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  • Writer's pictureLarry Neville

Love & Unity

Janet Neville shares the heart and message of Jesus for his church for all ages.

I want to talk about UNITY.

The night before Jesus died on the cross, he took the 12 disciples to share the Passover meal together. These twelve men had been with Jesus for three and a half years as they trained to be the leaders of the Church. During the Passover meal, Jesus redefined the Passover with the new meaning to become the Lord's Supper.

Jesus knows that he's going to be dead and buried within 24 hours. He knows whatever he's going to say now would be his last words before death. His last words. In John chapters 13 to 17 Jesus shares his vision for them. It is called, "The Upper Room Discourse". This is filled with powerful spiritual truth that we desperately need, particularly in these days.

Jesus spoke the most about: How much he loves us and how much we must love each other in the Church. Jesus mentioned love 21 times. Here are a couple of examples: John 15:9, "Just as the Father has loved me, so as I have loved you. Now, you must live in my love.”

John 15:12 "Again, this is what I’m commanding you to do: You must love each other!”

Here's how to measure that kind of love. He says, "The greatest love you could show is when you lay down your life for friends." Jesus was going to be doing this in the next few hours.

John 15:17, "Again, this is what I'm commanding you to do, you must love each other."

His theme, "I love you, you got to love each other".

John 17:9 -11,NIV “I am not praying for the world, but for those you’ve given me, because they belong to you. Now I am departing the world and I’m leaving them behind. …Father, protect them by the power of your name so that they may be UNITED AS ONE JUST AS WE ARE ONE.

This is the first mention of UNITY among Christians in Jesus' prayer,

John 17:20 - 21, “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will believe in me because of their testimony. And my prayer for all of them is that they too will be one – just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.”

This is the primary vision he has for us.

1. Unity with other believers is the proof that I'm saved

John 13:34 and 35, "I'm giving you a new commandment. You must love each other. You must love each other in the same way that I have loved you. Your love for one another will be the proof to the world that you really are My disciples."

2. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Trinity) is our model for unity.

John 17:11b NIV, “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one with each other as we are one.”

3. Jesus’ last prayer, the very last prayer before he goes to the cross was that we'd live in unity.

John 17:21 LB, My prayer for all of them is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are, Father—that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.

4. We have His glory so that we can be unified.

John 17:22 NLT, “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.

5. Unity is our greatest witness to unbelievers.

John 17:23 NIV, “May they be brought into complete unity so that the world knows that you sent me and that you have loved them even as you have loved me.”

6. Unity creates boldness.

Acts 4:24- 31 LB, “Then all the believers united together in prayer. After this prayer, the building where they were meeting shook and they were all filled with God’s Holy Spirit. And they began to speak God's message with boldness.”

7. Everybody's needs in the church are met when we live in Unity.

Acts 4:32, “The entire group of believers were completely united in their hearts and in their spirit. Everyone shared their possessions with each other. In fact, they shared everything they had.”

8. Baptism sign of unity.

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 ESV, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[a] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

9. Seeing our common purpose is what creates unity.

1 Corinthians 1:10 (LB), Dear brothers and sisters, I appeal to you by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop arguing among yourselves! Let there be real harmony so there won't be divisions in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.”

10. We are incomplete without each other.

1 Corinthians 12:20-21, 25 NLT, “Yes, we’re all different parts in Christ’s Body, but there’s still only one body! So the eye can’t say to the hand, ‘I don't need you’ and the head can't say to the feet, ‘I don't need you.’ There must never be any division in the body allowed. Instead, all the members must care for each other equally.”

Satan hates the unity of the Church. He hates the unity of Christians. Why? Because the unified church is unstoppable.

God bless you,

Janet Neville

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