Summary: To establish that unity is possible only when all agree to follow the divine standard of God -- the bible, which brings unity to the body of Christ. This lesson encourages all believer to strive for the unity of the faith.
1. JESUS’ PRAYER FOR UNITY
2. SPIRIT’S PLEA FOR UNITY
3. FATHER’S PLAN FOR UNITY
1. Unity is only possible when all believers respect and follow the divine will and word of God. Jesus prayed for unity, the Spirit pleaded for unity, and the Father has outlined a plan for unity in the word of God. We are charged by the apostles to “walk by the same rule, and to mind the same thing,” Philippians 3:16. The prophet Amos suggests that “if two walk together, both must agree,” Amos 3:3 And David states “behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity,” Psalm 133:1. Our lesson today we will be discussing the theme: “divine concern for unity.”
2. First, we will notice the prayer of Jesus for unity among believers. In John 17; the Lord is observed pouring out His heart regarding the unity between Him and the Father. The Lord’s desired a similar relationship with his disciples. If what Jesus prayed for was possible then; and experienced in the first century church. And the prayer of Jesus becomes our prayer; then we can experience the same unity in the 21st century church of Christ.
3. Secondly, we will consider the plea of the Holy Spirit for unity. The Spirit’s plea for unity has not been answered in this generation. Men are still guilty of dividing the church. Unity must be our plea also, as well as that of the Holy Spirit.
4. Finally, we will discuss the Father’s plan for unity in great detail. No one can claim to love the Lord, by accepting the Son of Man, but denying the Plan of the Man. To accept the man, the person of Jesus Christ, requires that we accept and follow God’s plan for unity. The church has been guilty of talking about unity; but has failed to implement the Plan. In many cases, the Lord’s church has led in dividing the people of God. Have we last the desire for unity among our own membership; and bringing unity to the religious world?
BODY OF LESSON
I JESUS’ PRAYER FOR UNITY
A. The prayer of Christ for all disciples-believers. John 17.
1. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee,” 1-19.
2. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe in me through their word…,” John 17:20-21. The eve of his death, he prayed for unity among his apostles. He prayed that:
a. “That they all may be one; as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:”
b. “That the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” Our message is failing in the church, in the community and in the world. Why? Because the church lacks the unity for which Christ prayed to exit among His disciples and believers everywhere.
1) Who would be chief; who would sit on Christ’s right hand and on his left.