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I feel compelled to speak out against the relentless preaching of unity at any cost, and the notion that doctrine does not matter as much as the false gospel of ‘unity in diversity’, which is actually no gospel at all. I believe it is unbiblical unity that is being promoted, in line with the explosion of new age spirituality pervading the church and wider world. Increasingly, many Christians are feeling pressured into believing the lie that separation and exclusivity is the great sin, and that unity can be found regardless of doctrine, even with Muslims, Buddhists or atheists. 

I thought it timely to include a sermon by Charles Spurgeon on the subject of true Christian unity – in Christ alone. It is difficult to miss the stark difference between Spurgeon’s teachings from God’s word and the ‘unity’ gospel preached by the world and its errant religious leaders. It is a stunning sermon…please nourish your soul with it and pass it on (no copyright exists on Spurgeon’s work).

Comments and thought are most welcome!

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UNITY IN CHRIST 

NO. 668
DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, JANUARY 7, 1866,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me
through their word; 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 have sent Me.”
John 17:20, 21.

FOR several years I have thankfully received the text of the first
Sabbath in the year from a venerable clergyman of a parish in the
suburbs of our city. Spared by a gracious Providence, my good Brother
has sent me, with his Christian salutations, these two verses for my
subject. As we have enjoyed together for several years a true communion
of spirit in the things of God, I can only hope that until one or the other
of us shall be taken up to dwell above, we may walk together in holy
service, loving each other fervently with a pure heart.

The most tender and touching prayer of the Master contained in this
Chapter opens up to us His inmost heart. He was in Gethsemane, and
His Passion was just commencing; He stood like a Victim at the altar,
where the wood was already laid in order, and the fire was kindled to
consume the Sacrifice. Lifting up His eyes to Heaven, with true filial love
gazing upon His Father’s Throne, and resting in humble confidence upon
Heaven’s strength, He looked away for a moment from the strife and
resistance unto blood which was going on below. He asked for that upon
which His heart was most fully set. He opened His mouth wide that His
God might fill it. This prayer, I take it, was not only the casual expression
of the Savior’s desire at the last, but is a sort of model of the prayer
which is incessantly going up from Him to the Eternal Throne. There is a
difference in the mode of its offering; with sighs and tears He offered up
His humble suit below, but with authority He now pleads enthroned in
Glory; but the plea is the same; that which He desired while still below is
that which His soul pants after now that He is taken up and is glorified
above.

It is significant, Beloved, that the Savior should, in His last moments
not only desire the salvation of all His people, but should plead for the
unity of the saved ones, that being saved they might be united. It was not
enough that each sheep should be taken from the jaw of the wolf; He
would have all the sheep gathered into one fold under His own care. He
was not satisfied that the members of His body should, each of them, be
saved as the result of His death; He must have those members fashioned
into a glorious body. Unity lying so very near the Savior’s heart at such a
time of overwhelming trial must have been held by Him to be priceless
beyond all price. It is of this unity that we shall speak this morning—on
this wise—first of all, we will have a little to say upon the unity desired;
then upon the work necessary—namely, that the chosen be gathered in;
thirdly, upon prayer offered; fourthly, upon the result anticipated; and
fifthly, upon the question suggested.

I. First, then, UPON THE UNITY DESIRED.
These words of the Savior have been perverted to the doing of a world
of mischief. Ecclesiastics have fallen asleep, which, indeed, is their
ordinary condition; and while asleep they have dreamed a dream—a
dream founded upon the letter of the Savior’s words of which they
discern not the spiritual sense. They have proved in their own case, as
has been proved in thousands of others, that the letter kills, and only the
Spirit gives life. Falling asleep, I say, these ecclesiastics have dreamed of
a great confederation presided over by a number of ministers, these
again governed by superior officers, and these again by others, and these
topped at last by a supreme visible head who must be either a person or
a council—this great confederacy, containing within itself kingdoms and
nations, becomes so powerful as to work upon States, to influence
politics, to guide councils, and even to gather together and to move
armies. True, the shadow of the Savior’s teaching, “My kingdom is not of
this World,” must have caused an occasional nightmare in the midst of
their dream, but they dreamed on; and what is worse, they turned the
dream into a reality, and the time was when the professed followers of
Christ were all one, when looking north, south, east, west—from the
center at the Vatican—one united body covered all Europe!

