Unity- The Place to Start
Reading Francis Chan’s “Unity Unity” inspired me to dig deeper than ever before in understanding unity with other believers. Women of the Way’s core mission to build unity in the Body of Christ drives this search for deeper study and application hopefully leading to more authentic, real unity that truly impacts the world for the Kingdom. As we discussed a few weeks ago, this study is taking me on a Journey to Unity to know what unity really is and how to truly live it out as believers.
To achieve this, we must go to the foundation of unity- the Trinity. For us, this is the beginning, the place to start.
The Trinity is the Foundation for Unity
Before the foundation of the world, before anything in creation began, the Trinity existed. This was not the beginning for the Trinity because God was, is, and always will be. However, this is where it begins for us.
Father, Son, and Spirit exist together in perfect unity. The Godhead experiences perfect oneness with each other. They are in complete peace and harmony with each other. Understanding this perfect union is the foundation to understanding unity as the Body of Christ. Matt Chandler says,
Out of the overflow of Their unity, joy and perfection, They began to paint Their glory on the canvas of creation. And then, in the vastness of this universe, on this tiny little dirt ball in one of the smaller solar systems in this expansive universe, God placed His crown jewel of all creation: men and women, made in His image and endowed with dominion and authority.www.crosswalk.com
God’s Desire for Unity
This overflow of unity from the Trinity is why God desires unity for us.
God’s design for unity began in us when He created man in His own image. Genesis 1:26 says “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”
We are made in God’s image.
Let’s just stop right there.
Put everything on pause in your life for just a moment and consider this- You are made in the image of God.
How does that make you feel? What thoughts or questions does it inspire in you?
The concept that you and I bear God’s image is as profound and mind boggling as Immanuel- Jesus putting on flesh to dwell with us.
As the world was created, this Trinity, out of an overflow of unity, created mankind in His likeness with certain qualities and characteristics, a human creature, different, unique, and set apart from all the other creations in nature. Even the angels did not have the privilege of receiving and bearing the image of God.
We are not God nor are we equal to God. But, just as my children are completely separate and unique people apart from me, they still look like me and carry many of my characteristics. In the same way, that’s how we also bear the image of God in each of our lives.
May We All Be One
Because the Trinity exits in perfect unity….and because we are made in God’s image, He desires unity with His image bearers, and He desires unity between all His image bearers.
The oneness that Jesus described in John 17 between the Godhead is the same oneness He also desires and prayed for us “ 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.” John 17:21
May the Trinity’s Unity Take Root
All our (my) efforts to become more unified will be limited, shallow, and vain unless we allow the perfect oneness of the Trinity to take root in our hearts. As we wrap our minds around this Triune Unity, our status as His image bearers will increase our intention and ability to be unified with others in the Body of Christ.
May we experience such perfect unity just as Father, Son, and Spirit are one!
Pray with me: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, I long to experience unity with You, the Trinity. Thank you for making this oneness possible through the sacrifice and resurrection of the Son, Jesus Christ. Help me to understand that Your Image in all of mankind is why you desire unity for us all. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to make this possible in myself, in other believers and in the world around us so that everyone will come to believe in You. In Jesus Name, Amen