Essay on the Unity of the Church

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Sewanee University of the South
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Apologetics is a field of theology that promotes the research on controversial Christian elements and principles to provide evidential responses. Apologetics seeks to provide answers to the critics to create the understanding of core Christian beliefs, traditions and institutions. A major critic of the non-Christian culture on the Christian church today is the unity of the church. Amidst the division of the church in names and leadership today there is fundamental unity of the church at different levels. Secularism is a significant threat to Christian unity, and the growth of skepticism continues to undermine Christianity as a religion. Apologetics work can be applied today to support and emphasis on the ideals of Christianity in a generation that is highly divided economically, political, and religiously. Christian unity depends on fundamental ideals and beliefs that can strengthen the generation of today and skeptics on ideals and a culture that Christianity stands for (Henn, William 187).

The view of Christian unity

The church today is highly divided with over 40, 000 Christian denominations across the globe. The number of Christian denominations continues to grow drastically amidst disagreements and misunderstanding of what can be constituted as the Christian church. The Church today is faced with a significant role of redeeming its integrity to ensure that Christians are not lost to skepticism and secularism as well as other religious factions in the world. Christian leaders should teach and emphasis on Christian unity regardless of the denomination because the growth of Christianity depends on its unity as one church. The unity of the Christian church is not based on denominations but core Christian beliefs and tangents that make the church (Henn, William 186).

Shared life in Jesus Christ

Christian unity can be understood from different points of reference, but the essence of shared belief in Jesus Christ stands. The belief of Christians in Jesus Christ is a significant source of the church unity. Despite the diversity in denomination and leadership, all Christians believe in Jesus Christ as the savior and son of God. Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary and lived a humble life teaching the importance of Christians and believers to love each other. Jesus Christ established the basis of Christianity through his ministry. Believing and living in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of Christian unity (Wilhite, David 5).

The scripture

The scripture is a significant source of Christian unity due to the uniformity of the books in the bible and their teachings. The scripture was written by the founders of the church such as Paul who were the disciples of Jesus Christ a common unifying factor of the Christians. Christians across different denominations view the scripture as the word of God which makes it divine and a unifying factor. The writers of the bible had direct revelation through the spirit which has increased the legitimacy of the bible as the word of God, and it should provide guidance to all Christians across the denominations. The scripture provides guidance on how Christians as a family should treat each other as well as others in the community. The scripture teaches coexistence since it holds that we were all created by God and in his own image (Wilhite, David 7).

The scripture calls for Christians to love each other like God himself loved the world to give his only begotten son so that those who believe in him shall be saved. The scripture caries the word and the teachings of Jesus Christ, the apostles and also the prophets which make it a common source of the church unity. The scripture provides the basis for the existence and continuity of Christianity since it is only through the teachings and the principles of the Holy Scriptures that Christians can connect with God. The scripture provides teachings on the beliefs and the Christian culture to the new believers which further leads to the expansion of Christianity. The role of the scripture towards Christian unity is not through its external significance but its spiritual importance to believers of Christ. The bible is used in ever Christian denomination and event to provide teachings during which Christians as the body of Christ can get guidance. The scriptures and the teachings of Apostle Paul set the foundation of the church in which Paul teaches Christians that they are the body of Christ and they should remain united since they are one thing (Henn, William 190).

Functions of the scripture towards the Church Unity

Preparation spiritually

The scripture prepares the church spiritually through guidance on how to become good Christians and allow Christians to accept Jesus Christ as lord and savior. The preparation of Christians of all denominations occurs through biblical teachings in which the scripture shows the Christians on how to live uprightly following the established virtues.

Teaching the Christ way

The scripture has the teachings of Jesus Christ who is a significant source of the church unity. The teachings of Christ provides a way for the Christians to live in accordance with the will of God. The scripture is an important source of revelation of how Jesus Christ wants the Christians to lead their lives. The scripture is the guide and also provides the rebuke to Christians who deviate from the way of Christ. The scripture has the teachings of Christ on different aspects of life such as how to treat one's neighbors. The scripture creates a basis through which Christians can evaluate themselves if they are following the right principles that were taught by Jesus Christ such as the Beatitudes. At different teachings of Christ such as John 17: 21-22 Jesus prays that those that believe in him should be one and gives an example of himself and his father like they are one. This teaching from Jesus Christ is an emphasis on the importance of Christians to be one. The church unity is based on the common glory in Jesus Christ who died on the cross so that we can have salvation and sustained grace. At the cross, the epitome glory and the love of Jesus Christ is shown. Jesus taught Christians and the church to remain humble and expect a reward in the heavenly kingdom. The scripture teaches the church of a common end life and life after death in hell or heaven for the believers (Henn, William 189). The belief in heaven brings the church together in faith to celebrate life on earth and also share salvation in the afterlife together with Christ who seats at the right hand of the Father.

Experiences of early Christians

The scripture share experiences of the early Christians and believers and how they were able to endure significant pain in the hands of the non-believers who persecuted them. The Bible has the experiences of Jesus Christ and other miracles that he performed during his ministry that shows the power and belonging of Jesus as the son of God and savior of the people. The experiences of generosity, healing, and perseverance teach the church to remain steadfast in faith when they are faced with challenges.

The word of God is infallible

The scripture is a unifying factor for Christians because it does not have any era or period and it is universally applicable. The infallibility of the bible has made it a legitimate tool used by the church to guide the people. The word from the scriptures is authoritative and can be used as a guide and a source of authority which the church has to abide with. The authoritative nature of the scripture ensures that Christians as the members of the church abide by the principles and the teachings of the Bible.

The importance of Church Unity

The church unity is an image and a witness of the completeness and unity of the Christians to the non-believers to win them to Christ. In John 17:21 Jesus prays that the church should be one and perfected in unity. The church unity plays a significant role as an example to the world that is today surrounded by violence and disunity. The church unity provides the people with the ability to express and also receive love. The church is united because of the love and saving work of Christ. The church has a common heritage and shares upon the blood of Christ that was shed for the redemption of the people who will believe in him regardless of their tradition backgrounds. The scripture which is the holy book used by the church for guidance advice Christians in Romans 14: 1-12 which encourage the church to accept the Christians with differing views and not to judge them. The scripture in Romans 14: 4-5 encourages Christians to be united and not to judge each other on the basis of the denomination. To achieve the church Unity, the Christians should reevaluate themselves regularly using the teachings of the scripture and compare their deeds with the actions and the life of Christ (Wilhite, David 8).

In conclusion, the church unity today is a significant challenge due to secularism and speculation of the chaotic world we live in. However, there are many bases for the unity of the Christians through the teachings of scripture and the life of Jesus Christ. The church unity is based on the teachings of the scripture and belief in Jesus Christ through whom salvation is promised. Despite the disparities of many interdenominational churches and Christians, the Church remain united due to the belief in Jesus Christ and his teachings which provide values and virtues that a true believer should have. The church has remained united and continued to celebrate the love of Christ as the body of Christ. The unity of the church is not externally but spiritually through the teachings of Christ and revelations of the Holy Spirit.

Works Cited

Bible, Holy. "New international version. (2011)." Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan (2013).

Henn, William. "Making a Common Vision of the Church Possible." Pathways for Ecclesial Dialogue in the Twenty-First Century. Palgrave Macmillan US, 2016. 181-193.

Wilhite, David E. "Baptists, Catholicity, and Visible Unity: A Response to Steven Harmon." The Pacific Journal of Baptist Research 11.2 (2016): 3-11.


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