Christ prayed, in John 17:21, that all "Christians" were to be one even as the Father and the Son were one. The rationale Jesus gave was simple: "that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." Christian unity involves three basic steps. These concepts involve the following:

     1. Belief in the one true and living God. This is as the apostle Paul expressed it to the Greeks gathered in Athens to hear about "this new doctrine" the early Christians were proclaiming. Paul stated that this is the "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands." Acts 17:24
     2. Belief that Jesus of Nazareth is the risen Son of God. This was pointed out by Paul when he wrote to the Christians at Rome. He stated Jesus, "was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:3-4).
     3. Belief that the Bible is actually the revealed word of God. This is where the difficulty comes. After being undermined for a century or so, the average person has reservations about the actual accuracy of God's Word. In other words, many no longer believe Paul's declaration that, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God," as found in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Even those that dote on Red Letter Editions of the Scriptures will often buck at Jesus' statement in John 10:35. Christ declared, "the scripture cannot be broken." In other words, only those that have the mind-set of the bumper sticker that reads, "God said it, I believe it, that settles it" can hope to come together as one.

     It is only through the open-minded study of the Bible that those professing to be followers of Jesus can be one in Christ. In his letter to the Church at Corinth, Paul wrote, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." God does not expect his people to do that which cannot be done.

     These articles are devoted to those who believe in God, His Son, and their Book and is dedicated to a discussion of the Old and New Testaments in our study of the Bible. Please read carefully and prayerfully.

Dale I. Royal, Elk City, OK