Unity in the body by the cross

The unity of the Spirit is a critical aspect of God’s will for the church (Ephesians 4:1-3) but another critical aspect of God’s will for the church, when it comes to unity, is the cross of Jesus:

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” (Ephesians 2:14-16 NKJV)

The divisions of humanity are apparent … we look different physically, we live in different cultures, we speak different languages, we live under different governments, we fulfill different forms of employment, and we follow different forms of religion. I have no doubt that you can think of different examples of how humanity is divided through our differences.

Here’s what the gospel does to all those differences – it says we may be divided but we all have one common need and that’s our past and our present need for the cross of Christ when it comes to our future!

The cross of Jesus is a cornerstone of unity within the body of Christ because it’s by the cross that we can let go of our differences in order to lay hold of a heavenly unity that has the ability to erase all of our earthly divisions.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6 NKJV)

#unity #cross-of-Christ #division

Hugh’s News & Views (Lipscomb And…)


DAVID LIPSCOMB (1831-1917):

In his remarkable comments on Romans 16:17-18, David Lipscomb stated: “No greater evil, according to the Scriptures, could befall the churches than the divisions arising from the introduction of teachings and practices not required by God. The fundamental truth of the Bible is that God alone has the right to direct and guide the faith and service of his children. Everything added to the work or worship of God by man is a usurpation in the sight of God, and ought to be resisted. Things that enter into the worship of God ought to be distinguished from the things indifferent and from mere expedients used to help men in performing the service of God that render them comfortable while doing the worship. These constitute no part of the service, but are helps to man while doing that service, not additions to it. (Here Lipscomb has in mind such things as church buildings in which to assemble, pews on which to sit, a table for the Lord’s Supper, hymnals, etc., hf). All additions to the service of God are sinful and cause divisions. God has forbidden that anything be added to what he has required. There cannot be a doubt but that the use of instrumental music in connection with the worship of God, whether used as a part of the worship or as an attractive accompaniment, is unauthorized by God and violates the oft-repeated prohibition to add nothing to, take nothing from, the commandments of the Lord. It destroys the difference between the holy and the unholy, counts the blood of the Son of God unclean, and tramples under foot the authority of the Son of God. It has not been authorized by God or sanctified with the blood of the Son. Continue reading

#division, #hughfulford, #quotes

There Should Not Be Several

By Johnny O. Trail — After a lengthy discussion over divorce and remarriage, the couple we were studying with determined that they would examine “other teachings” on the topic. They were not pleased with the answer that was given to them. Matthew 19.9 says, “And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

Instead of accepting this answer, they determined to visit a Christian bookstore to see what else they could find on the topic. In our follow up emails, they were “surprised to find the large number of notable church of Christ ‘pastors’ who had varying views on marriage, divorce, and remarriage.” While this response is pregnant with denominational language, I understood what they were saying. It is not hard to find people who are writing materials that provide “alternative” views of God’s marriage laws. Continue reading

#division, #doctrine, #johnnyotrail


6-25-2015 What Unity in Diversity?

Foreign languages were invented by God. After the flood in Noah’s day, “the whole earth had one language and one speech” (Genesis 11:1 NKJV), and said, “let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4 NKJV). The tower “is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:9 NKJV). The Devil has used division to divide and conquer people ever since! Keeping different languages splinters the American culture and denominations have splintered the church of Christ. “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3 NKJV) There is no unity in diversity in culture or religion! The Gospel of Jesus Christ unites.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#babel, #division, #foreign-language, #unity-in-diversity


by Steve Vice preacher/elder Forest Park church of Christ

Graffiti is done by gang members to mark territory. It is also done by artists who either do not have canvas or just want to rebel, showing themselves to be disrespectful of other people’s property. Most often graffiti is written on places that belong to others. It is, most of the time, illegal.

Just because you may not like the name “Kroger” does not give you the right to go and spray paint over that name and give it a name that pleases you. It is recognized that only the owner of a property or organization has the right to name that property or organization as he or she sees fit. It is illegal to change the name without the owner’s approval. Continue reading

#church-of-christ, #denominationalism, #division


Seven Steps to Schism Galatians 5:20

Seven Steps to Schism  Galatians 5:20


1. These “works of the flesh” are listed in an ascending order of damage.

2. Every unscriptural division in the church of Christ follows this pattern.

3. Developing divisions can be dealt with by recognizing the current “step” and

proceeding to scripturally deal with the false teachers of it (Matthew 7:15-20; 18:15-18; Romans 16:17)

4. God promptly dealt with the first willful sinners in the church (Acts 5:1-11).


     a)   Hatred Greek ekthrai – hostile, hating and opposing another

1)    Sinners’ general attitude toward God (Romans 5:10; Galatians 4:16)

2)    Satan’s position and work against God (Matthew 13:28, 39)

3)    Saviour’s general attitude toward the sinful (James 4:4; I Corinthians 15:25-26)

     b)   ContentionsGreek ereis contention, strife, wrangling

1)    Evidence of carnality among brethren (I Corinthians 1:11-13; 3:3;

I Timothy 6:3-5; Titus 3:9)

2)   Excused for “soundness” (Philippians 1:15)

     c)   JealousiesGreek dzaloi – fervor, excitement in defending anything

1)    Approved when for the right thing (John 2:13-17; 2 Corinthians 7:9-11;

Colossians 4:12-13)