And what was the result? Did the world believe that God had sent
Christ? The world believed the very opposite. The world was persuaded
that God had nothing to do with that great crushing, tyrannous,
superstitious, ignorant thing which called itself Christianity; and
thinking men became infidels, and it was the hardest possible thing to
find a genuine intelligent Believer north, south, east, or west. All
professors were one, but the world believed not; the fact being that this
was not the unity which Jesus had so much as thought of—it was never
His intention to set up a great united body to be called a Church which
should dominate and lord everywhere over the souls of men. He never
intended a Church within its ranks, kings, princes and statesmen who
might be worldly, ungodly, hateful, sensual, and devilish. It was never
Christ’s design to set up a conscience-crushing engine of uniformity; and
so the great man-devised machine, when it was brought to perfection,
and set to work with the greatest possible vigor, instead of working out
that the world should believe that the Father had sent Christ, worked out
just this—that the world did not believe anything at all, but became
infidel, licentious, and rotten at the core, and the system had to be
abated as a common nuisance, and something better brought into the
world to restore morality. Yet people dream that dream still—even good
people do so.

The Puritans, after they had been hunted and hauled to
prison in this country, fled to New England, and no sooner had they
seated themselves upon the shore than they began to say, “We must all
be one; there must be no schism,” and the big whip was brought out for
the Quaker’s back, and the manacles for the Baptist’s bleeding wrists,
because these men, somehow or other, would not be one after this kind
of fashion, but would think for themselves and obey God rather than
man. Nowadays Dr. Pusey dreams that the Anglican and the Russian
Church may be united, and then perhaps the Romish may chime in—
and so once more all may be one. A mere dream! A mere fantasy of a
kindly but whimsical brain! If it should ever come to be a reality it would
prove to be an upas tree, at the roots of which every honest man must at
once lay his axe.

But what did the Savior mean, “That they all may be one; as You,
Father, are in Me”? We must begin at the beginning. What were the
elements of this unity which Christ so anxiously desired? The answer is
very distinctly given us in this Chapter. The unity was to be composed of
the people who are here called “they,” “that they all may be one.” Will you
let your eyes run down the Chapter to see who they are? Look in the
second verse: “That He should give eternal life to as many as You have
given Him.” The unity then proposed is of persons specially given to
Jesus by the Father. Not then of all men who happen to dwell in any
particular province, district, or city, but a unity of persons who have
received, not common life as all have—but eternal life. Special persons,
then, who have been quickened by God the Holy Spirit, and have been
brought into vital union with the Person of the Lord Jesus are to be one.
Further, they are described in the sixth verse as persons to whom God’s
name has been manifested; people who have seen what others never saw,
and have beheld what others cannot know. They are men given out of the
world, so the verse tells us—chosen men, taken out from the ordinary
mass—not, then, the multitude; not kingdoms, states, empires, but
selected persons. They are persons who have been schooled, and have
learned unusual lessons—“Now they have known that all things whatever
You have given Me are of You,” and they have learned their lesson well,
for we find it written, “They have kept Your Word; they have believed that
You did send Me.” They are described in the ninth verse as being prayed
for by Christ in a sense in which He never prays for the world at all. They
are people, according to the 10th verse, in whom God is glorified; in whom
the name of Jesus shines with resplendent luster.

