Academic journal article International Review of Mission

A Statement on the Calling of the Church to Mission and Unity

Academic journal article International Review of Mission

A Statement on the Calling of the Church to Mission and Unity

Article excerpt

The calling of the Church to mission and unity issues from the nature of God Himself, made known to us in the whole biblical revelation of the work and purpose of God in Christ. God has made of one blood all nations of men. In Christ we see God's redemptive action; in Christ God is still at work reconciling all things to Himself in one restored humanity. Christ called His apostles that they might be one with Him and with one another, and that He might send them forth, to share with Him His mission for the redemption of the world. The calling of the Church is to be one family in Him and to make known to the whole world, in word and deed, His Gospel of the Kingdom. Christ prayed for His disciples that they might be one in Him, as He and the Father are one, that the world might believe that the Father had sent Him.

The love of God in Christ calls for the threefold response of worship, unity and mission. These three aspects of the Church's response are interdependent; they become corrupted when isolated from each other. Division in the Church distorts its witness, frustrates its mission, and contradicts its own nature. If the Church is to demonstrate the Gospel in its life as well as in its preaching, it must manifest to the world the power of God to break down all barriers and to establish the Church's unity in Christ. Christ is not divided.

It is true that there are differences among us due to the various gifts and workings of the Holy Spirit within the one fellowship. But there are also differences among us which disrupt the Body of Christ, and separate us from one another. They spring from trusting in something other than the Cross of Christ.

We believe that through the ecumenical movement God is drawing His people together in order that He may enable us to discern yet more clearly the contradictions in our message and the barriers to unity which are also hindrances to effective witness in a divided world. …

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