2)    Awful when aimed at the church (Philippians 3:6; Acts 13:45)

3)    Arrogant when aimed away from one’s self (James 3:14-16)


d)    Outbursts of WrathGreek thumoi – explosive anger, quickly subsiding,

breathe violently

1)    Aggressive, even against Jesus! (Luke 4:22-30; Acts 19:26-28)

2)    Apparently only God can properly control its expression (Romans 2:8)

3)    Adverse effect on Christians (Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8;

2 Corinthians 12:20)


e)     Selfish AmbitionsGreek eritheiai – electioneering, courting distinction,


1)    Personal interests must be kept aside in preaching (Philippians 1:15-18)

2)    Personalities must be kept down in “membering” (Philippians 2:3)

3)    Promotion of ANY GOOD WORK must not “lapse” into this.


     f)   DissensionsGreek dikostasiai – to stand apart, create two-parties

1)     There are NOT two sides to truthful obedience (Romans 16:17-19)

2)     There is NO spirituality in doctrinal splits (I Corinthians 3:3)

3)     The church becomes worldly when it divides (Galatians 5:20)


     g)   HeresiesGreek hairesais – capturing or choosing a particular tenet

1)    Choosing the lesser of evils is still evil (2 Peter 2:1-2)

2)    Combining with “the faithful” IS “SECTARIANISM”!

(Acts 5:17; 15:5; 26:5; 24:5,15; 28:22)

3)   Crucifixion occurs all over, again (I Corinthians 11:19-20 cf Hebrews 6:4-6)


  1. NO ONE inherits the kingdom of God that practices these (Galatians 5:19-21.
  2. No church (or religion) based upon these attitudes is acceptable to God.
  3. All divisions between Christians must cease (1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 3:1-4).
  4. Only Jesus Christ can save (Acts 4:12; Mark 16:15-16).

#bible-study, #church-of-christ, #contentions, #dissensions, #division, #hatred, #heresies, #jealousies, #obedience, #outbursts-of-wrath, #salvation, #schism, #sectarianism, #selfish-ambitions, #sin

Fire to the Earth

Have you really reflected on the significance of what our Lord said in Luke 12:49-53? When one thinks about it, it is rather startling what point He makes. Note the following points: 1. Jesus came to send fire on the earth, 2. Jesus came to bring division on the earth, 3. Families will be divided. Let us consider these three points.

First, Jesus came to “send fire on the earth” means, as illustrated in the following verses, that He came to bring division. It is not that He wants people divided, but He demands decisions to be made. What is the “fire” under consideration? Apart from a decision that is to be made, it pertains to judgment; one man says it refers to the purging and division Jesus causes.

Second, Jesus came to bring division on the earth. In light of what was just said, we can understand this clearly enough. It does not make it any easier in application, but we can understand it. Does not the Scripture tell us we are not to be divided? It does (1 Corinthians 1:10). In that particular context, Paul admonished the Corinthians to align themselves with and under the banner of Christ. Those who refuse to do as much separate themselves from the love of God, thus bringing about division.

Third, families will be divided. This is the crux of our application, I would say. Family members play important role in each person’s life, though sometimes that roll is not a pleasant one. The family’s influence can be great. When one gets to a point in life where a decision is to be made, and the family, is against that decision, what is one to do? In matters that pertain to God’s righteousness note what Jesus said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26, ESV).

What is Jesus’ point in all this? He said to His disciples that He is the way, the truth, and the life; no man will go to the Father, but by Him (John 14:6). Jesus’ point? Why do you call me Lord and do not the things I say (Luke 6:46).

That which is valued will be pursued, but that which is valued can cost much; if one values the wrong thing that cost can be eternity. RT


Satan’s Version of Unity

Don Blackwell shared this photo on Facebook. It is indicative of the mindset of the religious world in our age. Satan has taken division and dressed it up in a disguise so that it appears to the uninitiated as unity. To those who accept this lie, they appear comfy and warm in their delusion. So much so, that when those who see through the ruse, warn them of the dangers, they are called haters, mockers and dividers.

The division monster dressed as unity is therefore more popular than the true unity described in Scripture and the Lord weeps at our ignorance. Meanwhile,  Satan foments the lie and more sheep are led to their slaughter.

Matthew 16:18, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

Ephesians 4:4, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling.”

When will we learn?

#division, #god, #peace, #satan, #unity

Progressives leave anguish in wake – updated with file

I was reading Jen Stracener’s note on Facebook, “Heartbreaking… a long good read,” and it impressed upon me again how much pain the progressives generate by the division they cause.

To hear them tell it, only good comes from pushing their agenda. It’s not unlike the political and social progressives who push abortion and tout only the (supposed) advantages and positives. Don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing good in abortion, in any sense, but my point is that the pain and anguish caused by abortion are totally whitewashed so that these murderers can promote their cause.

In that sense do I compare it to religious liberals among us who spout love and grace and freedom and ignore yeah, disdain, purposefully the heartache they cause among many, many who refuse to go in their direction.

All this aside from the rightness or wrongness of their position, and the Fellows are on the same page as far as the error of the progressive movement among us.

Am I making sense?

Update: Some have said they can’t access Jen’s article. I’m posting it in PDF format here: heartbreaking jen stracener (WP doesn’t allow a text file — go figure!)

#anguish, #division, #liberalism, #progressives, #spiritual-harm