The Basic Factor of the Divisions Among Christians
We may disagree with
our fellow believers,
but there is a more
fundamental reason for
why Christians separate
from each other
Why are Christians so divided today?
This is simply not something we see in the New Testament. The churches there did have problems, no doubt, but they nonetheless maintained a good fellowship with each other and bore a common testimony to Christ and the salvation we have in Him.
And these divisions are not only deeply troublesome to us as believers; as we all know, they are a real hindrance to the gospel. Moreover, they are contrary to the Lord’s prayer on the night He was betrayed, that,
…“they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”
— John 17:21
Whenever there is a division among the saints, there is some immediate reason for it. Often it has to do with a disagreement over teaching or practice, or conflicts between the Lord’s servants. These disagreements, however, often mask the real reason behind the division, which could be such things as personal ambition, self-interest, or natural relationships.
However, regardless of how these divisions manifest themselves, the basic, fundamental reason for all of them is the same: that we as the believers in Christ are not growing in Christ, and in our experience of Christ as our life, as we should.
As the believers we are all members of the same Body, and that of course is the Body of Christ:
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink one Spirit.
— 1 Corinthians 12:13
And just as in the case of our physical body, the Body of Christ is not one as a matter of agreement, with each member signing a paper stating that it will fulfill its proper function. Rather, it is one because we believers in Christ all have His divine life, and as we grow and develop in this life, a natural harmony will develop among us as well.
In Ephesians 4 the apostle tells us that, out from Christ,
…the whole Body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the Body for the building up of itself in love.
— Ephesians 4:16
In fact, in the entire Bible no other chapter unveils the genuine way for the Body of Christ to grow and be built up as Ephesians 4 does. That is what we will begin to look at in the next Note in this series.
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— 6 September 2023 —