CHURCH UNITY

When God views our city and region He sees two groups of people. One group is that vast and precious group that is held in spiritual darkness and are yet without God and the gospel. The other, the redeemed minority are those who have by faith received God’s offer of eternal life through Jesus Christ and who have embraced the New Covenant. These have been baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ’s mystical Body, the Church. The Church of Jesus Christ in the greater Cleveland area are these people. They gather in a variety of church settings. Some are conditioned to the ancient liturgies of Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic or Anglican traditions; others in mainline Protestant congregations such as Presbyterian, United Church of Christ and Methodist. Many others are part of Evangelical congregations called Baptist, Brethren, Bible Churches, Pentecostal and non-denominational.

Regardless of the richness of each respective congregation’s heritage, the great line of demarcation is each one’s response to the person and work of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible, God’s Word. It is indeed possible to belong to a tradition or institution yet not have a living faith and relationship with God through Christ. That being said our hope is not in institutional unity or ecuminicity, but instead, serving to encourage the spiritual and Biblical growth of every true believer without prejudice to affiliation or tradition.

We though, exercise caution not to endorse religious groups that no longer faithfully represent the gospel, Biblical ethics and fidelity to the scriptures. Even if you have a cherished church tradition we invite you walk with us, discovering increasing depths of knowing and trusting Jesus and obedience to His Word, the Bible. An ultimate goal of the Holy Spirit’s work before the return of Christ is to see a substantial fulfillment of Jesus’ high priestly prayer recorded in the Gospel of John chapter 17 verses 20-23:

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”

We believe that it is God’s intention that the true church worldwide will discover not only spiritual unity but also a functional and apostolic unity.

This is expressed by Ephesians 4:3 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

The same unity that produced the the Council of Nicaea should be a valued goal today.