20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him (John 5:20–23, NKJV).
Jesus boldly proclaimed, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). His enemies charged Him with blasphemy and prepared to stone Him, yet His words and works support His conclusion “that the Father is in Me, and I in Him” (John 10:37-38, 30-38; 5:31-39). Today’s passage expresses the unity of purpose, will, and nature between the Father and Son. The Father and Son share (1) The same purpose (v. 20). Human redemption accomplished in Jesus Christ is the purpose and aim of both the Father and Son. Greater works (gospel salvation) would follow Christ’s life on earth, including the bodily resurrection of the dead, judgment, and everlasting life (John 5:24, 28-29). (2) The same power of life (v. 21). The Son would not only raise dead bodies but souls dead in sin (John 5:24-26). (3) The same judgment (v. 22). The Son’s judgments are righteous and entirely in harmony with the Father (John 5:27-30). (4) The same honor (v. 23). The Son is due the same honor given to the Father. Doctrines that claim that Jesus the Son of God is a created being less than the Father deny the Scriptures. Jesus is fully human and fully deity (Col. 2:9). Let us fully honor the Son. Otherwise, we fail to honor the Father who sent Him to save us (John 5:23).
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. (Colossians 3:15, NKJV)
The gospel calls us to peace with God and with others. Sin introduced conflict between man and God, producing spiritual death and consequentially, physical death (Gen. 2:17; 3:19; Rom. 5:12; 6:23). The angelic announcement at Christ’s birth (“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”) praised God for His goodwill toward humanity that brought peace between Himself and sinners through His Son (Lk. 2:14; Tit. 3:4-5). Jesus Christ “is our peace” (first with God, then with other sinners) – “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one…” (Eph. 2:14). Being reconciled to God “in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity,” hostility with God is removed and replaced with harmonious tranquility “in one body” (the church). That is the peace the angels announced. That is the peace Christ’s death accomplished. That peace must now rule (govern) our hearts. Being at peace with God, we can successfully strive to “live peaceably with all men” (Rom. 12:18). Until then, sin rules the heart, infusing our marriages, families, nations, and the church with its selfishness, confusion, and every evil thing (Jas. 3:14-16). By contrast, “the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (Jas. 3:17). Thank God for His peace! Without Him, peace is unattainable.
“one Lord, one faith, one baptism;” (Ephesians 4:5, NKJV)
The one Lord has not sanctioned thousands of conflicting messages. There is one faith, which is the gospel of Christ. When Paul preached “the gospel” he preached “the faith” (Gal. 1:11, 23). We must speak the same faith as we endeavor “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). The “one faith” that achieves unity is the revealed gospel that saves those who believe (Rom. 1:16). Nowhere in the Scriptures do we read of “Catholic faith,” “Protestant faith,” “Orthodox faith,” “Mormon faith,” “Evangelical faith,” or any faith capable of saving the soul other than “the faith” that was once for all delivered in the first century (Jude 3). All these are false faiths that impose and codify division (Col. 2:20-23). If they were all “one faith” they would not be separate faiths teaching and practicing different gospels (Gal. 1:6-12). It is an affront to divine truth (and to human logic) to suggest many faiths are somehow one faith. Only the one faith – the gospel of our salvation (Eph. 1:13) – produces true faith that saves from sin (Rom. 1:17). All other faiths are destructive, divisive deceptions (2 Pet. 2:1-3). The gospel call is to walk worthy of the “one faith” that makes known the will of God, and that unites the saved with God and with one another (Eph. 1:9; 4:1, 11-16).
“one Lord, one faith, one baptism;” (Ephesians 4:5, NKJV)
God’s “One-derful” plan of unity continues in Ephesians 4:4-6 with the emphatic declaration there is one Lord. That simple truth is forgotten whenever religious, moral, and social division occurs. I am not Lord. You are not Lord. Not “Lord Krishna,” not “Lord Buddha,” not any other person who has lived or is living now. Only Jesus Christ is Lord (1 Cor. 8:6). Through Him we have life and all things. He alone has been given “all authority in heaven and on earth” by God the Father (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20-23). Christ’s word is truth and settles every issue concerning “life and godliness” (Jno. 1:14; 8:31-32; 2 Pet. 1:3). He rules, and by His authority (the “name of our Lord Jesus Christ”) we can “speak the same thing,” reject dissensions and be joined together “in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). This takes faithful effort by each Christian, no question about it (Eph. 4:15-16). Division arises when we follow men or women instead of following Christ (1 Cor. 1:11-12). We must ever remember that Christ is not divided (1 Cor. 1:13). Humble submission to the one Lord will guard unity and glorify God: “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col. 3:17).
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; (Ephesians 4:4, NKJV)
God has revealed His platform for unity in Christ. It is not ecumenism. It is not unity in diversity. It is not all-inclusive and all-accepting. The first plank in God’s “One-derful” platform of unity is “one body.” Paul identified this “one body” in this Ephesian letter. He wrote that Christ is “head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23). One head, Christ. One body, the church. The fullness of Christ is found in His body (church), not outside of it. (Is the church important? Absolutely!) Furthermore, Christ reconciles sinners (Jews and Gentiles) “to God in one body through the cross” (Eph. 2:14-16). Unquestionably then, the church is composed of those who are reconciled to God. (Is the church important? Absolutely!) Yet again, Christ is the head of the church and “the Savior of the body” (Eph. 5:23). Undeniably, those who are saved are in His body, added to the church by the Lord (Acts 2:47). (Is the church important? Absolutely!) Christ loves His church and died for it (Eph. 5:25-27). (Is the church important? Absolutely!) Every Christian has a relationship with God in the “one body” of Christ (the church). And, we share a relationship of brotherhood with fellow Christians in the one body (church) of Christ. His one body – one church – is the relational unity we have with God and with His fellow Christians.
20 I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 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 17:20–21, NKJV)
Jesus prayed for unity among believers. He is clear and succinct concerning the nature of that unity; “as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us.” There is no separation between the Father and the Son, no “agreeing to disagree” over revealed truth. There is no denominating the Father and the Son by name or any other measure of distinction. Why then, are many people convinced such things constitute unity, when demonstrably, they define division? Perhaps one reason is the unique failure to define unity on the basis of “their word” (the word of the apostles, v. 20). The same word that produces believers defines the unity of believers. There is “one faith” (Eph. 4:5). By it we are brought to faith in Christ, and by it we are all able to “be one” as the Father and Son are one (Rom. 1:16-17). Settling for anything less is not the unity for which Jesus prayed.
“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.'” (Isaiah 44:6)
You might as well choose the God of your choice as to choose the church of your choice. There is only one true God who redeems and rules. Similarly, there is only one true church, built by Jesus, it’s head. Since Jesus said, “I will build my church” (not churches), why are folks so eager to encourage people to join the church of their choice (Matt. 16:18)? Should we not want to be added by the Lord to His church (the church He built)? His church is composed of the saved (not churches) according to Acts 2:47: “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Are you among that number?