(Joh 17:20) “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;
(Joh 17:21) that they may all be one; even 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 sent Me.
(Joh 17:22) “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;
(Joh 17:23) I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
He prayed for a unity where we are in Christ and He is in us at a spiritual level. This is accomplished through the Holy Spirit. God has given us the glory and empowerment to be in unity with Him and each other.
The question arises then, why are we not in unity?
In Ephesians 4 we see that we should not be carried away by all types of trickery and deceitful scheming, but we should peak the truth in agape love.
To summarise it means that we cannot have unity without truth. If there are false teaching and doctrines we will have disunity.
(Eph 4:11) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
(Eph 4:12) for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
(Eph 4:13) until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
(Eph 4:14) As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
(Eph 4:15) but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
(Eph 4:16) from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
We need to be willing to speak the truth in love. That means to speak the truth without judging, and loving people enough to voice the truth if they are caught up in some false belief. This is not something that we do out of our own power, but we rely on the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of truth and we ask God to produce the fruit of the Spirit when we do this. Do you love God enough to speak the truth, and do you carry His burden to grow His body (the church) on earth in truth and love?
We see in Ephesians 4 that we grow in this body through love. Love is the core of Christ’s body.
In true unity Christ is all and in all, He is the Head and let us grow up in the Spirit:
(Col 3:11) a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
In true unity there is no distinction or racism, there is acceptance and forgiveness flowing from God’s grace and mercy in agape love.
(Eph 4:4) There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
In Christ’s body there is one Spirit and that is the Holy Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit to lead the movement of the true church, and the part that each and every one of us needs to play.
(Eph 1:22) And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,
(Eph 1:23) which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
We need to fill humanity with His fullness. What a privilege that we can be part of God’s universal purpose.
His fullness can only be in us when we get an experienced knowledge about God’s agape love. This is the spiritual love with God as the Source.
The path to be unified with God is through the cross:
(Col 1:19) For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
(Col 1:20) and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
(Col 1:21) And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,
(Col 1:22) yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach–
(Gal 2:20) “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
In unity we can love one another in God’s love and His love can come to maturity in us. Love can only come to maturity in your own life, when you love others through God’s love. Love is not meant to be exclusive, and stop with you. True agape love in unity is where we allow God to change us in unity with Him by loving those around us without exception, and with God’s burden to save the lost and let all of us grow up in God.
(1Jn 4:12) No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
Do not stay silent about the truth; speak the truth in love, in order for God’s unity to happen on earth as it is in heaven. We are His body.
When we are positioned in God and He is in us we can worship Him in spirit and in truth. Worship of God needs to take place in truth. God gave us the truth by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for us on the cross, and Jesus Christ baptising us with the Spirit of truth.