August 18, 2009

Unity in the Church

Ephesians 4:2-6

There is one body and one Spirit … one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all.
Ephesians 4:4-5


As we noted yesterday, history records much disagreement and division among churches around the world. Some of those differences are as much about culture and history as they are about actual faith and doctrine—but it is a sad commentary just the same. That is not how God intended the church to be. And it’s really not what the Christian church is at its very core.

Whatever outward divisions may be apparent, the church’s real nature is found in something deeper than what the eye sees or the ear hears.

The unity that the church seeks is found not in the church’s outward behaviors. It’s found in the biblical reality that reflects God’s desire for the church in the world: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when your were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all.”

The unity we seek is not to be of our own making, no matter how hard we seek it. The unity of the church globally and for all ages is rooted in the fact that together all Christians form one body and confess the same Lord. Those who confess Christ as the Lord of life together form one body regardless of the ways our different cultures and histories have sown seeds of division and discord. The church’s unity is God’s work. It’s our calling to live that unity out in every way we can.

Thank you, Lord, for the unity that you give to the church and to all who confess the name of Jesus Christ. Help us to live according to the calling you have given us. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Peter Borgdorff

Dr. Peter Borgdorff has been a pastor and administrator in the Christian Reformed Church for 40 years, most recently serving as executive director till his retirement in 2006. He and his wife, Janet, have five children and 14 grandchildren.

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