Sadly, Christians are often divided. When division is over trivial matters, such as personal preferences, outsiders have every right to wonder if the gospel is true (John 13:35). But sometimes divisions help to accentuate different expressions of faith and life. These differences help to paint the large pictures of biblical faith.
Unity among believers of different churches and denominations is still our calling and privilege. We can and should pray with each other, cooperate in common causes, and encourage each other’s pursuit of truth. Paul presents several central issues that should unite all believers:
- awareness and acceptance that Christ makes us one body through the shared Holy Spirit
- our common hope of a glorious future with Christ
- one Lord-Jesus Himself
- one faith-anchored to Jesus
- one baptism-marking us
- one God
Paul also teaches that God gives each believer a unique spiritual gift in Christ, which he or she brings to the body, Unity is central; variety ought to be interesting and generative, not divisive.
The Apostles’ Creed, a beautiful summary of Christian faith written over the first four centuries of the church (though not by the apostles), leads all believers to make this claim: “I believe in. . .the holy catholic church.” Some translations use “the holy catholic church.” Some translations use “the holy Christian church” as a cleaner reference to the church of all times and places. Though the church takes various names and emphases, the center of its faith and worship is always Jesus Christ.
EPHESIANS 4:3-6- 3. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit it in the bond of peace.
4. There is one body, and one Spirit it, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling:
5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.