Look the whole Chapter through, and you will discover that the unity
which the Master intended was that of chosen persons who by the Holy
Spirit conferring life upon them are led to believe in Jesus Christ; they
are spiritual-minded men who live in the realm of spirit, prize spiritual
things, and form a confederacy and a kingdom which is spiritual and not
of this world. Here is the secret. Carnal minds hear that Jesus is to wear
a crown of pearls; they find pearls in shells, they try to join the oyster
shells together, and what strange thing they make! But Jesus will have
no union of the shells, the shells must be struck off as worthless things;
the jewels and the jewels only are to be joined together. It is rumored
that the King is to wear a crown, and that pure gold is to form that
brilliant circlet; straightway men bring their huge nuggets, and would
fashion the diadem of masses of rock, earth, quartz, and I know not
what. But the King wears no such crown as that—He will refine the gold,
He will melt away the earth, the crown is to be made of the pure gold, not
of the material with which that gold happens to be united. The one
Church of God—of what is it composed then? Is it composed of the
Church of England, the Congregational Union, the Wesleyan Conference,
and the Baptist body? No, it is not. Is not, then, the Church of England a
part of the Church of Christ, and the Baptist denomination a part? No, I
deny that these bodies, as such, unrefined and in the gross, are a part of
the great unity for which Jesus prayed; but there are Believers united
with the Church of England who are a part of the body of Christ, and
there are Believers in all denominations of Christians, yes, and many in
no visible Church at all, who are in Christ Jesus, and consequently in
the great unity. The Church of England is not a part of Christ’s true
body, nor any other denomination as such.

The spiritual unity is made
up of spiritual men, separated, picked out, cleared away from all the
mass with which they happen to be united. I have spoken very boldly
perhaps, and may be misunderstood; but I mean this, that you cannot
take out any visible Church, however pure, and say that as it stands it
belongs to the spiritual unity for which Jesus prayed. There are in the
visible Churches a certain number of God’s Elect ones, and these are of
the body of Jesus Christ; but their fellow professors, if unconverted, are
not in the mystical union. Christ’s body is not made up of
denominations, nor of presbyteries, nor of Christian societies; it is made
up of saints chosen of God from before the foundation of the world,
redeemed by blood, called by His Spirit, and made one with Jesus.
But now, passing on, what is the bond which keeps these united ones
together? Among others, there is the bond of the same origin. Every
person who is a partaker of the Life of God has sprung from the same
Divine Father. The Spirit of God has quickened all the faithful alike. No
matter that Luther may be very dissimilar from Calvin; Luther is made
and created a new creature in Christ Jesus by that same fiat which
created Calvin. No matter that Juan de Valdes, in the same age, may
hide himself in the Court of Spain, and scarcely be recognized as a
Believer, yet when we turn over his volume today we find in his, One
Hundred Considerations, the very same spirit of Divine Grace which
breathes in Calvin’s Institutes, or in Luther’s Bondage of the Human Will.
And we discover there the same life in each—they have been quickened
by the same Spirit, and made to live by the same energy; and though
they knew it not, they were still one. No more, all true Believers are
supported by the same strength.

The life which makes vital the prayer of
a Believer today is the same life which quickened the cry of a Believer
2,000 years ago; and if this world shall last as long as another thousand
years, the same Spirit which made the tear trickle from the eyes of a
penitent then, is that which this day makes us bow before God Most
High. Moreover, all Believers have the same aim and objective. Every true
saint is shot from the same bow, and is speeding towards the same
target. There may be, there will be much that is not of God about the
man, much of human infirmity, defilement and corruption; but still the
inward spirit within him which God has put there, is forcing its way to
the same perfection of holiness, and is meanwhile seeking to glorify God.
Above all, the Holy Spirit, who indwells in every Believer, is the true
fountain of oneness. Some of the Christians in this land of ours 200
years ago, were strangely different in outward manners from their
Brothers and Sisters of 1866; but when we talk with them through their
old folios and books, we find, if we are the Lord’s people, that we are
quite at home with them. Though the manifestation may vary, yet the
same Spirit of God works the same Graces, the same virtues, the same
excellencies, and thus helps all saints to prove themselves to be of one
tribe. I meet an Englishman anywhere in the wide world over, and I
recognize in him some likeness to myself; there is some characteristic or
other about him by which his nationality is betrayed; and so I meet a
Christian 500 years back in the midst of Romanism and darkness, but
his speech betrays him; if my soul shall traverse space in 100 years to
come, although Christianity may have assumed another outward garb
and fashion, I shall still recognize the Christian, I shall still detect the
Galilean brogue, there will be something which will show to me that if I
am an heir of Heaven I am one with the past and one with the future—
yes, one with all the saints of the living God.

