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Truth in a 60’s Ballad

Truth in a 60’s Ballad

by Angela McKnight
- Love, Unity

In the mid-1960’s a worship song was written that became popular over the years and has even been recorded again by musicians in recent years.  Although the lyrics do not convey deep theological truths about God, they do offer a very relevant challenge for Christ-followers in today’s climate.  Do the words of this song reflect the reality of our relationships and the desires of our hearts?  

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord;

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord;

And we pray that all unity will one day be restored.

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand;

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand;

And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land.

We will work with each other, we will work side by side;

We will work with each other, we will work side by side;

And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride.

“They’ll Know We Are Christians” Words by Peter Scholtes

The point of the entire song is summarized in the chorus which actually communicates a truth straight from Scripture.  It reminds us…

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,

Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

The truth of this chorus actually originated in the words of Jesus found In John 13:34-35.  Jesus declared, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

As we love one another, we are following Jesus’ command.  (By the way, it is not a suggestion).  We are also demonstrating to the world that we are His disciples.  Loving like Jesus means loving each other.  

In fact, we cannot love God and not love our brothers and sisters.  I John 4:20-21 teaches us that “if anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.  And this commandment we have from him:  whoever loves God must also love his brother.”  

As we love each other in word and in action, the world will see followers of Jesus loving like He does.  And as we live in this way, the closing words of the 60’s ballad will be reflected in our lives.

All praise to the Father, from whom all things come;

And all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son.

And all praise to the Spirit who makes us one.

So, as we seek to live to God’s glory, let us seek to love one another well, remembering that our love for each other reflects the love of God to a watching world.  And God’s love desperately needs to be seen in our hurting and divided culture.  Show the world the incomparable and unequaled love of Jesus and pray that this powerful love will bring unity.  

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