“One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph. 4:5-6). What is Paul telling us here about unity and where it comes from?
Unity in faith and doctrine is accomplished only in faithfulness to the Word of God. The Lord, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, forms a spiritual bond with every believer. The same new birth, generated by the Holy Spirit, the same obedience to the Word of God, enabled by the Holy Spirit, leads to a unity of faith and practice that transcends all human and cultural differences.
While we are called to submit to the Word of God and to do everything we can to maintain peace with everyone (Rom. 12:18), we ultimately cannot bring about theological unity or unity of purpose as a church body. For unity is not so much a work to be achieved but a gift of the Holy Spirit, who works on each believer individually and on the church corporately.
The theological foundation of this unity is the Word of God. Any appeal to the Spirit without the Written Word can lead to suspect doctrines and practices. At the same time, any appeal to the Written Word of God without the Holy Spirit dries up the Word and makes it barren. Because there is only one Lord, there is only one faith that leads to one baptism. Only in joyful faithfulness to the Word of God will we be able to see unity within our church. And if there is no unity in faith and doctrine, there will be no unity in mission.
“We have one Lord, one faith, one baptism. The gospel of Christ is to reach all classes, all nations, all tongues and people. The influence of the gospel is to unite in one great brotherhood. We have only one Model that we are to imitate in character building, and then we all shall have Christ’s mold; we shall be in perfect harmony; nationalities will blend in Jesus Christ, having the same mind, and the same judgment, speaking the same things, and with one mouth glorifying God.” – Ellen G. White, Our High Calling, p. 171.
|Look at the Ellen G. White statement above. Not worrying about others and what others do, but only yourself, ask: What can I do to help reach this wonderful goal of unity?|