This is a very different bond
from that which men try to impose upon each other in order to create
union. They put straps around the outside, they tie us together with
many knots, and we feel uneasy; but God puts a Divine Life inside of us,
and then we wear the sacred bonds of Love with ease. If you get the
limbs of a dead man you can tie them together, and then if you send the
body on a journey and the carriage jolts, a leg will slip out of its place,
and an arm may be dislocated. But get a living man, and you may send
him where you will, and the ligatures of life will prevent his dropping
asunder. In all the truly Elect children of God who are called, and
chosen, and faithful, there is a bond of Divine mysterious Love running
right through the whole, and they are one and must be one, the Holy
Spirit being the life which unites them.

There are tokens which evidence this union, and prove that the people
of God are one. We hear much moaning over our divisions. There may be
some who are to be deplored among ecclesiastical confederacies, but in
the spiritual Church of the Living God, I am really at a loss to discover
the divisions which are so loudly proclaimed. It strikes me that the
tokens of union are much more prominent than the tokens of division.
But what are they? First there is a union in judgment upon all vital
matters. I converse with a spiritual man, and no matter what he calls
himself, when we talk of sin, pardon, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and such
like themes, we are agreed. We speak of our blessed Lord. My friend says
that Jesus is fair and lovely—so do I. He says that he has nothing else to
trust to but the precious blood; nor have I anything else. I tell him that I
find myself a poor, weak creature; he laments the same. I live in his
house a little while—we pray together at the family altar, you could not
tell which it was that prayed, Calvinist or Arminian, we pray so exactly
alike, and when we open the hymn book, very likely if he happens to be a
Wesleyan he chooses to sing, “Jesus, lover of my soul.” I will sing it, and
then next morning he will sing with me, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me.” If
the Spirit of God is in us, we are all agreed upon great points. Let me say
that among true saints the points of union, even in matters of judgment,
are ninety-nine, and the points of difference are only as one. In
experimental points, as face answers to face, so does the heart of man to
man. Only get upon experimental topics concerning soul-dealings with
God—leave the letter and get to the spirit, crack the shells and eat the
kernel of spiritual truth, and you will find that the points of agreement
between genuine Christians are something marvelous. But this union is
to be seen most plainly in union of heart. I am told that Christians do not
love each other. I am very sorry if that is true, but I rather doubt it, for I
suspect that those who do not love each other are not Christians. Where
the Spirit of God is there must be love, and if I have once known and
recognized any man to be my Brother in Christ Jesus, the love of Christ
compels me no more to think of him as a stranger or foreigner, but a
fellow citizen with the saints.

Now I hate High Churchism as my soul hates Satan; but I love George
Herbert, although George Herbert is a desperately High Churchman. I
hate his High Churchism, but I love George Herbert from my very soul,
and I have a warm corner in my heart for every man who is like he is. Let
me find a man who loves my Lord Jesus Christ as George Herbert did,
and I do not ask myself whether I shall love him or not; there is no room
for question, for I cannot help myself; unless I can leave off loving Jesus
Christ, I cannot cease loving those who love Him! Here is George Fox, the
Quaker, a strange sort of body it is true, going about the world making
much noise and stir; but I love the man with all my soul, because he had
an awful respect for the Presence of God, and an intense love for
everything spiritual. How is it that I cannot help loving George Herbert
and George Fox, who are in some things, complete opposites? Because
they both loved the Master. I will defy you, if you have any love to Jesus
Christ, to pick or choose among His people; you may hate as much as
you will the shells in which the pearls lie, and the dross with which the
gold is mixed, but the true, the precious blood-bought gold, the true
pearl, Heaven-dyed, you must esteem. You must love a spiritual man
wherever you may find him. Such love exists among the people of God,
and if anybody says it does not, I can only fear that the speaker is unfit
to judge. If I come across a man in whom there is the Spirit of Christ, I
must love him, and if I did not I should prove I was not in the unit at all.

