God's Scriptural Solution
to Religious Division
By Nick Law
One of the things we observe concerning the life and teaching's of Jesus is the dissension among the people that heard him. On the last day of the feast, He said, "If any man thirst Let him come unto me, and drink; He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:37-38) John states that some of the people said, "Of a truth this is the Prophet" meaning this is the prophet the Lord said to Moses that God would raise up from among their brethren and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him (Deut 18:15-18). Others raised the question that since Jesus was from Galilee, that the scripture had said he would come of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem. John 7:43 states, "So there was a division among the people because of him."
God's solution to their division is in the willingness to come to a knowledge of the TRUTH. Was Jesus a prophet? Was Jesus of their brethren the Jews? Was Jesus of the seed of David and born in Bethlehem? The scriptures prophesied of these and the fact that the people were aware of those scriptures did not mean that all of them came to the same conclusions. Due to their shallow thinking some did not seek beyond their assumptions! They assumed Jesus was of Galilee since he walked in Galilee. They did not consider the facts of his birth at Bethlehem. They evidently were unwilling to reason with Christ and check out the facts of his genealogy. Of course it would have taken some effort and required honest investigation!
How many of us are willing to check out the facts as to who Jesus is? Are we willing to read what is written by John, "that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name"? (John 20:30-31) When Jesus asked the question, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am", there were differing answers: Some thought he was John the Baptist, some Elias, others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Peter by listening to revelation of the Father said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." (Matt. 16:13-17). Today, if we are to know who Jesus is it will be by faith in the revealed word of God.
God's solution to all religious division is to follow the simple, clear teachings of the New Testament. Paul through inspiration clearly teaches the unity we are to have is of the Spirit. There is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism (Ephesians 4:1-7). If there is one faith = the doctrine of Christ, law of liberty, the gospel, why do men have many faiths? The simple answer is that the many faiths are not of God. Why are there many differing kinds of churches? Because men are not willing to follow the clear but simple TRUTH there is one body, one church. Ephesians 1:22, 23 teaches that Christ is the head over all things to the church, which is his body. In these verses the church is the body. Jesus said he would build His church (Matt 16:18). Ephesians 5:23 teaches clearly and simply that Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Are the church and the body two different things? NO!! They are one and the same. Ephesians 5:25 shows they are the same because Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it. If Jesus gave himself for the church, is that not the equivalent of saying that He is "the saviour of the body"? If not why not?
On all matters of the faith, God expects his people to be in unity. Jesus prayed that we might be one, even as he and the Father are one (John 17:20-22). One in mind, one in purpose. The Corinthians were reminded, "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Chirst. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." Paul then commands, "That there should be no schism (division) in the body..."! The Philippians were commanded, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
So God's solution to division is follow the TRUTH. Those that abide not in the doctrine of Christ receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. (2 John 9-11). - Nick Law
[Editor's Note: Thanks to Nick Law for the article! He can be reached at nlaw@Traveller.com 16335 Miller Street, Athens, AL. 35611]
Email the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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