Summary: Our unity tells the world that they need Jesus.
Our Unity in Our Faith
Unity, Harmony, and Community – Part 2
For the past couple of months, there has been this new advertising campaign entitled “Du bist Deutschland” (You are Germany). It has been a cooperative public service campaign that was designed to inspire confidence in the German people about their country. It was to be used as a way of describing a new unity in this country that could help the people while they were encountering high unemployment, loss of wages and new jobs, slow economic growth and hard times. You would see famous actors, and familiar faces of people across the spectrum of Germany. From Michael Shumacher to Albert Einstein, Germans were seeing a propaganda campaign that many hoped would help the national self-esteem of the country.
But then just this week, it has been discovered that the Nazis used the same type of campaign with the phrase “Denn, du bist Deutschland” (Because you are Germany). A photo in a book entitled A Century of Pictures shows a group of people in Ludwigshafen during a march in 1933, with the picture of Adolph Hitler above the slogan “Denn, du bist Deutschland.” Apparently, the Nazis used the same idea for a short time to encourage national unity. Of course, I am not saying that Germans today are Nazis. What I am saying, is that this illustration represents the fact that no matter how good our intentions, unity is hard to get right.
As we can see, we can’t get this unity thing right all the time. Only the church of Jesus Christ can experience one body – the essence of true unity. While nations may attempt to help their citizens deal with their insecurities, only Christ can bring us real security In this passage, we read about our security that comes from God. We also read about how our security keeps us in unity as Christians.
The security that Jesus talks about keeps us in unity.
You learn unity when you are secure in your faith
Being secure in our faith is like two sides of the unity coin. There are two sides to this unity that comes from our security:
On the one side of the unity coin there is Jesus.
God kept them before Christ came. (17:6)
Jesus kept them while He was on the earth. (17:12)
Jesus tells God to keep these people. (17:11)
Jesus prays that God will keep these people when Jesus is back in heaven. (17:15)
Jesus sets us apart and then sends us out. (17:18)
God declares our faith to us. Then He gives us our faith to us, and then He secures our faith for us. If you look at the process, Jesus is describing the unity that we have in our faith in Jesus Christ. He is the point of unity for Christians. Jesus also shares how God keeps us united. We alone cannot stay united. We can be in union, but still not in unity.
Dr. Jimmy Martin, General-Secretary of the International Baptist Convention once said – If you tie a cat and dog together by their tails and throw them over a line, they will be in union, but not in unity.
Christian denominations prove that we can be in union, but not in unity. If we tried to create unity, we would fail. But if we work at keeping the unity that God has already created, God will help us. God works at keeps us in union with Him and in unity with one another.
On the other side of the unity coin there is us:
We keep Jesus’ words (17:6)
We know things come from God (17:7)
We receive those words (17:8)
We believe the words – that God sent Jesus (17:9)
So our unity is kept secure by us and God. Sometimes we fail, but we can take strength in the fact that God will keep us secure. We may not listen to Jesus words and keep them – that is our fault. We have to learn to repent and change our attitude. We have to learn to listen to God and start obeying Him.
It is like keeping a pet safe. The pet is in the world with people, but the pet is kept safe on a leash by the owner. Pets can still walk around, but the owner’s boundaries are set. The pet’s boundaries are set by the words of the owner. The actions are limited by the leash. When the pet knows to stay with the owner, then the pet knows it doesn’t need the leash. He’s free but he’s kept safe by the words of the owner.
So when we understand that our faith is tied to the fact that God keeps us, then we learn to be secure in our faith. He holds, He owns us. We are His. And we want to be His. We want to listen to His words. We want to obey Him, and we want to love God, then we learn to be secure in our faith.