Oneness in judgment, in experience, and in heart are some of the
evidences of this union, but if you want more plain and palpable union,
which even carnal eyes can see, note the unity of Christian prayer. Oh,
how slight the difference there! Well-taught Believers address the Throne
of Grace in the same style, whatever may be the particular form which
their Church organization may have assumed. So is it with praise. There,
indeed, we are as one, and our music goes up with sweet accord to the
Throne of Heavenly Grace. Beloved, we are one in action; true Christians
everywhere are all doing the same work. Here is a Brother preaching; I do
not care about that white thing he has on, but if he is a genuine
Christian, he is preaching Christ Crucified; and here am I, and he may
not like me because I have not that white rag on, but still I delight to
preach Christ Crucified. When you come to the real lifework of the
Christian, it is the same in every case, it is holding up the Cross of
Christ! “Oh,” you say, “but there are many Christians in the world
preaching this and that and the other.” I am saying nothing of them or
about them; I am saying nothing about their ecclesiastical belongings; I
am saying nothing about those who merely cling to the Church; I am
speaking of the Elect, the precious ones, the simpleminded Christ-taught
men and women, and their motive of action is the same, and there is
among them a true union which is the answer to our Lord’s prayer. He
did not plead in vain—what He sought He has obtained—and the truly
quickened are this day one, and shall evermore remain so.

I think I hear someone saying, “But I cannot see this unity.” My
answer is, One reason may be because of your lack of information. I saw
a large building the other day being erected; I do not know that it was
any business of mine, but I did puzzle myself to make out how that
would make a complete structure; it seemed to me that the gables would
come in so very awkwardly. But I dare say if I had seen a plan there
might have been some central tower or some combination by which the
wings, one of which appeared to be rather longer than the other, might
have been brought into harmony. The architect, doubtless, had a unity
in his mind which I had not in mine. So you and I have not the necessary
information as to what the Church is to be. The unity of the Church is
not to be seen by you today—do not even think it; the plan is not worked
out yet. God is building over yonder, and you only see the foundation; in
another part the top stone is all but ready, but you cannot comprehend
it. Shall the Master show you His plan? Is the Divine Architect bound to
take you into His studio to show you all His secret motives and designs?
Not so; wait awhile and you will find that all these diversities and
differences among spiritually-minded men, when the master plan comes
to be worked out, are different parts of the grand whole, and you, with
the astonished world, will then know that God has sent the Lord Jesus! I
go into a great factory; there is a wheel spinning a way in which it is
perfectly indifferent and careless of every other wheel; there is another
wheel going in an opposite direction; all sorts of motions concentric and
eccentric; and I say, “What an extraordinary muddle this all seems!” Just
so! I do not understand the machinery. So when I go into the great visible
Church of God, if I look with the eyes of my spirit I can see the inner
harmony; but if with these eyes I look upon the great outward Church I
cannot see it, nor will it ever be seen till the hidden Church shall be
made manifest at the appearing of the Lord.

