DivisionBro. David Chancellor
12/12/1999 6:00 PM
"Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned and avoid them..." There is a doctrine for God's people and when people violate that we need to mark them and avoid them. The reason for avoidance is this: "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..." Avoid those who seek a following. They divide those who should stand together. We are out to add "converts" and not "proselytes." Our purpose should be Christ and his plan of salvation to a lost world.
1 Corinthians 1:9-13
"Is Christ divided?" <- There is just one Christ. We are to call people to Christ. This doesn't mean we vote on what we say or that we teach based on how someone else teaches (following someone else), but that we follow what Christ says, and by doing this we can be unified. Jesus is not divided into a bunch of little groups. Jesus is the only one that can save a soul - not following some man. The world needs to see Jesus.
1 Corinthians 3:3
If there are divisions among God's people it is because carnality is at work. God did not intend that there be bunches of little groups. It is evidence of carnality when divisions are there. The Spirit of God can guide us and teach us and bring us together in unity.
Galatians 2:12- 13
This passage of scripture describes Peter's visit at Antioch. Things went fine when it was just Peter there among the Gentiles, but when some of the other Jews came, Peter ... and consequently many others would not eat with the Gentiles. Something many of us have to deal with is "what other people think." We need to hold fast to what God tells us to do, regardless of what others' opinions might be of who you are associating with. You may have to stand in the middle for what is right. If you are asked which side you are on a good answer is this... "the LORD'S side!" Find out how God stands on the issue and hold on firmly to that. Don't seek to cause division for the benefit of others. Be settled to stay with Christ regardless. Christ won't pull people in a dozen different directions.
Christ came to send fire on the earth. It was a limitation to him until the cross and the Spirit was able to come in men's hearts and lives. He had a challenge trying to keep all these ones together. In this regard he was looking forward to the cross and what it would accomplish for the soul of mankind. He wanted unity for and in his people. He DID NOT come to break down the wall between right and wrong, and families even would be divided by the separation he came to make. The Spirit of God will draw the people of God together and separate them from the world. We don't try to create division. When you stand firm for the right there may be those that will disassociate you. The division between right and wrong will never end. Stand with Christ and you will be on the winning side.
1 Corinthians 5:9-11
He told them not to keep company with those who are immoral.... WHO CALL THEMSELVES CHRISTIANS. Reason being, there is a problem. When a person continues to live a life of immorality and sin while claiming to be a Christian it does REAL DAMAGE to the cause of Christ. Don't claim these ones who are knowingly living in sin as Christians. They aren't concerned about his work if they are continuing in immorality. It is a hindrance to his work. We want sinners to come, but we don't want them to take on the banner of Christianity without living the life of holiness as well. Making a claim of Christ and pursuing sin will never get a person out of sin. The hindrance comes in that people seeing these ones who live as such can't see a difference between these and those who are sinners.
"If thy brother shall TRESPASS against thee..." A trespass is an action taken against someone or something. We want to keep things pure from sin among us. We should desire correction if we are out of line, that we may be brought back in to the way that is pure and holy. If correction will not be taken then we recognize that the fruit of a Christian is not there. If you go to correct your brother, be careful because you may not know ALL the story. This correction should be for action taken, not necessarily for a disagreement on scriptures. Don't make something out of nothing. Desire to do what is right.
2 Thessalonians 3:11-15
Some were not walking as they ought to have walked. <- This should be cause for concern. God doesn't need talebearers. If someone won't listen; don't encourage him in his wrong behavior, but TREAT HIM AS A BROTHER. Jesus didn't come to bear tales about people. He had a ministry and served others. We are to follow his example. Give these ones admonition to work in the right way. If someone's out of line we want to be a help and encouragement to that which is right; to live as Christ would have us to.
2 Peter 2:1-3
There were false prophets among the people in the Old Testament days. There will be some today too. Some that will even deny that Jesus was the Christ. Some will tell you that Jesus was not God. They deny the Lord. Divisions are caused because of false teachers. Because of these divisions, "the way of truth shall be evil spoken of..." It is a shame that there are those who claim to be Christians who are living ungodly lives. We don't want to be turned to building organizations and denominations, because it will cause the truth to be evil spoken of. We need to promote Christ, and HE will bring us together.
"...that they which believe in God might be careful to maintain good works..." Christians should want to please God. You can argue about many things, but this is unprofitable and vain. It won't bring people to Christ, but will cause division. God approves of the division between right and wrong, but he does NOT approve of division between those of his people. A man does not become a heretic simply because he misunderstands on some point. It is not just an error in understanding, but one who would draw others after himself and try to separate the people of God. It is sinful and wrong to pull off and build our own church - we are to draw other souls to Christ. Be zealous and careful to maintain good works. Tell others about Jesus. God can show us more. We want to draw others to Christ.