Greg explains what Jesus meant by being unified with other believers and how we can remain unified despite our differences.
How can we be perfected in unity when there’s so much disunity in our beliefs?
Here’s what Jesus meant.
One of the hallmarks of the body of Christ, when it’s functioning well in a healthy way, is the sense of unity and community that that they express in their love for one another. But of course, this raises a question: How can we be unified when we differ so much on theological issues or on moral issues?
People are right when they point that out. There is a wide variety of theological distinctions or differences within the pale. That is, there are boundaries that define what basic Christianity is, but within that boundary inside the household, so to speak, you’re gonna have differences, and we know that. In fact, I can only think of one person that I know that agrees with me theologically on everything, and that’s me, all right? And sometimes I don’t even agree with me, all right. So, how do we maintain our unity even though we disagree on theological particulars?
And the answer is is that our unity is not based on the theological particulars. We can have loving relationships in our own families with our brothers and sisters, and mother, and father, and that kind of thing even though we have differences of opinion. We are all familiar with that concept, okay?
I think the same thing is in play here when Jesus is praying for our unity that we be one, okay and John 17, for example, in Jesus’ high priestly prayer, I don’t think He’s praying that everybody agree on every point. I think He’s praying that regardless of our own varying convictions that we are willing to embrace one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, in love, engaged the differences in a respectful and a loving fashion, and be willing to agree to disagree even though we show love to each other. I think that’s what the key to Christian unity involves.