Perfected in Unity


Text: John 17:13-26

 

I.         In Jesus’ final prayer to the Father before his arrest, Jesus expressed his desire that his followers be united, just as he and the Father were one - John 17:22-23

            A.        That “one” is not numerical, but a unity in purpose and action.

II.        Through this unity we are perfected – made complete or mature.

            A.        It is through a unity of faith that each part causes a growth of the whole - Ephesians 4:11-16

                        1.         Unity doesn’t just happen. It is taught.

                        2.         It is grounded in the faith and the knowledge of Christ

                        3.         It is truth spoken in love that causes growth

                        4.         The result is that we grow up to be like our Savior

            B.        Teaching every man, so we are presented complete in Christ - Colossians 1:25-29

            C.        Thus, unity exists in the truth. We have but one faith - Ephesians 4:5

                        1.         A faith that was delivered but once - Jude 3

            D.        Same mind and same judgment - I Corinthians 1:10

                        1.         Same mind - same goal

                        2.         Same judgment - same standard (the truth)

III.       The goal is love

            A.        Love God - Matthew 22:37-38

                        1.         If God is first, then it doesn’t matter what you think or I think, only what God wants.

                        2.         If you love God, you abide in God, and He in you - I John 4:16

                        3.         You keep God’s commandments - I John 5:3

            B.        Love brethren is a natural consequence - I John 4:7-12

                        1.         Love then is matured in us

                        2.         Through love, all know we are Jesus’ disciple - John 13:35

                        3.         It doesn't mean we will ignore each others faults or compromise our God's commands for the sake of an artificial peace.

                                    a.         Instead, we work with each other and strive for a common understanding.

                                    b.         We encourage each other to reach for the lofty goal of being Christ-like.

                        4.         Love is perfected with us - I John 4:17-18

            C.        Love, then, is the perfect bond of unity - Colossians 3:14

                        1.         We are knitted together in love - Colossians 2:2

                                    a.         Attaining the full assurance of understand

                                    b.         Resulting in a true knowledge of Christ

                        2.         Keep his word, so the love of God is perfected - I John 2:5

IV.      Unity is kept by peace - Ephesians 4:1-3

            A.        Again noticed that it is something worked for

            B.        Peace is made through God’s wisdom - James 3:13-18

            C.        God hates discord among brethren - Proverbs 6:19

            D.        Though factions will come because not everyone has love for his brethren, not everyone has love for God, not everyone stays with the truth - I Corinthians 11:18-19

            E.        This is why divisive people must be dealt with - Titus 3:10-11

V.        Fellowship is with God and his people by practicing the truth - I John 1:1-7

            A.        How pleasant to have unity - Psalms 133