The reason why you do not see the unity of the Church may be
because of the present roughness of the material. See yonder a number
of stones—here, a number of trees; I cannot see the unity. Of course not.
When these trees are all cut into planks, when these stones are all
squared, then you may begin to see them as a whole. The various stones
of the Divine building of the Church are all out of shape at present; they
are not polished. We shall never be one till we are sanctified. The unity of
Christ is a unity of holy, not unholy beings; and as we each of us grow
more and more prepared by the work of Christ for our own place, we
shall discover more and more the unity of the Church. Perhaps, too, let
me say, we cannot see the unity of the Church because we ourselves
cannot see anything. Is that a harsh saying? Who can bear it? There are
thousands of professors who cannot see anything. Do not suppose, dear
Friends, that the unity of the Church is a thing that is to be seen by
these eyes of ours. Never! Everything spiritual is spiritually discerned.
You must get spiritual eyes before you can see it. Many people say there
is no unity. I would be astonished if there were any which they could see
or feel. They are not in Christ themselves; their hearts have never felt
what spiritual life means; how should they be able to understand that
into which they have never entered?

See what carnal-mindedness does with Christ’s teaching. Christ
teaches His people that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood.
Carnal-Mind Says, “I know what that means.” And straightway he runs
to the pantry, and brings out a loaf of bread and a cup of wine. Spiritual
men weep at such ignorance. Jesus says, “That they all may be one, as
You, Father, are in Me.” “I know what that means,” says Carnal-Mind—
“They are all to worship after the same fashion, and use the same ritual.”
That is all poor Carnal-Mind knows about it; he confuses the outward
with the inward, and misses the Lord’s meaning. But, Beloved, you know
better than this! You do know, I trust, and feel this very day in your soul
that the true saints of the Living God are one with each other at this very
moment. You understand that they recognize and discover this unity in
proportion as they become like their Lord and Master, and are conformed
to His image, and made fit for the place which they are to occupy. Just
as Professor Owen can take up a bone, and from that one bone can
discover the whole structure of the entire animal, I do not doubt but
what there is a mutual dependence and consistency between every
Christian and his fellows, so that if we understood the science of
spiritual comparative anatomy, as we may do in Heaven, we would be
able to form from any one Christian the fashion of the entire Church of
God from the mutual dependence of one upon the other! But it would not
be according to the fashion of the beast that was, and now is, and is yet
to come, which calls itself the Church of Christ, and is nothing better
than Antichrist; it would take the fashion of the Lord from Heaven, of
whose body we are members.

II. I have talked too long upon this matter of unity to spare much time
for the other points, and therefore only a hint at them. The second head
was to be, THE WORK THAT IS TO BE DONE BEFORE THIS UNITY CAN
BE COMPLETE.
There are many chosen ones who have not yet believed in Jesus
Christ, and the Church cannot be one till these are saved. Here is work
to be done—work to be done by instruments. These chosen ones are to
believe—that is a work of Divine Grace, but they are to believe through
our word. Brothers, if you would promote the unity of Christ’s Church,
look after His lost sheep, seek out wandering souls. If you ask what is to
be your work, the answer is in the text—it is to be concerning Christ.
They are to believe in Him. Every soul that believes in Christ is built into
the great Gospel unity in its measure, and you will never see the Church
as a whole while there is one soul left unsaved for whom the Savior shed
His precious blood. Go out and teach His Word! Tell of the Doctrines of
Grace as He has given you ability. Hold up Christ before the eyes of men,
and you will be the means in God’s hand of bringing them to believe in
Him—and so the Church shall be built up and made one. Here is work
for the beginning of the year! Here is work till the end of the year! Do not
sit down and scheme and plot, and plan how this denomination may
melt into the other; you leave that alone. Your business is to go and—

“Tell to sinners round
What a Savior you have found,”

for that is God’s way of using you to complete the unity of His Church.
Unless these are saved, the Church is not perfect. That is a wonderful
text that, “They without us cannot be made perfect.” That is to say,
saints in Heaven cannot be perfect unless we get there. What? The
blessed saints in Heaven not perfect unless the rest of Believers come
there? So the Scripture tells us, for they would be a part of the body and
not a whole body—they cannot be perfect as a flock unless the rest of the
sheep come there. They beckon us from the battlement of Heaven and
say to us, “Come up here, for without you we cannot be one as Jesus
Christ is One with His Father. We are an imperfect body till you come.”
And we, from our position of Grace, turn round to the sinful world, and
we say to the chosen of God from among that sinful world, “Come to
Jesus! Trust Jesus! Believe in Him! For without you we cannot be
perfect, nor can the heavenly ones themselves be, for there must be one
complete Church! The city must be walled all round, and if there is one
gap in the wall the city will not be one. Come, then, put your trust in
Jesus, that His Church may be one.”

