Did not Jesus say that his followers must not be part of this world (John 15:19), that they should love one another as he loved them (John 13:34, 35), that they should avoid dishonesty and immorality (Matthew 5:28; Mark 7:21-23), and that they must go through the narrow gate and remain on the cramped road to get life (Matthew 7:13, 14)? Will anyone honestly claim that these sayings of Jesus are active in even a minority of the members of churches working toward unity? Yet, the very basis of unity among men must be their unity with Christ Jesus and his sayings. But one might ask, Is such a unity possible? The Bible answers yes; it was practiced in the Christian congregation of the first century.
On the last evening before his death, Jesus prayed to his heavenly Father concerning his followers: “Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth. . . . I make request . . . that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us, in order that the world may believe that you sent me forth.” (John 17:17, 20-23) This unity continued to be strengthened by the effect of God’s Word and holy spirit on Jesus’ followers.