[Heart Matters - 9/13/10]
[Praise - 9/22/10]
[Doubt - 9/29/10]
[Voice of Truth - 10/9/10]
[Halloween - 10/31/10]
[Sojourners 11/8/10]
[Depending on God - 11/10/10]
[Growing by Grace - 11/13/10]
[Consuming Fire - 11/16/10]
[Contentment - 11/17/10]
[Thanks Giving - 11/25/10]
[Complaining - 11/26/10]
[Choices - 12/5/10]
[Unity - 12/7/10]
[Pride - 12/15/10]
[Rebellion - 12/21/10]
[Christmas Gift - 12/25/10]
[Covetousness - 1/4/11]
[Battling the Giants - 2/10/11]
[End Times - 3/15/11]
[War for Souls - 3/24/11]
[Spiritual Victims - 4/20/11]
[Prophet Calling - 4/21/11]
[Faith in The Earth - 5/5/11]
[More Faith in The Earth - 5/25/11]
[The Best of Days - By Faith - 6/24/11]
[Awaken to who we are in Jesus - 7/23/11]
[Lessons from Luke on Believing - 7/25/11]
[The plain thing is the main thing - 8/10/11]
[The Unnamed Servant - 8/20/11]
[Special Milestone Update - 11/12/11]
[Five Years Later – The Journey - 4/27/12]

 Unity - 12/7/10

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us – John 17:21

December 07, 2010

In this portion of the powerful prayer that Jesus offered in John 17 (a prayer for us), He prayed just as we should pray everyday. He prayed in the will of the Father. This is His desire for His church, His bride, indeed for His own body. An effective church that the gates of hell will not prevail against, a beautiful bride that is without spot or blemish, and a healthy and strong body that is able to work together to do great things that are highly coordinated to further God’s kingdom.

In the six chapters of the epistle to the Ephesians, the Lord speaks through Paul to elaborate in detail and describe what He was praying for in John 17:21. In Ephesians at the end of chapter 1, he shows how the Father used His mighty power to raise Jesus from the dead and to set Him in a position where He was the head over all things and placed over the church which is His body. And His body was the fullness of Him and through it (His body, the church) He would fulfill all in all. This is a very foundational beginning to this letter and sets the stage for everything else that Paul talks about in the remaining five chapters.

Chapter 2 shows how He used that same power that raised Jesus from the dead to also quicken or raise us up when we believed (for we were all dead and slaves to the law of sin and death). He raised us up along with Jesus and sat us in Heavenly places with Him. The Father did this so that we could, as part of the Body of Christ, do good works as directed by the head… works that the Father preordained for us to do. We are, just as our own hands and feet, all different but the great Creator has brought us all together to work in unity and be part of one glorious body... under one head which is Christ.

The thing in these chapters that makes unity possible in the body is the head. Paul talks about this in Chapter 4 when he says there is one body, one Spirit, and one Lord. Even though the members of the body are so very different, the power of this unity is only achieved when all of the members submit and allow themselves to be controlled by the authority of the head. In directing the activities of our body parts, the head also protects its members, not placing them in harm’s way. Just as in our own bodies, if our heads continually told our members to do things that would seriously injure them, we would have mental problems that would incapacitate us. Similarly, if our different body parts refused to be submissive to what our heads tell them to do, we would have neurological illnesses and our bodies would not be able to function normally or with any kind of effectiveness. The same is true with the Body of Christ and the reason why Jesus prayed that prayer for oneness in John 17:21.

When most people think about Ephesians chapter 5, we tend to zero in on verses 22-29 (wives submit to your husbands and husbands love your wives). As I step back and look at these verses in context with the rest of the chapter (indeed with the rest of the entire epistle), it is a concrete example that illustrates what all of Ephesians is saying. The God-ordained relationship of husbands and wives is an image of what’s being described here… an image of God himself… the Father and the Son, the groom and the bride, the head and the body all one flesh together doing great things. Paul describes this very thing as a great mystery in verse 32. Husbands and wives – the image of God – this is why He so hates divorce. It is a picture of Him being torn asunder.

Chapter 6 continues on with more examples of how we should submit one to another in Christ Jesus (children to parents and vice-versa, and employees to employers and vice-versa). IN all cases submitting to one another not because one is better than the other, but out of fear and reverence for the LORD. And then the epistle finishes with God-given weapons to help us stay connected with the body and achieve the oneness that Jesus prayed for.

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, while the Father’s will is that we all be one in Him through Jesus, the enemy’s determined goal is to bring division and strife among the saints. In these very special days, it is so very important for all of us ensure we are one through Christ Jesus. In the next book of Philippians 2:12, Paul encourages us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Ask the Father today to help you make sure it is Him who is working in and through you to will and do His good pleasure. If this is indeed the case, you will eventually find that as part of His healthy Body of Christ, you have been doing great things in concert with others whom you may not even be aware of to achieve great things for God’s kingdom. Do not allow yourself to be deceived (even by your own self). Stay connected to the LORD at all times in prayer asking Him to direct your path and show you what to do. As members of His body, we should ask everyday that He should live vicariously through us. When that is happening throughout all of the Body, there will be a simply amazing unity that shines as a bright light.

Grace and peace be unto us all

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© 2010 Gerald L. Prater

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