Must we deal with the doctrinal differences which so divide the body of Christ, today, in order to come to the maturity, In Christ, Paul teaches us in Ephesians?
The Church divided is NOT victorious
B. Keith Chadwell; 5.06.2012
Must we identify and deal with the doctrinal differences which so divide the body of Christ, today, in order to come to the maturity, In Christ, Paul teaches us about in Ephesians?
Eph 4:11-15 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”
Oh Lord… not another battle in this arena…
To be honest, I personally, have found a lot of this doctrinal division hurtful, hateful and a real pain in the neck. If I were to have had my way (the way of my flesh), I would have crawled into a hole years ago and avoided all Christians just to be sure I wouldn’t have to get all bloody over these divisive doctrines, again and again. However, this is nothing new; the Church has been dealing with this issue in one way or another, continually, since the first century. So why be concerned now?
1 Corinthians 1:10. “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment”.
Are there any options here? We know the scriptures say…..” Can two walk together unless they be agreed”; Amos 3:3 . Scriptures are clear; unity of the faith is not an option in order to accomplish the will of God for the body of Christ in the earth.
Yet, division is rampant, but tolerated. The body of Christ is truly like the dry scattered bones of Ezekiel’s vision. You don’t need to know a lot about the details to know that a variety of doctrinal differences seriously divide the body of Christ in the earth today. We just can’t ignore this fact. Yet we do. “Ig-norance” is tolerance and tolerance is to continue in division, which I suspect is exactly where the enemy would like us to remain.
Often, rather than meet this issue head on, we duck into our own doctrinal corners and pay lip service to seeking and doing God’s will in our own comfortable corners. We, “the Church”, cannot come to maturity in Christ unless we meet this issue head on. To meet the issue head on will be painful, unpleasant, uncomfortable and messy. For there are those who will resist and want to remain entrenched in their own doctrinal comfort zones.
The re-building of Jerusalem, led by Zerubbabel, was a lot of work, a lot of trouble and a lot of resistance ensued from within and from without. The lesson; It ain’t goin’ to be easy, so …”cowboy up”. However, remember, the Lord was with Zerubbabel and his crew and He will be with those who choose to walk in the spirit and allow Him to work in us toward Christian Unity in “The Church” of Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah 2:… Then the Lord put forth his hand, And touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
II Cor. 10: 3-6 “ For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
If Solomon is right, we should be able to predict what men will do by what men have done in the past; Ecclesiastes 1:9 “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun”.
The Jews in captivity in Babylon might be a pretty good indicator of what the captive church in “Babylon” today (“The Church”) will do when offered the opportunity to; “come out of her my people, and be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelations 18:4)
History indicates that only about one sixth of the Jewish population in Babylonian captivity took the opportunity to return to Jerusalem and re-build, when it was offered. The others chose to remain in their status-quo and were assimilated into the Babylonian culture.
For “The Church” to remain divided is to remain apart from the maturity and purpose that God has ordained for true Christians, in the earth, through Christ Jesus. The choice is simple; return to rebuild and to fulfill our destiny in Christ or remain divided and be assimilated into the world system (Babylon) until another generation of Christians picks up the vision of “Unity” and “Maturity” in Christ.
God help us in “this hour” to not only identify, clearly, those issues that divide us but to seek your truth regarding those issues. God help us to humble ourselves under your mighty hand and to be willing to allow you to work in us and direct us to tear down, as necessary, remove the rubble and then rebuild with your truth.
For as we seek His truth and commit all of our ways to Him, God will be with us and direct our paths so that He, by His Spirit, might bring us together in the unity of the faith and move us on to the maturity in Christ and the destiny that He has purposed for us.
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.”