175. Spirit of unity.
"I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one ... May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." ( John 17:22-23) In this passage, which has been dubbed as the highpriestly prayer of Jesus, he mentions about a glory that he gave his disciples, which the Father gave him so that 'they may be one as God is one'. That glory is the word because he said, "For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you and they believed that you sent me." ( Vs 8) What unites believers together is the Word of God as revealed by the Spirit. The Word is the ground upon which the Spirit of God causes the believers to stand together. But those who refuse to gather on this common ground of truth, scatters! "He who is not with me is against me and he who does not gather with me scatters." (Matthew 12:30) There were no atheists in the Israelite camp but only rebels because the glory of God was too evident to remain an atheist! The rebels divided the camp of God into two factions and proceeded to challenge the authority of Moses and Aaron (Numbers 16:1-3). 'When Korah had gathered all his followers in opposition to them at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the glory of God appeared to the entire assembly' (vs 19) but the wrath of God broke out against the rebels.( Vs 46) The Lord detests disunity. 'There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: ... a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.' (Proverbs 6:16-19) Do not let the body of Christ to be divided but let his Word unite us. It was with this aim 'that he gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to prepare God's people for service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God ...' (Ephesians 4:13) Anyone who destroys the workmanship of God, him will God destroy! (1 Corinthians 3:17) Saul tried to 'destroy the Church' (Acts 8:3) but was spared because he 'acted in ignorance and unbelief' (1 Timothy 1:13) but the Spirit of unity would not spare those who know the truth and still try to test him. (Acts 5:9) 'May God give us a spirit of unity among ourselves as we follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth we may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.' (Romans 15:5) Amen.