By Scott Brown
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Waverly
Nothing can distract, discourage, and destroy, bringing God’s work in a church to a grinding halt like senseless division. In fact, the presence of ongoing, unending, and intentional division in a fellowship is a fairly clear indicator of the absence of prayer, the Holy Spirit’s power and presence, or purpose.
When God redeems us to Himself He also reconciles us to each other. In this text Paul is primarily referring to the seemingly ceaseless conflicts between the Jewish and Gentile believers.
It may take more or less obvious forms in our churches today but I’m certain this type of division is no less prevalent, and Satan laughs over it. The thief may come to steal, kill and destroy but all he really needs to do is distract and divide with the mundane and mediocre, we tend to do the rest for him.
I often remind my faith family that there is no shortage of the things that will divide us in this world but the one thing that unites us should be greater than all that divides.
Right or wrong there are certain lines we tend to draw or certain camps we tend to join. Some of these are absolutely necessary divisions over significant issues of sin, life, order and authority in the church, or many others (which may be terribly hard but are incredibly important points of intentional division).
Some dividing lines are just silly and there are still others which are downright sinful.
Regardless of what divides us in this life, shouldn’t that one thing which unites us as believers be greater than all that divides us? Shouldn’t that precious redemption that is found only in Christ transcend any and all dividing lines in this life?
Once again, I am not saying there are not imperative biblical issues worth discussing, debating and even dividing over but the things that divide us should stem from the love and lordship of Jesus rather than in spite of it.
Our unity as the body of Christ is found only in belonging to Christ and being found in Christ together.It is found in a mutual filling of and yielding to God the Spirit through our redemption by God the Son to the glory of God the Father.
We who were once far off from God and each other are now brought together in Christ by the grace of God to the glory of God. Our reconciliation to Christ naturally and necessarily reconciles us to each other.