Summary: Divisions, internal and external, destroy the Body of Christ! Usually these divisions are caused by personal feelings rather than doctrine. What can we do as Christians to stop it?
When I was a teenager, I attended a congregation that was one of the biggest in Lawrenceburg at the time. We had a group of about 85 in our youth group, and I had invited a girl I was talking to at the time for Bible Study. That night, our youth minister was talking about a passage in I Corinthians, one where we discussed division in the Church. One of the young men asked about denominations, and immediately the youth minister made his opinions known about each. I remember when it came to the Christian Church, he said, "The Christian Church of today are a bunch of legalists!” The girl that came with me clinched her fist and had this angry expression the rest of the evening.
After we left, I asked her what the deal was, and she looked at me and said, “If there is any one that is legalistic it’s that guy!” After talking to her, I found that she and her family attended the Christian Church! This “minister” had just went into a tirade and labeled my friend as a legalist. She made the request for me to go to her congregation and listen to what was preached, and the next Sunday, I did. The minister never once said, THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE, He never said YOU’RE GOING TO HELL IF YOU BELIEVE ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT I DO! He said something much more important! He said, “Today, we are going to see what the Bible says….” What the Bible says…not what the youth minister says, not what a doctrinal group believes, not what a denomination believes, not what I believe! What the Bible SAYS! The unfortunate thing was I ignored it, because I thought I WAS RIGHT!
Internal conflict is seen in families today, and of our Christian families both in the past and present! Not only is there division on the outside, but there is division on the inside. Many internal conflicts result from a struggle over control. I’m here to let you know this morning that if everyone would learn to give the Lord control for whatever they are responsible for, many internal and external divisions would be eliminated! Without the Lord’s leading, there will always be divisions. So what can we do to prevent this kind of division? Let’s be like that Christian Church preacher from my teen years and go right to the Bible and see what it says!
I. THE KEY TO UNITY IS LIVING IN TRUTH! (10)
A. The Word is what unites us!
1. Romans 10:17 says that this is where our faith starts!
2. Paul knows that through Christ’s words can man know the
path to salvation!
3. The Word dissolves barriers, and builds bridges!
B. Truth is exemplified through the believers!
1. Christians have a direct order from Christ! “If you love me, you will
OBEY MY COMMANDMENTS!”
2. We are to walk the talk! We are to live it out! That was the problem
with the minister in the story I told you…he had a lot to say,
unfortunately, it got lost because of his own blindness to the
3. What is our testimony of Christ in our lives? Is it summed up in one
hour a week, or is it based on our dedicated walk in HIM!
C. Truth isn’t a simple I believe in Jesus! The Golden Rule is a great place
to start, but Jesus wants a relationship! He wants Worship! He wants
US-ALL OF US!
II. WHAT DIVIDES US? (11-17)
A. Style over Substance? (11-12)
1. One of the issues that the Early Church had was that there was the
same message, but different people delivering and hearing the
2. The Corinthians were so mixed up that they had placed a value on
the messenger over the message! “I come for the preacher not the
3. Does it happen today? Sure does! I was talking to one man and he
told me that he had been baptized by a very prominent preacher!
He held his head high in the air, a sneer on his face, that was until I
asked him if he was active there anymore! His expression changed,
and he told me that he had not been back to Church in some time,
because of the minister change!
4. Same Message, Different followers? NOT IN CHRIST! We are
called to be one body! Ephesians 4:4-6 reads, “There is one body
and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were
called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of
all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Apollos, Peter, Paul,
and Christ ALL PREACHED THE SAME MESSAGE, so why aren’t