Oneness

 

What is, ďOnenessĒ? It most certainly is not sameness! Here is what the dictionary says.

*†† A state or condition of perfect harmony or accord.

*†† Sameness of character: the disagreeable oneness of roadside landscapes.

*†† Unison; agreement: oneness of mind and purpose.

So with this in mind letís look at what scripture says about oneness or being one. We will start with John 17:10-11 where Jesus is praying to His Father on behalf of His disciples.

*†† (John 17:10-11 NIV)All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. {11} I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one.

Wow, Jesus was not afraid to ask for difficult things. That they may be one as we are one! But it gets more interesting. Here He is talking about His disciples of that time. Letís jump to verse 20.

*†† (John 17:20-26 NIV)"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, {21} that all of them may be one,

Now He is talking about you and me. He wants us to have a oneness but it doesnít stop here.

*†† Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Now it becomes clear that the Jesus oneness speaks of isnít simply with each other but also with the Father and the Son! ContinuingÖ.

*†† {22} I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: {23} I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Glory? Itís in the sense of honor, respect, recognition, distinction, and great privilege. Unity, but unity based on truth and faith. Unity of heart and purpose.

*†† {24} "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Jesus asked for these things and he will receive them.

*†† {25} "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. {26} I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."

Notice the word ďContinue.Ē If Jesus continues then we also need to continue. There is much work to be done and a great fight to be engaged in. If we must fight then let us choose the battles wisely. Letís recognize who is and who is not the enemy. Letís stay focused on the battles worth fighting and not be fighting those that are on our side.

 

OK, oneness is desirable. But, oneness is not to be had at the expense of truth and conscience.

*†† (2 Tim 3:1-5 NIV)But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. {2} People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, {3} without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, {4} treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- {5} having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

*†† (Titus 3:9-11 NIV)But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. {10} Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. {11} You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

*†† (1 Tim 1:5-6 NIV)The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. {6} Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.

*†† (1 Tim 3:9-10 NIV)They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. {10} They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

Some of you have heard me speak about Unity of Belief, Diversity of Understanding yet One in Christ. That is the essence of unity and oneness. We must acknowledge the unity of our faith but be willing to accept honest differences of opinion about debatable matters. If we can do that then we can indeed be one with each other and one with our Lord. Listen closely to this verse.

*†† (Rom 14:1 NIV)Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.

*†† (John 13:35 NIV)By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

So I urge you to be wise as a serpent but gentle as a dove. Stand strong and stand with Christ. Do not be double minded. And do not fool yourself because God will not be fooled. Be doers!

*†† (Mat 7:21-23 RSV)"Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. {22} On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' {23} And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'

Belief is not enough!

*†† (James 2:19-20 NIV)You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. {20} You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ?

I want to conclude with this thought voiced by Paul.

*†† (Phil 4:10-13 NIV)I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. {11} I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. {12} I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. {13} I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Like Paul I have had plenty and I have had nothing. Like Job I have lost much and then gained it all back plus more. The point is this. Rejoice always. Be thankful for what you have while you have it. And be thankful for what you had even when it is gone. Rejoice for your future is wonderful with Christ and the Kingdom of God.