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By Lauren Godfrey – Syracuse, NY

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3 NKJV

The word “unity” in that last verse can also, and perhaps more accurately, be translated as “one-ness.” Or, regarding Christians, sharing the likeness of nature with Jesus.

In our western culture, we count each thing as one item. A box of 12 blue ink pens that are exactly alike is seen as 12 items in one case.

In eastern cultures, that same box is one (1). There is one kind of ink inside those pens – all the same.

Pivot that thinking to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and we can begin seeing each other more biblically. This one-ness has been established by the Lord.

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:4-6 NKJV

When we said ‘yes’ to Jesus, we were changed. The Holy Spirit infused our mortality with the divine nature and made us like our Lord (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 3:26-28).

“Assuming that you have heard about [Christ] and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus…put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:21, 24

In 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul questions the church at Corinth:

“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19 KJV

We are all changed, we are all temples, a holy priesthood of living stones. We are made of the same substance as Jesus!

Father God found a way to unify all of humankind. He creates unique individuals and transforms them into ONE in Spirit by His power and might.

No matter our shape, size, language, gender, culture, political structure, socio-economic status, age, location on the globe, or position in time—all who believe are ONE.

The Challenge of ONE-ness

Have you ever been in a room with 75 to 100 people and watched the gathering patterns? “Like calls to like”—those who are musical tend to find each other, as do tech people, people with children, etc.

We gather with those like us, those with whom we have things in common. This is human behavior.

One of the greatest challenges to believers functioning in one-ness is that we are primarily focused on the outward part. It is more comfortable to be with people who like what I like, sound like I sound, and look like I look. We must learn to see in Spirit.

“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NKJV

Please note that the scripture does not define unity with agreement. This unity is created by Spirit indwelling, not by man’s mind, will, or choices.

Scripture does not tell us to make unity either. We are instructed to zealously guard over the unity of Spirit, not to create it. We are to preserve and protect our one-ness.

How to Protect It

How do we do this? Everything in our culture and often in our worship centers tell us to compete with one another, judge one another, correct each other, and secretly be glad we’re not like each other. (O Lord, please forgive us!)

How, then, shall we zealously preserve our one-ness? Ah, I’m so glad you asked!

1 Corinthians 13 illuminates the path—LOVE. We can practice and train until we are expertly proficient at our crafts; however, unless God’s agape love is running through and out of us – we are as clanging cymbals! What a monumental waste of time, energy, and talent. Oh Lord, may I never be uselessly noisy!

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1 NKJV

If we recognize our one-ness, we can allow the Almighty God to pour out his love through us to each other.

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

Competitiveness is replaced by service when LOVE is the motivation. If I lift my brother or sister up, then we all rise!

This YES! 2023 Power Group understands how to work in love and one-ness. Photo by Debi Pilot Photography.

A One-ness Prayer

Father God, I thank you for my brothers and sisters who long to worship you in spirit and truth. May we daily be reminded of our one-ness with you and, thereby, with each other.

Thank you for your love that enables and empowers us to preserve the unity of the Spirit in peace. Amen!


Pastor Lauren Godfrey is the Worship Pastor at New Heart Ministries, where she leads a contemporary worship team of 8-15 members. Lauren’s great honor is ministering to the Lord’s heart and his bride through worship and the Word.

Hear her teach at a Christian Family Fellowship Sunday service in the video Unity in Love.