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John 17:21

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

That they all may be one - This prayer was literally answered to the first believers, who were all of one heart and of one soul: Acts 4:32. And why is it that believers are not in the same spirit now? Because they neither attend to the example nor to the truth of Christ.

That the world may believe - are have already seen that the word, κοσμος, world, is used in several parts of this last discourse of our Lord to signify the Jewish people only.

Christ will have all his members to be one in spirit - one in rights and privileges, and one in the blessedness of the future world.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Our Lord especially prayed, that all believers might be as one body under one head, animated by one soul, by their union with Christ and the Father in him, through the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. The more they dispute about lesser things, the more they throw doubts upon Christianity. Let us endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, praying that all believers may be more and more united in one mind and one judgment. Thus shall we convince the world of the truth and excellence of our religion, and find more sweet communion with God and his saints.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 386

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I beseech the people of God to depend upon the Lord for strength. Beware how you place men where God should be. We are not safe in taking men as our authority or our guide, for they will surely disappoint us. Individually, we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, “for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” We have a high calling in Christ Jesus; we are carrying forward a vast and holy work, and God calls upon each one to uplift His standard in the sight of this world and of the universe of heaven, by the power of the Lord Jehovah, in whom is “everlasting strength.” TM 386.1

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We are to be one with Christ as He is one with the Father, and the Father will love us as He loves His Son. We may have the same help that Christ had, we may have strength for every emergency; for God will be our front guard and our rearward. He will shut us in on every side, and when we are brought before rulers, before the authorities of the earth, we need not meditate beforehand of what we shall say. God will teach us in the day of our need. Now may God help us to come to the feet of Jesus and learn of Him, before we seek to become teachers of others.—The Review and Herald, February 18, 1890. TM 386.2

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Ellen G. White
Gospel Workers 1915, 447

In our business meetings, it is important that precious time should not be consumed in debating points that are of small consequence. The habit of petty criticism should not be indulged, for it perplexes and confuses minds, and shrouds in mystery the things that are most plain and simple. If there is that love among brethren which will lead them to esteem others better than themselves, there will be a giving up of their own ways and wishes to others. It is our duty to study, daily and hourly, how we may answer the prayer of Christ, that His disciples may be one, as He and the Father are one. Precious lessons may be learned by keeping our Saviour's prayer before the mind, and by acting our part to fulfill His desire. GW 447.1

In our business connection with the work of God, and in handling sacred things, we cannot be too careful to guard against a spirit of irreverence; never, for an instant, should the word of God be used deceitfully, to carry a point which we are anxious to see succeed. Honor, integrity, and truth must be preserved at any cost to self. Our every thought, word, and action should be subject to the will of Christ. Levity is not appropriate in meetings where the solemn work and word of God are under consideration. The prayer has been offered that Christ shall preside in the assembly, and impart His wisdom, His grace and righteousness. Is it consistent to take a course that will be grievous to His Spirit and contrary to His work? GW 447.2

Let us bear in mind that Jesus is in our midst. Then an elevating, controlling influence from the Spirit of God will pervade the assembly. There will be manifested that wisdom which is “from above,” which is “first pure, then peaceable, ...full of mercy and good fruits,” [James 3:17.] which cannot err. In all the plans and decisions there will be that charity that “seeketh not her own;” that is “not easily provoked;” that “thinketh no evil;” that “rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;” that “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” [1 Corinthians 13:5-7.] GW 448.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 156

Let the writers for our periodicals dwell as little as possible upon the objections or arguments of opponents. In all our work we are to meet falsehood with truth. Put truth against all personal hints, references, or insults. Deal only in the currency of heaven. Make use only of that which bears God's image and superscription. Press in truth, new and convincing, to undermine and cut away error. 7T 156.1

God wants us to be always calm and forbearing. Whatever course others may pursue, we are to represent Christ, doing as He would do under similar circumstances. Our Saviour's power lay not in a strong array of sharp words. It was His gentleness, His unselfish, unassuming spirit, that made Him a conqueror of hearts. The secret of our success lies in revealing the same spirit. 7T 156.2

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 85

It was for this unity that Jesus prayed just before His trial, standing but a step from the cross. “That they all may be one;” He said, “as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:21). 1SM 85.1

God calls upon those who are half awake to arouse, and engage in earnest labor, praying to Him for strength for service. Workers are needed. It is not necessary to follow rules of exact precision. Receive the Holy Spirit, and your efforts will be successful. Christ's presence is that which gives power. Let all dissension and strife cease. Let love and unity prevail. Let all move under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If God's people will give themselves wholly to Him, He will restore to them the power they have lost by division. May God help us all to realize that disunion is weakness and that union is strength.—Letter 32, 1903. 1SM 85.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 145

The Lord desires His chosen servants to learn how to unite together in harmonious effort. It may seem to some that the contrast between their gifts and the gifts of a fellow laborer is too great to allow them to unite in harmonious effort; but when they remember that there are varied minds to be reached, and that some will reject the truth as it is presented by one laborer, only to open their hearts to God's truth as it is presented in a different manner by another laborer, they will hopefully endeavor to labor together in unity. Their talents, however diverse, may all be under the control of the same Spirit. In every word and act, kindness and love will be revealed; and as each worker fills his appointed place faithfully, the prayer of Christ for the unity of His followers will be answered, and the world will know that these are His disciples. 9T 145.1

In loving sympathy and confidence God's workers are to unite with one another. He who says or does anything that tends to separate the members of Christ's church is counterworking the Lord's purpose. Wrangling and dissension in the church, the encouragement of suspicion and unbelief, are dishonoring to Christ. God desires His servants to cultivate Christian affection for one another. True religion unites hearts not only with Christ, but with one another in a most tender union. When we know what it means to be thus united with Christ and with our brethren, a fragrant influence will attend our work wherever we go. 9T 145.2

The workers in the large cities must act their several parts, making every effort to bring about the best results. They are to talk faith and to act in such a way as to impress the people. They are not to narrow the work down to their own particular ideas. In the past too much of this has been done by us as a people, and it has been a drawback to the success of the work. Let us remember that the Lord has different ways of working, that He has different workmen to whom He entrusts different gifts. We are to see His purpose in the sending of certain men to certain places. 9T 145.3

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