The Unity the Bible Brings

Scott Stevenson

"But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.  And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.  “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,  that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,  I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me."  John 17:13-23

One of our lessons in Boot Camp had an impact on the group; I know it had an impact on me, too, as I worked on the homework. I noticed from the beginning that Jesus was giving His last words to the apostles and that, by itself, carried considerable weight. I also noticed that He wasn’t just talking to the apostles, but He was also talking to us. The Lord sets us apart for His holy use. This is called sanctification. Sanctification comes through the Word of God (17:17). The Word of God is also the unifying force of believers.

Unity is a big deal with the Lord because it is the power to successfully “be one” with Christ. Some may understand what I’m saying, and others will be confused with the subject matter of John 17. We have to remember that Jesus is talking to His followers, and you see convincing distinction between the followers of Christ and the “world”.

If you look at the passage, you will see the word world is used a number of times in the passage. We are taught in Boot Camp to take noticed of repeated words in scripture; it’s a clue for deeper truth.

And one of the application questions that was asked, Jesus said that you are to be sanctified, set apart, in truth. As you think about your beliefs, values, and behaviors, would you say that you are:

1.) Significantly different from the world?
2.) Somewhat different from the world?
3.) Too much like the world? [1]

This is a great question to make all of us think about where we stand in light of God’s Word. We can’t make corrections to ourselves, let alone within the body of Christ, without the Word of God. Examine yourself in light of the question and make the necessary changes to be one with Christ.

[1] The Ever Loving Truth (2004) Voddie Baucham Jr. P.112. Lifeway.

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