Whatever cultural, social, ethnic, and political differences exist among us as Seventh-day Adventists, why should our common faith in Jesus transcend all such divisions?|