We exist to display God’s glory, which manifests itself in a personal lifestyle of worship. We also glorify God together as a Body when we gather each Sunday. In addition, we value the preaching of the Word and are not driven by pragmatism or man-made results.
Let us ask another question related to displaying God’s glory:
How did Jesus Himself pray for the church to display God’s glory?
Read John 17:15-23
Here is an interesting observation from this prayer: Jesus does not pray to take us out of the world, but to be engaged in reaching the world. We are also to be saturated in His Word, which is the absolute truth. We are to be sanctified by Christ’s Word.
Ultimately, Jesus’ prayer is that through His glory, we would be “one.” Our Lord prays that we as the church would be united as a testimony so that a watching world would believe in Him.
Jesus says that He has given us this glory. What in the world does this mean? What is this glory we’ve been given?
Let’s ask it another way: How is God most glorified through the church?
Here’s the answer: When we live under the truth of God’s Word and we are unified in purpose, vision, and mission as His people.
Romans 15:5-7 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Do you see the imagery here? We are to be as “one man” or “one voice” or “one people.” We are interconnected in dynamic unity through relationships with each other in the bond of Christ. We live in harmony as believers. As a unified body we glorify God.
The ESV translates that word “harmony.” It literally means to “think the same way or to have the same mind.” “To be like-minded,” as the KJV says. The NIV says a “spirit of unity.”
We welcome or accept one another. We are unified so that we can glorify God. And we glorify God when we are unified. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him through our unity.
I find it amazing that Jesus prayed for our unity because He knew that as sinners in close proximity we would have disagreements, hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and disunity at times.
Would this be your desire? Would you embrace this value of displaying God’s glory through our unity as the body of Christ? Will you be a peacemaker who prays for unity? Will you be an instrument in the Redeemer’s hands to foster a culture of unity at Emmanuel Baptist Church?
Spend some time in prayer asking God to give you a heart for unity at Emmanuel. Ask God to use you to be a peacemaker. Ask Jesus to help us as Emmanuel—one voice, one body—to glorify Him together in unity.