In the first sermon of the year, Pastor Rick expounded on what it meant for the church to be united. In that sermon (https://yckc.org.sg/yckchapel-unity-diversity-charity/), he explained the meaning of “Unity of the Spirit”, “Unity of Faith” and “Unity in Mind and Purpose”, drawn from Paul’s letters to the Ephesian and the Corinthian church.
In Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17, He too, prayed for His disciples and for us – His followers, to be united. The paramount importance of unity among His disciples and followers was reflected by the proportion of His prayer focused on this theme.
How can the church be united? Firstly, Jesus prayed for His disciples to be sanctified or to be made holy, to be set apart by God’s truth (Jn 17:19). Do we have the truth of God deeply etched into our hearts and minds? Do we know His Word and understand it deeply? Do we go beyond head knowledge toward an experiential knowledge of God? And do we then allow that knowledge of God to set us apart from the world’s value systems?
How can the church be united? Secondly, by reflecting the glory that Christ had given to the church (Jn 17:22). The degree with which we reflect His glory is the degree of unity that the church will have. What is God’s glory? It is all His goodness: reflected in His love, His mercy, His grace, His creative power, His holiness. Jesus’ glory is summarized in two weighty words that the Apostle John used in John 1:14 to describe our Lord – Grace and Truth. The degree that YCKC reflects Jesus’ grace and mercy and love and creativity (not only within our spiritual families, but also to the outside world) is the degree of unity that YCKC has.
How else can the church be united? Thirdly, by knowing with certainty the hope that we have in Jesus Christ (John 17:24). Jesus prayed for us, His followers, to be with Him where He is, that we may see and know firsthand, all of His glory. What a privilege and what a hope! Many of us have heard our relatives, friends and even ourselves pronounce that we have placed our hopes on our children, on our careers, on the economy turning around. Yet, I have never heard of anyone (myself included) speak of placing our hope on the certain future, when we will be with Jesus our Lord and Saviour.
So, my brother and sister, let us ground ourselves in God’s truth and allow that truth to guide our values. Let us reflect the grace of our Lord Jesus to each other and to those around, and let us place our hope in the future that we have with Christ our King. Then we will live more and more as a church, united.
By Elder Ong Kiat Hoe