“Endeavoring to Keep the Unity of the Spirit (Part 2)”
Endeavoring to Keep
the Unity of the Spirit (Part 2)
In the first part of this study, we laid the foundation for unity. In this part of our study, we want to see the first of three connections that exist between Jesus and unity.
The Prayer That Jesus Prayed
In His prayer for His disciples, Jesus prayed, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 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. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me (John 17:20-23). Jesus wanted His present disciples and His future disciples to enjoy the unity that He enjoyed with the Father. Their unity would show the world His deity and the Father’s love. Without unity, the world would never believe the message of the disciples.
The early church did their best to fulfill this prayer of the Lord. Luke records, “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, Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:46; cf. John 13:34-35).
Furthermore, Luke recorded, “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need” (Acts 4:32-35). Please note that they were of one heart and one soul. They shared what they had with each other. That is unity. That is love. That is what Jesus was requesting in His prayer.
Today, we need to consider anew the prayer that Jesus prayed for His disciples. If we will do so, then it will help us to keep the unity of the Spirit.