Spirit of SectismBro. David Chancellor
6/28/2009 6:00 PM
1 John 4:1-3
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
"Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God…" As we encounter spirits, and see them trying to work in us, we want to know whether they are of God or not. Keep the right spirit in you. Consider what tries to work on you.
Religion is divided up in all kinds of ways because of the spirit of sectism. Some people do things and don’t know why. These spirits are still at work today and can influence us if we allow them to.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
There would be grievous wolves, or spirits, that would work on them. The wolf isn’t concerned about his prey. They are people whose only concern is getting what they want. There are people whose only concern is getting what they want.
"Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." The target of these is to get a following. Are we trying to draw people to ourselves to get our own way? We usually look without the body for the dangers, but this danger would arise from within. We don’t want this spirit to work on us. There are no "sides" other than God’s side or not. We’re not out to draw people to us. We’re out to lift up Jesus. Keep him lifted up in your life.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences…" Mark the ones that would divide. We’re out to draw people to Christ. It isn’t the teaching alone that’s a problem; it’s the divisions and offences. If someone offends you, go work it out in the right spirit and attitude. If your attitude and spirit can’t go work it out, take a look at yourself. These that would cause division are out for their own self interests. Look at what things produce in you. Does it make you more like Christ and give you a sweet spirit? Look at what tries to work on you.
2 Peter 2:17-19
These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest: to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
Whenever someone would draw you away from Christ, there’s a wrong spirit there. We need the water of life. Many would appeal to your emotions to draw you away. We don’t want to go back to sin. Eloquence is not spirituality. The power of the gospel is in the truth of it. Any time a person serves self, they aren’t free. Strong passions aren’t a source of liberty. Serving God brings liberty.
The spirit of sectism will draw towards man instead of God.
These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts, and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s person in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
These don’t have the Spirit of God, but they still have a spirit. They whine and complain. Murmuring and complaining was never a fruit of God’s Spirit. Be able to bear the things that come to you in life. The Israelites were a good example of complainers. Don’t complain. Take your problems to God in prayer.
Don’t follow the fads and trends. Focus on God. Don’t follow men. Jesus is the one that is to your advantage to follow. The truly good and great ones will point you to Jesus.
The sectarian spirit promotes people worship instead of worshiping Christ. We don’t want to be wall builders. Jesus can keep us from evil by the wall of salvation. People separate themselves in hopes of being the center. Sectism appeals to the sense. It’s highly emotional. It lives to please the senses. We should live to please God. We want that deep settled peace within, no matter what happens with our emotions. We don’t live for our emotions, but to follow Christ. We want to have the Spirit of God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
This is the opposite of sectism. They’re working to bring peace and harmony. This isn’t trying to make peace between right and wrong. That won’t ever work. We’re trying to build peace between people. We want to be children of God. It doesn’t get any better than that. It’s enough to be a child of God.
Anyone can stir the pot. It takes the grace of God to be a peacemaker. Be on guard that spirits not work on you and draw you away. Try to help people get along and work together. Address the troubles in you.