History clearly documents two recurring truths about religious unity: 1) Though God’s prescription is not impossible, it is quite challenging; and 2) Many seek to ignore what God has given and create their own concoction, preferring it over God’s blueprint.
The divine plan for unity has seven essential pillars: “one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (vv. 4-6). Note how challenging this unity is:
- One body provides unity of organization—the church, Christ’s only bride (Ephesians 5:23-25).
- One Spirit provides unity of truth—the Spirit of truth (John 16:13) has revealed all things which pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
- One hope provides unity of destiny—the hope of eternal life in heaven (Titus 1:2; John 14:3) as revealed by the Holy Spirit in the Holy Scriptures.
- One Lord provides unity of authority—our Savior is also Lord of lords, King of kings, the only Potentate (1 Timothy 6:15).
- One faith provides unity of doctrine and practice—the once-delivered-for-all-time faith reveals the common salvation enjoyed by all (Jude 3).
- One baptism provides unity of conversion—the universal way which all who call upon the name of the Lord can have their past sins washed (Acts 22:16) and puts Christ on (Galatians 3:27).
- One God and Father provides unity of worship and inheritance—the Deity who regenerates us into newness of life (Romans 6:4) also makes us His sons and heirs (Romans 8:16-17).
God’s blueprint for religious unity is perfect. It needs neither addition nor subtraction, just implementation.