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  "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." - Mark 16:15 

 

Getting on with other Christians

Globe in a childs hand

Not all Christians will get along, sadly.  The reasons for this, may be division in the body of Christ, that is, difference in doctrinal interpretation, between believers.

It is rare for Christians to agree on every minute detail of the Bible.  This does not mean the Bible is wrong, it does mean, that there are certain small parts, or interpretation, that are non-essential to what makes a Christian.  That is, it is not a fundamental doctrine.

For instance, an essential fundamental, is, that, Jesus is the Christ, God in the flesh, and that we're saved by accepting His sacrifice on the cross for our sins, and His bodily resurrection, saved by only faith alone in Christ's sacrifice on the cross, as our only way to Heaven, and not of ourselves, works, or anything WE can do or contribute.  It's a gift of God, it is HIS works. (Eph. 2:8).  

Divisions

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,"  Galatians 5:19-20

Divisions occur because of heresies (heresy), that is, a fundamental flaw in interpretation, either to be a Christian, or to walk as a Christian.  For instance, some churches teach that there should be no separation between a believer and an unbeliever; between a Christian, and the world.  Other churches take the law to the extreme, without wisdom, enforcing the law without understanding that in some circumstances, there are other factors for consideration.  We are in the world but not of the world (John 17:15-16), meaning that, although we live in the world, we are of God, as Christians, so although we live in this world, we do not love the world, and love the carnal lifestyle, and sinful pleasures that the world offers, that non-Christians revel in.

As Christians, we can find ourselves two minds, that is, of two natures.  The flesh we live in wants is to enjoy what the world offers:  inappropriate casual relations, Christ rejecting rock music, movies, parties, alocohol, however, the Holy Spirit within us, convicts us against the flesh and rejects this sinful world.  People who are not Christians don't have this battle, were the Spirit wars against the flesh.

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Galatians 5:17
Some liberal Christians, weak in the faith, abuse our  Salvation by faith, and reject the Spirit within, and instead, fully immerse and interact with the world, ignoring their spiritual internal discernment.  At the other extreme, some enforce the law, simply for the sake of the law itself, nullifying grace, as if the law was to the end of things itself, and there is no love or understanding of circumstance, almost as if it is Pharisaical, Matt. 23:23, 'Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.'

There is a balance that is required, not based on compromise, but on sound wisdom and judgement.

Other Times that Christians don't Get On

Sometimes, Christians simply don't get on, due to LIFESTYLES before becoming Christians.  There is so often a huge difference between someone who has been brought up in the faith, since they were infants, compared to someone who was saved later in life.  The later in life, or the darker their lives before accepting Christ as their Saviour, the starker the contrast can be.

Many Christians haven't had to give up worldly vices, having never dabbled in alcohol, gambling, and so forth, due to being brought up under the influence and guidance of Christian parents.  However, these vices are often substituted this with other matters of the flesh; gossip, thin skin, judgment of someone 'rough round the edges' and so forth.

When it comes down to it, as much as we have a desire to get on with the brethren, it's not always going to work out that way.  Sometimes we may be wrong, sometimes others may be wrong, sometimes, who knows WHO is wrong!  And making up, does not always seem  a realistic present option.

What's important to remember, is that, when all is said and done, our first loyalty is to God, and then it is to others.

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 22:37-38.

When all is said and done, the Pastor is NOT our mediator between you and God, the Christian brother who's been saved for X Y or Z years is not your mediator, our friends are not our mediator.  When all is said and done, what it comes down to, is US and our OWN relationship with the Lord, 1 Tim. 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”

As long as we stick to the path of Christ, reading the Bible as our final authority, and we walk with Christ, then, when it comes down to it, Christ is all we need, Prov. 18:24, '“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

We must all face Christ, alone, at His judgment seat, to give an account for ourselves, 2 Cor. 5:10, 'For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. "

As long as we live in this flesh, our sinful bodies, and until such time we have our glorified bodies in Heaven, in Heaven where we can see others hearts and intent, and they can see ours, life will always throw us these curveballs.

A Short Excerpt from a Preacher on his difficulties in getting on with the Brethren

I came across an interesting sermon by Dr. Peter Ruckman, who was saved at approximately 28 of age, and came from a military background.  Sometimes Christians don't get on due to heresies, eg differences in Biblical separation, or different emphases on the last supper, infant Baptism, sometimes, though, it comes down to WHEN we were saved.

We're all living in the flesh, and those brought up in the faith, or saved at a young age, have their own peculiarities.  They may not have spent time drinking, cursing, or smoking, or spent a lot of time around a particular type of person who is adjusted to the world (who could therefore appear rough), but they have a different type of weakness, such as gossiping, or hypocrisy, or self righteousness, or superficial good manners, and so forth, compared with someone who is saved later, or, someone who became heavily engrossed in the world, regardless of when they were saved, before becoming a Christian.

Learning how to Live with Christians MP3: Link  (approx 4 minutes) - a short talk by Pastor Ruckman on his own experiences, based on COMMON SENSE, and common sense which is so often, WISDOM!

From the Sermon, Christian Growth, MP3.


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21st August 2018.

 

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