III. The third point was to be, HERE IS PRAYER OFFERED.
Beloved, Christ prays for the unity of His Church, that all saints who
have gone to Heaven in days gone by, that all saints who live now, that
all who ever live may be brought into the unity of the one life in Himself. I
fear we do not attach enough importance to the power of Christ’s prayer.
We think of Joshua fighting in the valley, but we forget our Moses with
hands outstretched upon the hill. We are looking at the wheels of the machine—to go back to our old figure—and we are thinking that this
wheel, and that, and the other, is needing more oil, or not working
exactly to its point. Ah, but let us never forget the engine, that
mysterious motive force which is hidden and concealed, upon which the
action of the whole depends. Christ’s prayer for His people is the great
motive force by which the Spirit of God is sent to us, and the whole
Church is kept filled with life; and the whole of that force is tending to
this one thing—to unity; it is removing everything which keeps us from
being one, it is working with all its Divine Omnipotence to bring us into a
visible unity when Christ shall stand in the latter days upon the earth.
Beloved, let us have hope for sinners yet unconverted; Christ is praying
for them! Let us have hope for the entire body of the faithful; Christ is
praying for their unity, and what He prays for must be effected. He never
pleads in vain. He prays that the Church may be one, and it is one; He
prays that they may be perfect and complete, and it shall be amidst
eternal hallelujahs.

IV. Then, there was THE RESULT ANTICIPATED FROM THE WHOLE.
“That the world may believe that You have sent Me.” The effect of sight of
the complete Church upon human minds will be overwhelming. Angels
and principalities will look at Christ’s perfect Church with awe. They will
all exclaim, “What a marvel! What a wonder! What a masterpiece of
Divine Power and Wisdom!” When they saw the foundation laid in the
precious blood of Christ, they gazed long and wistfully; but when they
see the whole Church complete, every spire and pinnacle, and the great
top-stone brought out with shouting, all built of precious jewels and
pearls, fashioned like the similitude of a palace—why they will make
Heaven ring again and again! When the world was made they sang for
joy, but how shall the vaults of Heaven echo when the Church is all
complete, and the New Creation shall have been perfected! What will be
the effect upon men? Astonishment will be the effect upon angels, but
what upon men? Why the world, that wicked world which rejected Christ,
that wicked crucifying world which would have none of Him, and which
now will have none of His people, that wicked world which hates His
saints, and has strived with all its might to pluck down the walls of His
Church, will believe, will be compelled to believe that God has sent His
Son.

They will bite their tongues with rage! They will gnash their teeth with
horror! But there will be no doubt about it. Do not suppose that the
world will ever be convinced so as to believe in Christ, and to be saved by
the unity of the Church. It is not anticipated in this Chapter that the
world ever will be saved! That is not dreamed of the whole Chapter
through—the world is spoken of as something for which Christ does not
pray, whose enlightenment is not anticipated; but that world, though it
weeps, and wails, and curses, and abhors, shall be made distinctly to
recognize the Divinity of Christ’s mission when it shall see the entire
unity of the Church. Why, before my astonished gaze this morning there
seems to me to rise up as from a great sea of confusion a wondrous
building. I see the first stone sunk into the depths of that sea dyed with
blood, and I see the top of it just emerging above lofty waves of strife and
confusion; and now I see other stones built on that, all of them dyed with
blood—the first Apostles, all of them martyrs. I see stone rising upon
stone as age succeeds age. At first nearly all the foundations are laid in
the fair vermilion of martyrdom, but the structure rises—the stones are
very different; they come from Asia, Africa, America, Europe; they are
taken from among princes and from among peasants. These stones are
very diverse. Perhaps while they were here they scarcely recognized that
they belonged to the same building, but there they are—and for 1866
years that building goes on, and on, and on building, every stone being
made ready. We know not how many more years that masterly edifice will
take, but at the last, despite all the frowns of Hell, and all the power of
devils, that edifice will be completed—not a single stone being lost, not
one Elect child of God being absent—and not one of those stones having
suffered any injury nor been put out of its place! And the whole so fair,
so matchless, such a display of power and wisdom and love, that even
the hateful ones whose hearts are hard as adamant against the Most
High will be compelled to say God must have sent Christ! They cannot
restrain that confession when all the Church shall be one as the Father
is one with Christ. O happy day!

