“Now I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all say the same thing, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction. For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by members of Chloe’s household, that there are quarrels among you. What I am saying is this: each of you says, ‘I ‘m with Paul,’ or ‘I’m with Apollos,’ or ‘I’m with Cephas,’ or ‘I’m with Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was it Paul who was crucified for you? Or were you baptized in Paul’s name? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one can say you had been baptized in my name. …For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with clever words, so that the cross of Christ will not be emptied of its effect.” (1 Corinthians 1:10-15, 17 HCSB)
These words written thousand of years ago, certainly could be said our our Lord’s Body today. It seems to me we are much more interested in being known for our doctrine than for the love of the Lord who has bled for us. We will argue over every little item, yet, seem powerless to put these matters aside and include one another in His love.
The bottom line of Scripture: “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God–God remains in him and he in God.” (1 John 4:15 HCSB)
That is really broad and hard on us. Yet, the way we deal with those who differ in doctrine is a huge indicator of how much we really believe He is Lord over His Body. I sometimes hear and feel the attitude, “Well they may be saved, but they are in error.” How sad that we would say such a thing. That is such a “I’m superior” way of thinking, and will have its consequences in my walk with my beloved Lord who has received them in grace, just has he has received me in that same grace.
I am learning here, but it seems that we really do need to get the heart of the gospel in our hearts — not just the “right” part of doctrine our lives would prefer to feel.
May we all come to a deeper understanding of His marvelous grace and allow our hearts to include.