Friday, January 11, 2019
1 CORINTHIANS 12:27 NLT 27 All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it.
EPHESIANS 4:3 NLT 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
God hates discord and quarreling among brethren (see Proverbs 6:16-19).
Does this mean we should "compromise" to have Christian unity? No!
But nowhere does the New Testament teach that having perfect doctrine will save us, or give us favor with God. Instead, right standing and favor with God is a gift we receive by God's grace.
It is never compromise to show love. We can walk in love without compromising what we believe.
In John 17:11 and 22 Jesus prayed for our unity, so we know it is God's will. However, that does not mean every Christian group must join together into one group.
We are to be united in our love for the Lord and for one another. But that does not mean we should all be doing the same thing in the same way. God is a God of diversity!
1 CORINTHIANS 12:4,6 NLT 4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
It is fine, even advantageous for us to have different groups with different flavors. Even the children of Israel had twelve tribes, not just one. But we should all walk in love toward each other, being careful to not criticize or condemn others.
What we believe (our doctrine) can separate us, but Who we believe in (Jesus) is what should bring us together.
In this life, we will never agree on every single thing that we believe. We are all growing and learning, and we will never all be at the same level of understanding. So our unity can only be through Christ.
All who believe in Jesus Christ are members of His Body. So all those who recognize Jesus as Lord are on our same team. We should do nothing and say nothing that would harm any of them.
How should we treat other Christian believers, especially ones who are not part of our group, or who do not believe like we do?
GALATIANS 6:10 NLT 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone -- especially to those in the family of faith.
We should live as we believe God would have us to, and let others live as they believe God has instructed them. If we think they are misunderstanding Scripture, we can humbly and gently tell them privately what we believe. But never should we publicly criticize and condemn others who acknowledge Jesus as their Lord. We are not called to be critics or judges, but helpers.
All who belong to Jesus are our brothers and sisters. If they need corrected our Heavenly Father is well able to handle that job without our help.
SAY THIS: I recognize that I am in union with all who acknowledge Jesus Christ, so I will not harm them by word or deed.
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