John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.
This passage of scripture reveals the ardent desire of Christ for all true disciples to be united as one in Him, as He also is one with the Father. Singleness of heart, mind, and purpose is absolutely essential to the smooth operation of God's kingdom in heaven, and here on earth, and this sacred bond of unity can only be brought about if the Holy Spirit is the common denominator, binding heart to heart in the love and unity that exists within the God-head. Even with the creation of the world we observe this oneness of purpose, where the sacred record states that God said "Let us make man in our own image".
The words "Let us" reveal the fact that there was close collaboration, discussion of the far reaching issues, and finally a general consensus to which all three members of the God-head fully agreed. And then in the final implementation of the plan, all three are again seen to be working in harmony to create a new world, and a different order of beings. Let's read:
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" .... 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
John 1: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
However, achieving this same perfect bond of unity here on earth amongst the followers of Christ who have fallen natures is another matter, for it is not as easy to find or develop those traits of character that will foster deep ties of brotherhood amongst ourselves as Christians. For instance, within the circle of the twelve disciples there were members who had traits of character which, if not uprooted, could have threatened the very bond of peace that Christ was trying to bring about.
Some of them had violent tempers and became easily offended when their spirits were wounded for different reasons. Some were inclined to doubt, all were seeking the highest place in the kingdom, another one of them was a bandit, and not one of them were converted even when they were first sent out to preach. How was Christ to bring about the perfect bond of unity in such a motley crew? The answer lies in the one common denominator that was to be found in them, namely The Holy spirit of God. He alone, and nothing else would eventually bring about that oneness that Christ prayed for, so that all who were willing would finally be so closely knit in heart, mind, and purpose, that the bonds of brotherly love could never be broken. Let's read:
Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people".
In our day and in our own conversion process we need to remember that we are living in an imperfect world, filled with imperfect people who have fallen and cannot get up by ourselves, and thus it is incumbent upon every true follower of Christ, to exercise love, restraint forbearance, kindness, and mutual respect and consideration with the purpose of fostering that unity which Christ so ardently prayed for. Like the disciples of old, none of us are perfect, and we all strive for the mastery over cultivated and inherited tendencies to evil, which at times can threaten our unity and sanity when left to run riot.
Yet, in and through it all, The Holy Spirit is working on our hearts from day to day, revealing to us the perfect pattern in Christ, and strengthening and changing us from the inside out, so that the radiance of God's glory might be reflected in our thoughts, words, and deeds. We have a part to play in cooperating with God in this delicate work, for it's only as we do so through our freedom of choice, that the Holy Spirit then makes effectual, that which was accomplished for us in Christ's life, and on Calvary.
It is therefore our privilege and our hope that the oneness that exists within the God-head will also become ours, so that we can present to the world a united front in bringing the saving grace of God to those who now sit in darkness. We therefore end with a passage of scripture which teaches us the necessity of permanent change in our hearts, and it is the will of God that we avail ourselves of His salvation on a daily basis. Let's read:
1st Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
May this love which only comes from above be our experience today and forevermore, according to the perfect will of our Father in heaven. God Bless!