V. The concluding suggestion was to be this—ARE WE PARTS OF
THAT GREAT UNITY?
There is the question. It is not this morning, Are you members of a
Christian Church? “I know how you get at it,” you say, “Well, a certain
number of Churches are evangelical and orthodox; they make up
orthodox Protestantism. Now, I am a Baptist. Very well. I am a Baptist,
and the Baptist churches are orthodox, therefore I am a Christian. I am
an Episcopalian, and Episcopacy is one branch of Protestantism. Very
well, I am a Protestant, I am a Christian.” Ah, that is your carnal way of
talking! You may be very grievously mistaken if that is your argument.
But if you can go another way to work and say, “I have received Eternal
Life for I have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am given of the
Father unto Him.” Why then, Beloved, you come at it directly. Being one
with Christ, you are one with His people. But do not, when you are
looking for this unity, look for an outward but for an inward thing. Do
not look for a matter that is to be written on sheets of paper, on rolls and
books—look for a bond written on hearts, and consciences, and souls.
Do not be looking for all saints in one room, but in Christ; all living upon
heavenly bread, and drinking of the wines on the lees well refined that
come from Christ Jesus. Look for a spiritual union and you will find it; if
you look for the other thing you will not find it, and if you did find it, it
would be a great and awful thing from which you might pray God to
deliver His Church.

As spiritual men look for spiritual unity—but first begin by asking
whether you are spiritual yourselves. Have you been born into the
family? Have you been washed with the blood? Have you passed from
death unto life? If not, even if you could be in the body, you would be as
a dead substance in the body working a fester, a gangrene, necessitating
pain and suffering—you would be a thing accursed, to be cast away. But
are you alive by the Life of Christ? Does God dwell in you, and do you
dwell in Him? Then, my dear Brother or Sister, give me your hand! Never
mind about a thousand differences if you are in Christ and I am in
Christ, we cannot be two, we must be one. Let us love each other
fervently with a pure heart. Let us live on earth as those who are to live
together a long eternity in Heaven. Let us help each other’s spiritual
growth. Let us aid each other as far as possible in every holy, spiritual
enterprise which is for the promotion of the Kingdom of the Lord. And let
us chase out of our hearts everything which would break the unity which
God has established. Let us cast from us every false doctrine, every false
thought of pride, enmity, envy, bitterness, that we, whom God has made
one, may be one before men as well as before the eyes of the heart-searching God.

May the Lord bless us, dear Friends, as a Church, may He make us
one, and keep us so; for it will be the dead stuff among us who will make
the divisions. It is the living children of God who make the unity! It is the
living ones who are bound together. There will be no fear about that—
Christ’s prayer takes care of us, that we shall be one. As for those of you
who are joined with us in visible fellowship, and are not one with Christ,
may the Lord save you with His great salvation, and His shall be the
praise. Amen and Amen!

Adapted from The C. H. Spurgeon Collection, Version 1.0, Ages Software.
Courtesy of http://www.spurgeongems.org

Direct Link to original document:

http://www.spurgeongems.org/chsbm12.pdf