The unity of the church has been one of the most recurring challenges since its beginnings.
It is therefore not surprising that we still have challenges in this area.
However, I believe it is possible to maintain unity in the church if we approach the issue in the right way.
Moreover, I believe that God desires unity in the midst of diversity.
To talk about it, I want to invite you to read a short bible text:
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations.
His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
Ephesians 2:14 -16
Today’s Bible text was written to the church of Ephesus in the historical context of a transition from Judaism to Christianity.
Historically, the relationship between Jews and non-Jews had been quite tense and complex.
God had wanted the Jews to be the ones to help the other nations know Him, but they had taken the religious privileges they had received to keep others away from God.
Where God had wanted to create unity, they had created enmity.
They had used ritual and ceremonial laws as a barrier that communicated to those who did not practice them that they did not have access to God.
They had become so extreme that their social relationship with other nations was void, as they were considered unclean.
What God had done to bless the world, they had misrepresented to discriminate against others.
In that context, some Jews who had believed in Jesus thought it was the duty of non-Jewish Christians to comply with all Jewish laws.
They wanted to remain completely Jewish in their rites and practices, but to believe in Jesus.
Thus, they demanded the same from others.
This was creating serious problems, challenging unity among members of the early church.
In that context, the apostle Paul tells them that Jesus is peace between the two peoples.
Jews and non-Jews now shared the same faith and the same hope.
What united them now was infinitely stronger than what had separated them in the past.
Paul’s emphasis on communicating that Jesus is our peace makes it clear to us that he is not only the peacemaker, but also peace itself.
In Jesus, all human divisions must cease.
The unnecessary dogmatic divisions, the geographical divisions, the gender divisions, the race divisions, the divisions based on social positions.
In Jesus, humanity is now one.
We are all children of the same God.
To maintain unity in the church, we need to remember that what unites us has always been greater and more important than the opinions that separate us.
The blood of Jesus.
When Jesus died on a cross, he abolished what generated separation in his people through his body.
He abolished the ritual and ceremonial laws that separated non-Jews from God’s people.
In this way, he gave us all something in common.
It created a new paradigm.
What separates us is not as important as what we have in common.
Through Jesus, God reconciled us all with Himself.
Through his sacrifice on the cross.
Now we are all brothers and sons of the same father.
Keeping that in perspective is key to maintaining unity in the church.
I hope these words have been a blessing to your life.
And what do you think? Are there problems of unity in your church? Share in the comments.
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A hug, God bless you.