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TitleDiscipleship: Living for Christ in the Daily Grind
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Total Pages298
Table of Contents
The Disciple
The Church
The Kingdom of God
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Document Text Contents
Page 2

J. Heinrich Arnold

Page 149

Our faith in Jesus Christ unites us as brothers and
sisters and urges us to call others to follow him with
us. We do this in absolute poverty of spirit – it is not
that we want to make more members. But we do feel

Mt. 12:30 urged to call others to unity. The Holy Spirit does not
scatter; it unites.

The attempt to reconcile different churches and con­
fessions is without any doubt good. But true unity –
the unity that breaks down all barriers – starts with re-

Acts 2:37 pentance. When the Holy Spirit came down at Pente­
cost, people asked, “Brothers, what shall we do?” They
were deeply struck in their hearts, and they repented
for their sins and became of one heart and one soul.
Unfortunately, in today’s ecumenical movement bar­
riers or fences often remain, and people shake hands
over them. But we must testify to the possibility of
true unity among men. It comes only through repen­
tance and through personally facing Jesus – as man, as
living spirit, and as Lord.

From a letter: The ecumenical movement tends to
resolve differences by making concessions. Concessions
take the place of repentance, deep reconciliation, and
the unanimity that grows as the fruit of repentance,
and in the end serious evils are often smeared over.

Page 150

A merely emotional feeling of unity is not enough.
In our communities we promise to speak openly to
one another when there are problems – to admonish
each other and to accept admonition. Whenever we
avoid this brotherly honesty because we fear the conse-
quences it might have, our unity is no longer a reality.
God’s will is deed, and we must live according to it
with deeds. When we do this, Christ can bring about
a truly united church, purified by the Holy Spirit. We
will no longer nurse feelings against others, and we
will become of one heart and one soul, as in the early

Mt. 12:33 Jesus said more than once that a tree is recognized
Lk. 6:44 by its fruits. We must never forget this. All of us

can see what kind of tree today’s society is: its fruits
are murder, injustice, impurity, unfaithfulness, and

What were the fruits Jesus wanted to see? The first
fruit is unity. How else shall the world recognize his

Jn. 17:21 disciples? Jesus said, “May they all be one, Father, even
as we are one.”

How can we show the fruits of unity and remain a
part of today’s society? It is impossible: society is ruled
by mammon, the spirit of this world, which is “a liar

Jn. 8:44 and a murderer from the beginning.” It is ruled not by
the spirit of unity but by the spirits of disintegration,
destruction, and separation. True unity can be found
only in a life of brotherhood.

Page 297

ask to feel the challenge of the great harvest that must
be gathered – the harvest of all nations and all people,
including the generations of the future.

Page 298

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