The Holy Spirit and Unity

John 17:21 (KJV) 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Unity was the great burden of Christ's prayer in John 17. Unity is still the great burden of our Heavenly Father for His children on this earth.

Unity among believers is to be like the unity found in the human body: incredibly diverse, incredibly high functioning, but completely united. 

Our human bodies are an amazing aray of highly specialized bits and pieces—that is an oversimplification—that bring about all the various processes that make us human beings that can survive, mend and reproduce. Our body works because each part perfectlly follows the code written into the DNA, and perfectly obeys the impulses that come from the brain.

Sometimes our bodies don't work so well, because some part is not working according to the plan, or some part is not obeying like it is suppose to.

At that point we go to the doctor and get help in bring our bodies back into perfect unity.

In our spiritual walk, we are called to walk in unity with the other members of God's body. Our being united is only possible as we carefully follow God's plan—as outlined in the Bible, and as we obey. If those two things exist, then amazing results come about.

The following quotations highlight God's desire for unity and how the Holy Spirit plays an important role in bringing godly unity about.—Dan


The Holy Spirit Brings Unity

"That they all may be one..."

The Holy Spirit will create unity.—Letter 25b, 1892.  {3SM 20.3}

Christians are to be knit together in the bonds of love and charity. They are to be one in heart and purpose and sentiment, guided and controlled by the Word of God. Are we revealing this oneness? The unity for which Christ prayed is not to be regarded as a sentiment, but as the purpose of God for us. It is in accordance with the councils held by the Father and the Son that there shall be perfect unity among those who name the name of Christ. This is a holy, sanctified unity, which forbids all alienation and strife. Why should it not be seen among us? It will be seen when believers are sanctified by the Holy Spirit. If we expect to be united in the courts above as members of the family of the redeemed, should we not be united in the church here below? {Ms182-1905.22} The words “I in them, and Thou in Me” [John 17:23] reveal the nature and character of the union that is to bind His followers together. This union is needed in the church now, just now. Complete union with Christ and with one another is absolutely necessary to the perfection of believers. Christ’s presence by faith in the hearts of believers is their power, their life. It brings union with God. “Thou in Me.” Union with God through Christ makes the church perfect. {Ms182-1905.23} “The glory which Thou gavest Me,” as the channel of conveyance, “I have given them, that they may be one, as We are one.” [Verse 22.] We are to bend every energy to the attainment of this oneness. The gifts that God has bestowed upon His people are not to create diversity, but are to blend in harmony. Medical missionary workers are not to regard it as of no consequence whether or not they respect the ministry. God calls for unity. The trumpet that calls His people into line will have a certain sound. {Ms182-1905.24}

The most convincing argument we can give to the world of Christ’s mission is to be found in perfect unity. Such oneness as exists between the Father and the Son is to be manifest among all who believe the truth. Those who are thus united in implicit obedience to the Word of God will be filled with power. {Ms88-1905.6} If all would completely consecrate themselves to the Lord, and through the sanctification of the truth live in perfect unity, what a convincing power would attend the proclamation of the truth! How sad that so many churches misrepresent the sanctifying influence of the truth, because they do not manifest the saving grace that would make them one with Christ, even as Christ is one with the Father! If all would reveal the unity and love that should exist among brethren, the power of the Holy Spirit would be manifest in its saving influence. In proportion to our unity with Christ will be our power to save souls. {Ms88-1905.7}

Harmony and union existing among men of varied dispositions is the strongest evidence that can be borne that God has sent His Son into the world to save sinners. {Ms47-1902.30} While believers are distinct in individuality, while they differ in disposition, yet they are sanctified by the same spirit, and they are to be one in the things of God. They are different parts of the same great temple. {Ms47-1902.31} “I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent them, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” [Verses 23-26.] {Ms47-1902.32} Read the words over and over again, and then go to work upon God’s plan, that hearts may be knit together, that the unity among God’s followers may be even as the unity existing between the Father and the Son. Ministers of the gospel are to strive earnestly and constantly to answer this prayer. This will be their defense against the attacks of Satan. It will give beauty and fragrance to the character. Let those who occupy responsible positions as church leaders take up this subject, that the unity for which Christ prayed may be seen among His followers. Let church members yield their will and their way to Christ. Let all tale-bearing cease. Clear away the difficulties, whether they be large or small. The Holy Spirit is given to purify the church of these annoyances. The Holy Spirit is given to dwell always with believers. Let confessions be made till the church is relieved of the sin that rests upon it and all grievances are settled. {Ms47-1902.33}

Since God is light, we must walk in the light. God would have all His people stand on the high platform of eternal truth and, through faith, in union and communion with the Father and the Son. Then upon each mind will be distinctly impressed the sinfulness of a lack of unity. The Lord will unite with a united people to lead them by His Holy Spirit into all truth. There is unity with God the Father; there is unity with His Son Jesus; and the result is communion one with another, “that your joy may be full” through full fellowship with God and Christ. [Verses 3, 4.] God is light; His nature is light; in and through Him there is no darkness at all. Since He is light, we must walk in the light, and not in darkness. {Lt192-1903.15}