Bible Passage:John 17:23b
That they may be perfected in unity.
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It is not enough (says Jesus) that they be one, but they must be perfected in unity. This is as though He had said, I have some Christians who must all be made and become one; but there is a deficiency, arising from many of them being yet weak. The unity of essence is indeed effected, but it stands only in faith; and as much as there is of faith, so much is there of perfection. Therefore He prays the Father that they may be made perfect, may grow stronger in their faith which has begun, and may be made one perfectly in Christ. In the same manner Paul also speaks (Col 2) : "in Him you have been made complete," that is, you have an overflowing abundance in Christ, nor have you need to seek anything more elsewhere. Hence he that has Christ is said to be perfect; that is, he has a full and perfect treasure of all the blessings that the mind can think worth craving or desiring, which are eternal life, righteousness, wisdom, and all divine blessings. Nor does such a man need anything, but to take heed and persevere in holding fast these things unto the end. The treasure is present with us, and collected together into one place, but the vessel is weak, for which reason we cannot hold it securely as perfectly as we ought; for we carry, as St. Paul says (2 Cor 4), "we have this treasure in earthen vessels." On that account, therefore, we are to labor daily in unceasing prayer, continual preaching, and much admonition, and to fight against all opposition and temptations, that we do not lose such a great and precious a treasure, nor give the devil an occasion or opportunity for plucking it out of our hands, but that we pay the more earnest heed to guard it and hold it fast, and shun no peril for such a treasure's sake.
O watch, and fight, and pray,
The battle ne'er give o'er;
Renew it boldly every day,
And help divine implore.
aka Pastor Robin Fish
To be Lutheran is to be Christian -- and Vice Versa!
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