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The Only Hill To Live And Die On

December 10, 2015
                “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 Body of Christ.  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 faults and 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 behaviors may be.  Christ can change and adjust them in HIS way and time.  It is not our job to judge them or deny them entrance into the Kingdom.  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 rather than divide!
                Love and …..
                Kirk Out !

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  1. Once again I apologize for the formatting of this blog post. WordPress would not allow me to publish it with needed paragraph breaks. To make it more readable I was able to install large indentations between paragraphs.

    • Don’t apologize… it makes me feel young again, as this is how we were taught to do paragraphs in the way distant past!

  2. Dan permalink

    I’ll plant my flag on that hill next to yours.

    • Beautiful! Only all too recently was I in the division camp…..I see clearly now the folly of that way. Thank you for the inspiring reminder of this wonderful truth.

  3. Tom Ball permalink

    Scripture is pretty hard on those who would introduce divisiveness into the church body.

  4. I fully agree!!! Unity is what Jesus wants, we just fight against it night and day with all manner of petty divisions…and it keeps us from actually being Christ to the world!!!

    Love Philippians 2:1-4 (Message) on this…and no, having “the mind of Christ” and “agreeing with one another” does not refer to doctrine, but loving one another!!!

    “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”

  5. That’s beautiful: “The fact is that we, the Church, are already one in Spirit.” IMO many seem to think that unity comes from believing the ‘correct’ doctrine and so they are unified with those who believe the same way they do but divide from those who don’t.

    But in our diversity of opinions and teachings we already have unity because we all belong to Christ. If only we could begin to understand this.

    • "BK" permalink

      I come from an exclusive group who believe ‘unity of the faith’ is when we all get our doctrine right and then the church will be ‘inaugerated’ and great power will follow. Imagine my shock when I read in Ephesians 3 one day, “[16] That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
      [17] That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
      [18] May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
      [19] And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

      Huh????? I’m NOT rooted and grounded by my excessive, deep knowledge??? All that time I had it backwards….knowledge doesn’t produce LOVE….LOVE PASSES KNOWLEDGE???? Wow, I was so shocked. The shockwaves just continued as I was moved right out of there. I still love them all but I have to say my life is so much richer in Him now that I don’t focus on overcoming, and being ‘perfect’ and knowing the doctrines ‘from Genesis to Revelation’…..He’s so much bigger than all of that. And as it says in verse 16, that unity comes from His Spirit within us. We can’t ‘fake it till we make it’…..we just grow together into Him. Wow…..”BK”

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