Today’s chapter is all about us being unified together. This isn’t some misplaced version of solidarity where we have to bicker until one person’s views are accepted above another’s. This unity that Paul speaks of is the Church moving together with one goal. What is that goal you may ask? This goal is Jesus Christ. Above all other things, Jesus must be seen as the loftiest goal for the Church to reach. Paul wrote in Philippians, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14, NASB).
So how do we, knowing all the different theological stances, move forward in this way? Paul writes, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (4:2, NASB). We cannot do it combating each other for who is right. Instead we have to let each other believe what we believe so long as Christ is the main focus. If Christ is not the main focus than we have replaced God with a false idol. Anything less than the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit cannot be in the highest attainable spot in our lives. Theology can take us down many roads, that’s where all these denominations come from. But the Bible teaches that there can only be one pursuit, and that is God through Jesus Christ.
Let me give you an example of how a church looks when Christ is not at the center. Imagine a church that can take a passage of Scripture like Leviticus 18:22, and turn it into a message of hate. This message is so powerful that it becomes the focal point of this church and it is what they are most know for. A message so powerful that it causes them to create signs that read “God Hates F**s”. This becomes what the church is known for. It is associated with hate, and that’s all they are. I’m sure they started out trying spread the gospel, but at some point it became more important to hate people and make outcasts, than to spread the love that can be found in Jesus Christ.
Jesus wants us to be unified together, not fighting among each other over who is right. Fighting causes us to get mad, which leads to uncontrolled anger (which we all know is a sin). Paul writes, “Be angry, and yet do not sin; don not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil and opportunity.” (4:26-27, NASB). It is true that someone is right, and someone is wrong. That’s just the way of Creation. But is it more important for you to be right, or for you to be seeking Christ?
Psalms to Pray: Psalm 143-146
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