Connected People

Why Unity Matters to God

posted in: Christianity, Love, The Church, Unity | 0

Jesus made some audacious statements, and you can bet that they weren’t just for shock purposes. The Son of God spoke all that He did for a purpose. And it makes sense that this would, of course, be true of His final words before going to the cross. Jesus’ high priestly prayer, as recorded in John 17, tells us why unity matters to God.

Jesus’ Prayer

“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!” John 27:22-25 (NLT)

What a prayer! Consider, for a second, the unity that exists between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the type of relationship that God wants us as Christians to have with one another. And the fact that Jesus lifted such a prayer to the heavenly Father tells us that His desire is more than a remote possibility.

A Spiritual House

The high priestly prayer meshes seamlessly with Peter’s words about our holy priesthood:

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5

Every true believer is a “living stone” that fits with others to erect a “spiritual house” in which God’s life-giving presence dwells. Consider the imagery. God has designed His universal church to be a multitude of free-will people who voluntarily bind themselves together with love. The impossibility of the idea stops me in my tracks!

Why Unity Matters

Four specific thoughts from 1 Peter 2:4-5 stand out about why unity matters to God:

  1. Our joining together in the Spirit creates a holy habitation where the presence of God moves freely. As much as we might think of heaven as God’s dwelling place, the collective presence of His people is a place that He is inclined to reveal His presence.


  1. Christian unity results in an impartation of life. Where the true Source of life is free to have His way, true vitality is imparted. I think the structures and rituals of our churches matter far less than whether or not God’s life is present.


  1. Our unity reflects the image of God. Because it so difficult for humans to get along, when Christians truly love one another, the Lord’s glory is revealed.


  1. Our unity provides a platform from which we can profoundly influence the world around us. All of the above results in hearts being softened and drawn toward the Lord. As God’s children come together as one people, widespread community transformation will be the result.


I’m sure that additional reasons could be added to explain why Christians need to tear down the man-made walls that separate them. And if our unity matters to God—the Lord and Savior whom we profess to love, it should also matter to us, and not just a little.