“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they 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.” (John chapter 17, verses 20-21)
John 17 is probably the chapter of the Bible that contains the deepest desires of Christ’s heart as it was the prayer he prayed before his betrayal. Jesus prayed passionately that the church would be as one.
For the bride of Christ to truly see the glory destined for her, she must be united. The last day glorious army will be an army that has learnt to stand together as one against all odds.
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” (Ephesians chapter 2, verse 19)
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are members of the same household. We must see one another as brothers and sisters, not just in doctrine but in action. It is this mindset that produced the unity that existed in the early church. They sold their properties and brought the proceeds to the church. They had everything in common and none lacked. They understood this truth - in Christ, we are one body, one family.
The sin of sectarianism
Sectarianism is a form of prejudice, discrimination or hatred arising from attaching relations of inferiority and superiority to differences between subdivisions within a group.
It is quite sad to see that many in the body of Christ still see themselves as members of a sect different from other believers. Sectarianism in the church must be eliminated. A kingdom that is not united will not advance effectively. There are thousands of denominations in the world today. I believe it is time for us to be united under the covering of Christ.
I was recently confronted by a friend from my local church for posting another ministry’s program on social media. She asked if I belonged to that ministry or my current ministry. This mindset has done so much harm to the body of Christ. Though I belong to a denomination, I am a member of the body of Christ. Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists, Pentecostals are all my brothers. We are one family. I am not better than them, neither are they better than me. We are all God’s children with different mandates.
“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
Blurring the lines of denominations
I was talking to a group of believers sometime in 2017 about the unity of the church and someone said, unity will take a very long time because of the difference in doctrines. Well, I believe we will never be united on the basis of doctrines but only on the foundation of Jesus Christ. The foundation for unity must be the truth that we are believers in Jesus Christ and therefore we are one family.
We should be united not because we agree on doctrines but because we all believe in Jesus. Doctrinal differences should not divide us as long as our goal is to glorify Christ. If we truly have a heart for Christ, we will see his church as he sees it - his bride. We will not hurt the bride. We will love the bride and pray for the bride. She may not be perfect now but I know what the Book says. She will be a bride without spots and wrinkles.
Rume Kpadamrophe is an evangelist, writer, teacher and researcher based in Lagos, Nigeria. Rume speaks French and English and loves to travel. His desire is to see revival ignited and sustained in the nations of the world. Rume’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Rume’s previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rume-padsmrophe.html