Unity is Oneness
Series: Grow Together
Paul uses the word “one” seven times in Ephesians 4:4-6. Thus, “oneness” is crucial to the Lord and His church. While the word “trinity” does not appear in the Bible, the concept is frequent (beginning in Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’—using the plural rather than the singular pronoun). Jesus called God “Father,” but God is not a male with human-type anatomy. God is Spirit. God transcends gender. While God is not male, the Bible uses a masculine term to make God personal. As the hymn goes, “God in three persons, blessed trinity.” God the Son, and God the Spirit (the Greek word for Spirit is feminine) are all used in our text. Note the emphasis on the unity of the Godhead—three in one. What is known of the godhead is what the Spirit wants us to embody in Jesus’ church: unity. Certainly, one of the most important passages and a vital prayer in Judaism is the “Shema” from Deuteronomy 6:4 (shema is the Hebrew word for “hear”): “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Love prompts unity; unity promotes love, not division. God is love. God is three-in-one. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 goes on: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.” The result of love is action: “You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
“Oneness” was critically important to Jesus in His prayer in John 17. Note the final verse (26) emphasizes love: “that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Love was essential to the maturity and mission of the church.
Speaker: Tom Harrison
July 11, 2021
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