To speak about unity, we must first of all define unity from God’s perspective. We must understand and see it clearly or it will only be our concept of unity, according to our perspective or individual presumed need of it.
According to JOHN 17:20-26, Jesus’ concept of complete unity is that we would be one, even as He and the Father are one. This is not uniformity around a vision, purpose, ideal or a religious belief system. It can be any or all of those, but true unity goes beyond these things to the very heart issues of sacrificial love and relationship.
Love is the spiritual mortar that will hold the church together. Paul prayed that the church would be united in love. Jesus said that He made the Father known to them that the “love” that the Father had for Him could be in them and that He Himself may be in them. This is the only way we can have complete unity.
Do I really think this high ideal can be attained in view of the sin principle in our flesh, the carnality of our hearts, the temptations, accusations and deceptions of the devil? Then add to all of that our different doctrinal beliefs and it seems impossible.
I do think that we have to press on for the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus. That with all that is within us we should live at peace with each other. And I know that the love of God is the only thing that can overcome all of these things. And I also know that the overcomers will have the right to sit with Jesus on His throne.
EPHESIANS 4:11-16 says that Jesus gave the five-fold ministry to the church. His grace and anointing working through them and the people, would result in the perfecting and equipping of the saints for the building up of His body, the church. This would result in attaining oneness, or unity in the faith and unity in the knowledge of the Son of God, so we might reach maturity in Him. It also states that this will happen through love so that the church would not be deceived or led astray by every wind of doctrine put forth by men.
We see from these scriptures that all of the ministry gifts are needed to accomplish this.
Today, contrary to the early church, we have many denominations. Some do not believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today, or that the ministry gifts of apostles and/or prophets are for today. Obviously, they cannot bring us to complete maturity and unity in the faith and knowledge of Jesus. This is why we called this article “Kingdom” Unity and this is why we started out with leaders of like faith.
In other words, if we can’t develop unity amongst people of like faith, how will it happen with the church. We would only have at best, unity within a denomination or within a church, but not in the body. This is not to exclude anyone, because God’s Kingdom includes everyone.
Everyone can be included because love is what brings about and keeps the unity, not our doctrine. Our love must be greater than our doctrine. I JOHN 4:8 states that “whoever does not love does not know God.” Therefore, if we think we know God better than someone else, then we should have more love.
The unity of the body goes far beyond the Regional Kingdom Network. This is our part as we have like faith concerning the Holy Spirit’s ministry, the gifts of the Spirit, healing, deliverance and a number of other things.
When we develop this unity through love, then we will be mature enough to handle what is coming. For this love to be complete, we must also love others whose doctrine might be different than ours. The unity at that spiritual level of the kingdom will be around the cross, the new birth and discipleship. Even on that level it must still be in accordance with God’s kingdom. It must be justification by faith and not works. Most Christians would agree to that with their minds but cannot make true disciples because in their hearts they are still living by works.
The kingdom teaching on the new birth would include our identity in Christ, which is not being taught in many churches. We cannot become mature disciples without putting on the new identity. Many have become disciples of a religious system and they will be in danger of being overcome by the wickedness and opposing the move of God. (MATTHEW 23:15) This group all the more needs to be prayed for and loved into the kingdom.