THE PRAYER OF JESUS CHRIST CONCERNING ETHICAL UNITY
“Neither do I pray for these alone, but for them also who believe on me through their word, that they may be one as you Father are in me and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you have given to me, I have given unto them; that they may be one even as we are one. I in them and you in me that they be perfected into one, that the world may know that you did send me, and love them even as you love me” (John 17:20-21).
Our Lord Jesus Christ, knowing the perfect ethical between himself and His own Father prays that it may be imparted to all those who shall believe upon Him through the word of His disciples and Apostles that they may be perfect and blessed like the Triune God. “Neither do I pray for these alone, but also for them that should believe on me through their word, that they may all be one.”
Nations that have been christianized by the papacy and protestants are excluded from this prayer of Christ, because Christ prayed for the unity of only those who believe on Him “through their word”, in order that they may be one, but of course this does not include those who believe through counterfeit teaching.
How is the Father in the Son and the Son in the Father, and how can we be one with them? Just what is this “oneness” ? The Father and Son are two free persons of the Trinity for they are one with each other through identity of understanding, through identity of will, and through identity of feelings of love and hatred. When two people understand and judge alike, and will the same thing, each one is wholly within the other. Whatever things the Father knows and wills and loves these things the Son knows and wills and loves.
And when all the faithful who believe in Christ, assimilate their own will and understanding and love to the understanding, the will and the love of the Father and the Son, then all will be one, being in the Father and the Son will be in them.
This ethical unity when achieved, will persuade the world that the Father sent the Son into the world. What is needed is not the unionism of ecumenism as the ecumenists assert. When the whole world including papism, protestantism, Islam, and all other religions, hear the Orthodox preaching of the Gospel and the Church becomes zealous for
Jesus Christ, and abandon their heresies and errors and enter the Church through baptism, then they also can respond to the prayer of Christ and become one, first with the Church and then with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is the divine and perfect unity which Christ seeks for all His true followers, “that they may be one.” This unity has no equal, for it is the natural divine unity of the Trinity, which is granted to man through the grace of God. No human authority such as a Bishop or Pope can unify the faithful as one under them, nor does Christ pray for a flawed unity but for divine and holy unity, “that they may all be one.”
This perfect unity is observed in the Apostles, Saints, Martyrs and confessors , and it is what causes the Church to be One Holy Catholic and Apostolic. Any one who has a different idea than the Trinity and the Church, disunites himself from the blessed unity for which Christ prays. It is said of such persons that they have their own opinions, and the word in Greek is eresia, or heresy.