The Only Hill To Live And Die On
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15: 5-7
Unity, or oneness in Christ, is something extremely vital to the entire Church. Unity is not something we can manufacture in our flesh. It is a great gift, something that we are granted by our Lord. We just need to recognize and accept it, and then choose to walk in it daily.
The fact is that we, the Church, are already one in Spirit. Our oneness is something the Lord has already provided for us. Problem is that many in the “Church” actively choose to divide rather than come together as one. The word denomination means to divide and there are many divisions and denominations in the “church” world today. Most divide over matters of doctrine or teaching. This is a very sad thing indeed, because if we could just agree together about who Jesus is and what He accomplished, we should be able to work through any other differences or obstacles with relative ease.
We are supposed to accept each other as Christ accepted us. When we fully accept one another there is unity in Spirit. We all need to remember that when Christ accepted us we were all lost, unclean, sinners, without hope or direction. Our attitudes were often hostile to the truth. We thought that we were unworthy, undesirable and unlovable. In spite of all of this Christ loved and accepted us just as we were with all of our blemishes. Even though our behavior was much less than Christ-like He still loved us and looked past our shortcomings. The big question is are we willing to do the same for all others that the Lord brings to our lives? Will we look past their apparent sins and shortcomings? Or will we instead sit in judgement and deny people equal access to the cross and His Body?
There is no true unity without total acceptance of those who seek Him and also those who are already found in Him, regardless of what their sins and shortcomings may be. As followers of Jesus we are to hold the door of acceptance and fellowship wide open to those who seek and love Him. God is all about relationship and we should be too. I feel that relationship with Jesus and one another is the one and ONLY hill where we should plant our flag and be willing to live and die. The quest for purity of doctrine should NEVER be that hill. The “Church” tried that in times past and the result was only death and destruction in the great Inquisition. I do believe that we can be iron sharpening iron even when we may disagree on doctrine or practice, but we should always approach one another with faith, hope and love. Let us not be as some others majoring on the minors and neglecting the truth in love. Love, acceptance and forgiveness are where unity is found and that is exactly where God commands His blessing. I will not divide from others on the sole basis of doctrine. Remember there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. So always seek to unite instead of divide!
Love and …..
Kirk Out !