December 2017 / January 2018 - Vol. 95
                                                          white cross
                                                          over highway
.   One in Christ Jesus .

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free – for you are all one in Christ Jesus” – Galatians 3:28

Intro to this issue

What is the true source of unity that binds us together in a community of love, peace, and friendship with God and with one another? It is the cross of Jesus Christ. Paul the Apostle tells us that
“Christ is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility.. and reconciled us both to God in one body through the cross” (Ephesians 2:14,16).
Jesus died for our sins – including the sins of strife, enmity, and division – to set us free to live together in peace, love, and friendship with God and with one another.

Christian unity is a gift and grace of God which must be sought and lived out each day with faith, hope, and love. By ourselves we are weak and unable to maintain unity and peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our flesh is weak and we must cling to Christ and his word of truth and life. Satan, our enemy, also conspires to trip us up and sow seeds of discord, division, and strife.  Only the love of Christ and the healing power of forgiveness can restore and preserve our love and unity together as his disciples and servants of his word of grace and salvation.
We believe that God has called us in the Sword of the Spirit to be a sign of the unity he desires for all Christians today. Let us not flag in zeal for growing in brotherly love, holiness of life, and unity together as a community of disciples on mission. And let us not tire in praying and fasting for the whole people of God for a full restoration of the unity, love, and mission he has entrusted to all who belong to Christ.

May this issue be a source of inspiration and renewed zeal and prayer for greater spiritual renewal among all churches and Christian traditions, and for growth in love of the brethren among all baptized Christians, and for new open doors to pray and read the Scriptures together, and pursue common mission for the glory of God and the spread of the Gospel to all nations and peoples.

Sincerely in Christ,
Don Schwager

top illustration by (c) Kevin Carden
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