Summary: Local assemblies need to get a hold of this fact on our relationships in them because we are hurting people big time with conflicts and cliques.

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17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them that are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which ye learned: and turn away from them.

18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and fair speech they beguile the hearts of the innocent.

Anyone who is member of The Body of Christ must be united in spirit and love (Ephesians 4:1-3), faith (Ephesians 4:4-6), objective (Ephesians 4:12) and goal (Ephesians 4:13-16). Right?

Sad to say, we are divided up and segmented because congregations are in competition as to who can preach, what choir is better, they type of music we can jump up and shout to get the congregation charged up or what type social programs or events congreagtions are putting together so that it becomes seeker-friendly.

We also have conflict on doctrinal matters.

We have cliques in the Body of Christ.

And then we have those individuals who are pushing their own personal agenda.

All of these things make the Body so ineffective, making it possible for additional congregational conflicts and an open door for Satan to cause congregations to fold.

We also cause those in the secular world to be so turned away from coming to us, because they do not see the love of Christ in us.

I can only speak for myself and the spiritual leader of this fellowship but it all will come to an end today!!!!!

Again, Yahweh Elohim has allowed me to see what He cannot stand in the fellowship the schisms and the conflicts existing among us, and I am going to confront all of this for one purpose: to preserve the the relationship we are to have with each other in light of how we have our personal relationship with God.

Without confronting division, sin will flourish and the sinners will continue to plant seeds of strife in the Body; and we will continue to be so malicious and callous toward each other or those who do not fit in our small band of friends.

Jehovah confronted sin in David (2 Samuel 12:1-12), Jesus’ disciples (Matthew 20:20-28; Luke 22:24-30), Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2-3).

How should we resolve conflicts and stife in the local assembly?

Matthew 18:15-17, Contemporary English Version

15If one of my followers [a] sins against you, go and point out what was wrong. But do it in private, just between the two of you. If that person listens, you have won back a follower. 16But if that one refuses to listen, take along one or two others. The Scriptures teach that every complaint must be proven true by two or more witnesses. 17If the follower refuses to listen to them, report the matter to the church. Anyone who refuses to listen to the church must be treated like an unbeliever or a tax collector. [b]

Let’s take it a few steps further and it is found in our foundational study.

Romans 16:17-18, Contemporary English Version

17My friends, I beg you to watch out for anyone who causes trouble and divides the church by refusing to do what all of you were taught. Stay away from them! 18They want to serve themselves and not Christ the Lord. Their flattery and fancy talk fool people who don’t know any better.

1. Make a note of those individuals through their speech and conduct.

2. Stay clear from their presence because they will encourage you to sin or destroy your reputation, your effectiveness in your ministry and your relationship with Christ, and you will not grow in faith and love.

Romans 16:18, New Living Translatiion

This confirms it all for me: "Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people."

I hate dealing with folks who will justify sins, are so greedy, envious or jealous. These can really ruin the atmosphere where love and unity dwell, making the Holy Spirit grieve (Ephesians 4:29-32).

Let’s make it our resolve to start enlarging our hearts (2 Corinthians 6:11-13) for other Christ-based believers, regardless of their walk and status in life, and remove those barriers and spirits that will cause others to be emotionally devastating to all by showing love for each other, which is the true identifying mark of what True Christianity is.

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