What would it be like to live where there is perfect unity?
Where there are no conflicts of interests, no power struggles, no arguments, no chaos, only peace and agreement?
To live where there are no communication failures, no selfishness, no murmuring or complaining, no indifference, no criticism, but only love.
Where there would be no injustices, no imbalances or contradictions, no indecision, no tempting or distracting options, but only clear, unchangeable truth?
Where all would be of the same mind, and live joyfully in harmony under the same authority?
Where there would be no cause for sorrow or tears, no loss or threat of loss, only safety and security, quietness and confidence?
Where goodness and kindness would be so abundant that all you could do is rejoice?
Where everything would be in unity, and that unity would never change, for ever?
It seems hard to imagine, doesn't it?
It seems too good to be true.
But wouldn't that be glorious?
Wouldn't that be delightful?
Probably for anyone, that would be a welcome existence, but for those saved by God's grace, that will be a future reality.
Hebrews 12 tells us that Jesus "endured the cross for the joy that lay beyond. "
For Jesus, a return to the glory of that perfect unity was certainly in mind, but the desire to bring all that the Father had given Him into it with Him was of greater importance and motivation.
For in doing that. He would not only enter into His joy and us with Him, but in doing that He would gloriiy God, and us with Him.
Listen to the prayer of Christ for His church prior to going to the cross.
Notice the emphasis on unity/oneness and also the glory of God.
John 17:1-5, 9-11, 20-26—"Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him... 1 have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, 0 Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was... I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine. and I am glorified in them.. .Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You. Father, are in Me. and I in you: that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them. that they may be one just as We are one: I in them. and You in Me: that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, 1 desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where 1 am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me: for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 0 righteous Father, the world has not known You, but I have known You: and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them. and I in them. "
There is no greater intimacy than being one with a person,
—totally partaking in every aspect of oneness.
What oneness and intimate knowing it would be to be able to have the spirit of another person within your own spirit.
Spirit to spirit communion, really knowing the heart and mind of one another, would be the ultimate in unity.
Jesus told His disciples:
John 14:16-20—"And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Helper, that He may abide with you for ever—the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. "
Unity with God will be the prime essence of our enjoyment of God forever.
How that unity has worked in our life will be what glorifies Him.
John 15:5-8. 16— "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing... by this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit. "
Unity leads to fruit and the fruit of unity glorifies God.
Whether we study a document like the Shorter Catechism, which summarizes Biblical truth, or study Biblical truth itself, we need to see all things in a framework of God's unity.
Think about it:
Within the Triune Godhead there is perfect unity—perfect oneness—perfect agreement
All of God's attributes are in perfect unity with each other.
Nothing is out of balance, nothing is lacking.
It cannot be otherwise because God is a perfect unity.
Everything God is and everything God does reveals His unity.
Every thing God is and everything God does reveals His glory also.
Someone may say, "I know the Triune God is a perfect unity, three persons in one, the same in substance, equal in power and glory, but what does God being a unity have to do with me?"
Here is one way we sometimes miss seeing God as He should be seen.
Picture a pie graph—representing our life and all the things that fill it.
(Responsibilities, pursuits, activities, habits, views, use of time, relationships. God, etc.)
We think that pie graph circle is showing the whole of our life; our life in its unity.
It is not.
The unity we need to use as a framework for viewing life is the totality of totality, or as Scripture puts it, the all in all of God
We need to draw a much bigger circle around our pie graph representing God's all encompassing totality.
All of our life and the things in it are in relationship to God who is the totality of life.
If we see God as a slice of our unity instead of the whole of all unity, we see Him incorrectly.
God is all in all; the total unity of all that is;
the One from whom all things come:
the One who made all things;
the One who does all things according to the good pleasure of His will;
the One who does all things according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself;
the One who works all things after the counsel of His own will:
the One who is worthy to receive glory, and honor, and power; for He created all things. and by His will they exist and were created.
God is the whole or unity of all things. He is not a part of life. He is life in its totality.
He is the unity within which all things dwell and there is no other realm or reality.
Because God is a unity everything He creates only exists as it exists in Him and for Him.
Rom 11:36—"For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. "
He cannot create something that is not dependent on Him for its existence.
Neh 9:6—"You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all."
Col 1:16-17—"For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. "
[Vine's Expository Dict.—"consist" = to stand with; literally 'by Him all things stand together'.]
As the Almighty and Eternal God, He begins whatever is begun and whatever comes to an end is brought to an end by Him.
Is 45:18—"For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it. Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord, and there is no other. "
Rev 1:8—"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. "
Even that He is the Eternal One who is, who was, and who is to come, reveals a total unity.
"Eternal" is a word used to denote a unified realm of existence, not limited or broken up by time.
It is, it always has been, and it always will be.
If something always is, that means it never changes—it is constant.
Constancy, then, is a characteristic or manifestation of unity. (Of God and of God's realm)
If something is always the same, it is in unity with its own principles, standards, and laws.
Mal 3:6— "For I am the Lord, I do not change... "
James 1:17—"...Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. "
Heb 13:8—"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
God, who is the fulness of unity, has created all things dependent on unity,
and all things ultimately dependent on Him who is life.
