by Coye Bouyer
LANSING, MI – A pastor friend of mine here in the city always asks me this question when he sees me, “How can we play together?” When I think of his question, my mind is drawn to an image of two individuals at the park playing basketball on opposite ends of the court, both practicing to better their individual games.
When Jesus prays for believers, “that all of His disciples may be one,” His prayer is analogous to the oneness He enjoys with the Father. Jesus further fleshes this out when He says, ‘just as you are in me and I am in you (v. 21),’ as if to say we can think and function as one. Here, Jesus is drawing our attention to the biblical concept of Oneness.
When we think about the concept of oneness, it is a concept that does not start with Jesus in the Gospel of John, rather it flows throughout the Bible. In creation God says, it is not good for Adam to be alone and so God makes Eve, a helper who is suitable for Adam. Adam then declares that “a man shall leave his father and mother and cling (be bonded) to his wife as the two become one flesh (2:24). When Adam makes this statement part of his point is that he and Eve will perform (function) as one together.
In the New Testament, we see Jesus telling Peter that He will build His church (Ekklesia) on this rock (Matt. 16:18). Church is not plural but singular speaking of one Church. And while there are many local assemblies, all local assemblies still represent the one Ekklesia (church). Moreover, in Ephesians we read that Jesus takes both groups, Jew and Gentile and reconciles them both back to their God and Father.
Jesus reconciles them by the same means, the Cross and preaches the same message to both (those who were far off and those who were near). This is significant because while they are two separate and distinct groups, Christ has brought them into one body making peace between the two (2:14).
Paul informs the Corinthian church that the servants of Christ are one (3:8) symbolizing that while they, their works, and even their rewards are distinct, their purpose is one. Paul’s point is that they possess the same goal, and that is to see God grow the seeds they either helped to plant or water. Moreover, Paul also informs the Corinthian Church that the church must work in peace as opposed to division when it comes to the diversity of gifts given to the one church body.
For the display of unity is so compelling and so un-worldly, that our oneness becomes explainable only through the message of Christ. What if those two young men at the basketball court working at opposite ends for the same purpose, to get better, decided to play together. Not only would they increase the chances of their purpose, but they would perform better together giving others a positive example of what can happen when the two work together in peace. So church, today let us walk as one, because ‘We Are One.’
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Coye L. Bouyer is the founding pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Lansing, MI where he has served since March of 2010. Pastor Bouyer recently stepped into the Diversity Ambassador role for the BSCM and firmly believes that he was not only called to Preach the Gospel as part of the process of reconciliation of man to God, but also using any platform as a bridge of reconciliation of man to man, and even more so amongst the brethren. Pastor Bouyer and his lovely wife Keturah (Gen. 25:1) have been married four over 20 years and have four children; Sierra, Seth, Cayla and Coye II.