WE – THE UNITED
Lets be honest: It seems almost impossible for some Christians to get along with others, despite what scriptures teach on the subject of unity and peace among God’s family.
This type of pride and disunity among believers is not new to our time. In fact the Bible is replete with warnings about troublemakers and those who refuse to get along peacefully with the local church. In the early church in Corinth, believers were bragging about which preacher they followed and who baptized them. Paul writes to them and essentially says, “Why argue about your preferences? Your favorite preacher wasn’t crucified for you; Christ was. Your favorite preacher doesn’t have the power to save you. He can only point to the One who can.”
Unity means, despite differences of opinion and and personal preferences, we can all come together at the feet of the crucified Christ and have unity over what God says. However, it seems near impossible for some to know the difference between what is Biblical and what is a personal preference or opinion. (Right now take a moment for personal reflection regarding past attitudes, motives and actions)… Differentiating between Biblical mandates and personal preferences and opinions is of utmost importance to both peace and unity among God’s family. And those who refuse to make such distinction will most certainly end up on the wrong side of God and at odds with His people. Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.” Maybe you know of those who have ended up worshiping in their home with hardly anyone but their personal family members because: “There are no churches which are truly faithful to work and worship with.” Possible; but not likely… more likely they don’t know how or don’t want to make a distinction on some particular personal preference or opinion and doctrinal matter(s).
Built within Unity is a certain sense of freedom! Peace and unity entail not only agreeing on Biblical teachings actually found in God’s Book, but also allowing self and others to have their own opinions and personal preferences. It means no one has to bend their preferences to fit a specific mold of another brother or sister. Again, despite differences of opinion and and personal preferences, we can all come together at the feet of the crucified Christ. Thanks be to God, He has designed His family to allow for freedom while at the same time having unity over important Biblical things so that disunity does not prevail, as together we seek to spread His good news locally and abroad. It’s great to be part of God’s peaceful and loving family!
– Where have you seen division in God’s family?
– What REALLY caused it? Doctrinal Issues, or personal preferences? When you see division what might you do to help?
-When personal preferences and opinions cause disunity is sinful pride and evil motive involved by at least one party?
– What is one area of your life where you need to shift from being a quarreler to an encourager?
– Is there anyone you need to forgive or ask forgiveness from regarding unity and peace in order in order to be forgiven by God? (Matthew 18:23-35)