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FEB 2017 Sunkist NewsBites
A Word From The Editor
The longest prayer of Jesus recorded in the Bible is in John 17. The timing of the prayer is important. Jesus said the prayer the night before He would suffer and die on the cross. In verse 21, Jesus specifically prayed for future believers, for their unity.

What is so important about Christian unity? According to Jesus, believers' unity reflects the unity of the Father and the Son. We should pause for a while. Our unity is not simply a practical matter; it is a theological or doctrinal one. It is not simply about what we do but also who we are. Our unity is not simply a testimony about us, but more importantly, about our God.

What does unity mean? It means that we hold firm to our faith together. In the words of Paul: one Lord, one faith, and one baptism (Ephesians 4:5). Some people think of unity as compromising the teaching of the Bible as long as everybody gets together and feels happy. Not at all. That is the opposite of biblical unity. Unity in the Bible must be grounded in the biblical teaching about God.

There is a famous saying: in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. The reason for unity is the non-compromising teaching of God's word. Doctrine divides and unites. It divides truth and error, but at the same time, it unites people hold onto the truth. "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" affirms that Jesus is the only Truth, Way, and Life. Our unity centers on the person of Christ. We only have one Lord, not many gods. We only have one faith, not multiple teachings that contradict one another.

The Bible does not stop there, however. When Jesus prayed for our unity, He did not only have the unity of faith and teaching in mind. He also had in the mind the unity of love. Before that prayer, Jesus once said to His disciples that if they love one another, the world will know that they are His disciples. It works the same for us today.

We need to stop separating things that cannot be separated. Unity and truth are inseparable because unity is based on truth. Unity and growth are inseparable because unity in truth will lead to growth. Truth and love are inseparable because God is both truth and love. Let us grow in unity, knowledge of truth, and love at the same time. We must not settle for one and ignore the others.

As we welcome the new committee of 2017, let us work hand in hand with unity of love and purpose. Let us always remember that Jesus paid the price for our unity with His blood. It is a precious gift from the Savior. Let us maintain and cherish it by holding firm to the word of truth. Let us foster it by growing in our knowledge of Jesus until we attain to the unity of faith and spiritual maturity. Being mature means being strong and not easily swayed by all kinds of false teachings and beliefs (Ephesians 4:13-16).

Our unity points to the unity of the Father and the Son. When people recognize the unity of the Father and the Son, they will come to faith in Christ. Our unity is an important testimony of our Lord and our faith.

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