Can you think of even one thing that is not dependent on something else in some way?
There is nothing living that can exist without dependency on ,or unity with, something else.
All of natural life reveals dependency and unity.
How much more then would dependency and unity be characteristics of living eternally with God?
A look at creation shows that where separation and disunity set in, death begin its process.
What here is true in the natural is also true in the spiritual.
Is 59:2—"Your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face (glory) from you. "
Rom 3:23—"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. "
God created nothing to be independent of Himself.
Independence is an act of disunity with God—the penalty of disunity with God is death.
Gen 2:16-17—"And the Lord God commanded the man saying, 'Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it you shall surely die'. "
Rom 3: 26—"The wages of sin is death... "
Nothing can have life apart from union with God; life lived outside of His will.
There is no plan B.
God is sovereign.
He does all things according to the counsel of His own will, and He does not change.
All that is out of union with God will die and then one day be separated from Him forever.
In His justice. God will act to carry out the penalty for those in disunity with Him.
Rev 20:11-14—"Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. "
Nothing within God's unity would be violating His unity to carry out this justice on all men.
All have sinned and all rightly and justly deserve to be judged and condemned.
Scripture refers to all men as being,
Eph 2:1-3—"Dead in trespasses and sins... sons of disobedience ... conducting (them)selves in the lusts of (their) flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and (are) by nature children of wrath "
In the unity of all whom God has created, there has been no exception.
Rom 3:10-12, 18—"There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one... There is no fear of God before their eyes. "
That means that it is impossible for fallen, dis-unified man to reconcile himself back into unity with God.
No man could ever just decide to know God and have relationship with Him any more than a dead person could decide to know a living person and have relationship with him or her.
Therefore, learning facts about God, and then trying to be in unity with His principles, standards
and laws as a way to know Him and have relationship with Him, is impossible.
Knowledge of His law brings knowledge of sin, and knowledge of sin brings knowledge of
disunity with God.
Rom 3:19, 20—"Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. "
If there would ever be a possibility of reconciliation, the starting place for initiating any re-unity would have to begin with God who is, was, and always will be, unity.
Within the fulness of God there would have to be a supernatural capacity of grace and compassion that could extend mercy to those who are violators and enemies.
And God, in keeping with His own unity, would have to accomplish this reconciliation Himself.
He, within the unity of His own person, would have to justly pay for and replace what was causing the dis-unity for the dis-unified party.
There would have to be a new creation within God's unity.
All old things would have to pass out of the picture and all things would have to be made new.
In His mercy. God acted to remit the sin that caused the separation and restore unity.
Luke 1:76-79—"Andyou, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins. through the tender mercy of our God..."
Jesus spoke of this remission with His disciples before and after His death and resurrection.
Matt 26:27-28—"Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, 'For this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins'."
Luke 24:44-48—"Then He said to them, 'These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.' And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, 'Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. Andyou are witness of these things'. "
His disciples spoke of this remission first in Jerusalem...
Acts 2:38-39—"Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins: and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. "
And this was the plan for unity before the foundation of the world.
Eph 1:4-6—"Just as He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. "
God sent Christ as the mediator to bring what was in a state of disunity back into a state of unity
It could be done no other way.
Disunity could not be made unity through means of disunity.
The only eligible unifying agent would have to be a member of the Triune Godhead, Jesus
Christ, God the Son, who always has and always will live in unbroken unity with God the Father.
John 10:30—"land the Father are one. "
Col 1:19-22— "For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fulness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on the earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy. and blameless, and above reproach in His sight..."
Eph 2:4-10—"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us. even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Heb 1:1-3—"God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom He also made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high."
2 Cor 5:17-18—"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ..."
Unity with God comes only through unity with Christ.
If we want to know God we have to know Christ.
Oneness with Christ is oneness with God.
And unity is God's goal.
Eph 1:10-12—(God purposed) "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
In Christ, we have a two-fold inheritance—to be one with Him forever and to bring Him glory.
Eph 1:11-12—"In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory...in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. "
The guarantee of our inheritance, the guarantee of our future oneness, is the Holy Spirit.
Remember, there is no greater intimacy than to be able to be one with a person.
And the ultimate in oneness and intimate knowing would be to have the spirit of another person
within your own spirit.
The highest degree of intimacy and eternal enjoyment will be to be totally one with God.
And the Holy Spirit is our present guarantee of that being our inheritance in Christ.
1 John 3:1-3— "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us because the world does not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. "
Rom 8:17—"And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs of Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. "
Right now we have the title (son/heirs), and the guarantee (the Holy Spirit).
Our inheritance is to be changed into the likeness of Christ, to the glory of His grace, and to
become one with Him forever.
All of God's attributes dwell in unity and bring Him glory.
We will be partakers of those attributes and that glory when we are unified with Him.
In that day, we shall know the unity so valuable to obtain that Christ was willing to humble
Himself even to death on a cross to get for us.
We shall see Him face to face and shall know Him intimately, even as we are known.
In that glorious day we shall enter fully into the joy of our Lord, being immersed into Him who
fills all in all, and He will be glorified forever.
"What is the chief end of man?"
"The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."