You find in Paul’s writings to the churches, many appeals for believers to live in harmony. In one of his letters to the church in Corinth, Paul appeals by the authority of the Lord Jesus. If coffee was the only thing brewing when God’s children gathered for worship, a letter wouldn’t be needed. Unfortunately, believers have taken their eyes off of Jesus and looked around instead. Thus, quarreling has ensued. Go ahead and read 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 to see what Paul was saying.
Jesus was not their one and only focus. While some followed only Jesus, others followed a disciple or prophet rather than Jesus. This is a slippery slope for any believer. If Paul was alive today and spreading the Gospel, he would be sending the churches in the United States a letter or two appealing to stop the division that has infected God’s Church.
How, you might ask? Look at all the denominations. Such segregation between believers. Jesus is to be every believer’s source of life and hope and focus. His Word is to be every believer’s guide book to living in obedience to Him. Believers are called to live life heading in the same direction. While some denominations are following Jesus and His Word only, others follow Jesus plus religious traditions. This causes trouble to brew.
Another divisive factor has come out of the pandemic. Believers are more focused on their freedoms as an American over their freedoms in Christ. Believers were more concerned over their rights as an American more than their rights as a follow of Christ. Being an American took precedence over obedience to Jesus. I believe great damage has been done inside and outside the Church because of it.
Every believer should have the same heart attitude as Paul in verse 17, “For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News, and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.”
Paul wrote to the Romans too. Another divisive factor that causes trouble to brew amongst believers is responding to political venues over following Christ. Does a certain political party grab your focus away from the Gospel? In Romans 16:17-20, Paul appeals to believers. Look at what He has to say, “Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things (or living in disobedient ways) contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord. They are serving their own personal interests.”
Deception is all around the center of truth. You must keep your focus on one thing, Jesus Christ, and only Him.
What makes Paul happy (and God too) is that you choose to walk in obedience to the Lord. This diffuses the trouble that brews constantly. Paul says to be wise in doing right and stay innocent of any wrong. You need Jesus and the Spirit to live this way. It happens when you learn to abide with Jesus in every moment of your day, and you keep a disciplined mindset; see Romans 12:2.
As you go about your day, making decisions and sharing your thoughts and opinions with others, be alert to your stance. Are you reflecting Jesus Christ or yourself? Whether in person or on social media, are you revealing that you live by the Holy Spirit first? Let’s keep trouble from brewing in God’s Church by keeping Jesus as the focus of all that you do.