- Revival / Unity
- Published Date
- Hits: 2266
Many believers are not walking in the fullness of Christ because of teachings and beliefs that have divided the church. If divisions are based upon different interpretations of the Bible there must be thousands or possibly tens of thousands of divisions in the church today. What really divides the church and where is it in the Scripture? One example is found in Paul’s letter written to the Church of Corinth that addresses the matter of “divisions.”
I Corinthians 1:10-12 “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. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them [which are of the house] of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.”
What is “division?” A division is simply a sectioning off or dividing a portion of a whole. A common tactical phrase in warfare is “Divide and Conquer.” By dividing the opposing armies it is much easier to win the battle. This type of tactic has been used by the enemy with regularity to divide the body of Christ. When we are cut off from others who provide support we are placed in a vulnerable position. Paul made it clear there should be no divisions among the brethren. What brings about these divisions?
One problem causing divisions is the “contentions among you.” The word “contentions” used in the passage is the very same Greek word translated as “variance” in the following Scripture:
Galatians 5:19-20 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,”
These “contentions” Paul describes are one of the works of the flesh identified as “variance” in this Scripture. Variance has several meanings and one of them is “the state of being in disagreement.” This refers to a division of our hearts and disagreement on a spiritual realm. The word is rooted in carnality and division finds a foothold from it. So division is birthed out of our failure to be led by the Spirit of God. No matter how much we agree upon doctrine we may still be failing miserably concerning divisions. I have known many brothers and sisters who have common beliefs but their hearts are far from one another. Rather than supporting one another they judge every aspect of their lives. How do we find agreement among the brethren?
If we are walking in the Spirit we will bear the fruit to stand against division. This is where many fail because they seek agreement by their own knowledge rather than searching for the agreement by the Spirit of God. We must bear the right fruit to be perfectly joined together. The fruit I am referring to is also recorded in Galatians.
Galations 5:22-24 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
Paul lists several characteristics of good fruit. Each of these qualities is produced from the Spirit of God. This is how we recognize one another and how we relate to one another. So division is not possible if we are producing the right fruit. Let me say it again. Division is not possible if we produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. What can each of us do to remain one in Christ and help restore those who are struggling? It all starts with Jesus Christ and Him crucified. If we, in our flesh are crucified in Christ we must refuse to accept those things pleasing to the flesh. We all must learn to trust the Spirit of God working in each of us. When the Lord Jesus called you did you know everything about the doctrine of Christ? Did you fail some days and give in to a sinful nature? This is all part of growing into the fullness of Christ and knowing who we are in Him. We have one law and that is the royal law of love. Isn’t it wonderful to produce the fruit of the Spirit that never perishes? This fruit brings life! May you be encouraged to bear the fruit of the Spirit so division has no place to gain a foothold.
It is vital we be joined together in the same mind and same judgment. This joining together is birthed out of a common bond of Jesus Christ and the work of His Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
Will we have disagreement in matters of Scripture? Yes we will. Does this mean there is division? Disagreement is not necessarily division. We were all made uniquely in the eyes of our Creator and each of us will see based upon our position in the body. How can we minister to one another and find fullness if we do not share the life of Christ in us? This is how it is supposed to be. Our abilities to see are directly related to our purpose and calling. Fullness is only produced when the entire body will work together to fulfill God’s purpose. The enemy’s goal is to keep us separated from having the same mind and judgment. He knows we are powerful when we come together in the name of the Lord.
Some of you must be asking, what about the Word? We cannot ignore the teachings of the Bible. I agree we absolutely cannot ignore any teachings of the Scripture. The doctrine of Jesus Christ must be taught. Without these teachings we cannot walk in fullness. We also cannot understand or apply any of these teachings if they were not birthed out of the Holy Spirit. Never forget these teachings come directly from the Father by the Holy Spirit.
John 14:26 “But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
Based upon this Scripture we cannot even know any teachings unless the Holy Spirit reveals them to us. At the same time we cannot avoid division unless the Spirit if God is present and active in our lives. There is no teaching of doctrine without the Spirit of God revealing His ways to us. This is why we do not know unless the Spirit of God reveals it. Are you learning to yield your life to the work of the Holy Spirit in you? By doing so you will find you have begun a glorious journey of life in Christ.
Now that we understand we must manifest the love of God in order to keep the unity of the Spirit we can begin to work on the greatest battle all of us face. This battle I am referring to is within each of us. So many try to “straighten out” others they forget our purpose is not to get everyone in line. If the Holy Spirit is operating fully in our lives He will do the work. The light of God will shine brightly and others will see your good works and glorify God. How will they know we are his disciples? How we love one another. We may be His children but we are also his pupils learning to let the Holy Spirit have His way in us.
There are two other important parts of us that must align with the Spirit and that is the body and the mind. We will briefly mention these parts.
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Let’s look at two phrases in this passage. They are “your bodies a living sacrifice” and the “renewing of your mind.” It is by the Spirit of God we renew our mind and offer our bodies to the Lord.
The expression of God’s glory is manifest through us, the body of Christ, which is the church. The body of Christ is living. We all have a body, mind and spirit. So does the body of Christ. God is glorified when we are in full submission to His will by the Spirit of the Lord. By walking out our faith we express God’s glory through in our bodies. This allows others to plainly see and understand the wonders of God. If we do not “love one another” God is not glorified. This love is far beyond human emotion and feeling. It lies in the power of God that works in each of us.
Jesus came to glorify the Father. How did He do it? He walked out His life in obedience to the Father’s will. By His obedience to the Spirit the entire earth is now a witness to the glory of God in Christ Jesus. Praise the Lord! We also through Christ Jesus have been given the opportunity to do the same thing.
Have you turned your body over to God’s will? This is not an option if we desire the fullness of Christ. Our body is what reflects the life of Jesus. As the Scripture teaches us, we must continue to prove all things and find the perfect, acceptable will of God. Many of us refuse to let God be in control of our bodies. Therefore the fruit of the Spirit is not what rules their lives and God is not glorified.
The second phrase “renewing of your mind” is not an instantaneous occurrence. The greatest fight for all of us in this life is the battle of the mind. You cannot turn off your mind or run away from it. Even in your sleep your mind is active. The enemy uses our thoughts to influence us. Sometimes my carnal desires want what is unholy to God. The answer to these thoughts is “NO.” My body belongs to Jesus Christ. It is not my own. Our lives are birthed from the Spirit of God so what we manifest through the Spirit is the life of Jesus Christ.
Why were we created? It is simply to glorify God. Our glory is Jesus Christ Himself and what He has done for us. Anything we have done by the work of His Spirit will glorify Him.
What binds us together in the Lord? His Holy Spirit makes us one.
All life comes from the Father through the Son into the church. There is no other way to gain Godly wisdom and avoid division. Until we begin to think differently and speak words of life we are doomed to see the church in many, many pieces rather than the whole body. Remember division is always birthed out of self and there is no room for self in the body of Christ.
Is it possible in today’s world to live a life free of division? Yes we can live without division if we live through and in Christ. How do we do it? By accepting nothing less than operating in the Spirit of God. By doing so the mind will be renewed and our bodies will be in obedience to His will.