"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." Romans 16:17-18

I receive questions frequently about this matter of division from earnest, warmhearted believers who recognize the unseemliness of faction, division, and strife among professing believers.

There are number of things I wish to say concerning division.

(1) There is a lawful, necessary, and profitable division.

Acts 19vs8,9 "And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. 9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus."

There will always be men void of understanding, who have not seen the glory of GOD in Christ, who serve the cause of Satan in persecuting the way of truth, and Christ's sheep as well. Such people are generally more zealous of religion than truth; of conformity to man made rules and regulations, than the word of GOD. If you stand for the truth, and the gospel of His grace, you will either leave, or they will.

Do not let this bother you!

Christ, in these cases, is merely delivering the godly from the ungodly. There will always be these kinds of lawful divisions because of him. See Luke 12vs51 and John 7vs43.

(2)And there is that unlawful division which is rooted in nothing more than the pride and arrogance of self righteousness, even in the name of Christ, and grace, and so called defending the truth.

This division is the result of a lack of grace and or maturity in the things which please Christ the LORD. Generally when there is unlawful divisions, there is slander, gossip, and character assassinations. Subtle thou it may be, spiritual, and cloaked in a false humility; it is the works of the flesh.  Lev 19vs6 "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD".

Prov 11vs13 "A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter".

Prov 26vs20 "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth".

Prov20vs19 "He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips".

 Prov 6vs16-19 is as clear as it gets, concerning GODíS view of this evil of all evils. It is a thing to be abhorred by the wise. The leaches daughters live here.

Itchy ears which have not been taught the fear of the LORD, nor the LOVE of GOD, are the wood that the wise man refers to, fuel for the fire of those who love strife and division.

If believers in the name of Christ would discern when conversations held, are destructive, and do not promote the unity of the faith, and the glory of GOD; when it is speculative and filled with potential errors, and caters to a party spirit; when it does not promote love among the brethren, all the brethren; when commending ourselves among ourselves, which is not wise; when the law of Christ, which is the essence and spirit of the gospel lived; which worketh no ill to itís neighbor is not the rule of our spirits, to govern the tongue and control the old man, which covets power; if we would avoid such conversations, many potentially divisive occasions would be thwarted, and Christ prayer fulfilled. See John 17vs21.

If you did not understand what I said; AVOID gossip like the plague! Do not ever continence evil reports from anyone about any of Godís saints. If you must hear it, let it in one ear, and out of the other, mark the bearer of such poison, and know that you might be next on his list. Such a person is subverted and condemned in themselves. And like the devil, merely is seeking company, in his descent into the pit of hell.

Do not follow him.

Now when you follow this rule, you will keep yourself clear of the kinds of trouble that are reserved for the day of judgment. See Ecc 3vs15. Most of those types of circumstances, which bear many unclear, unsound, vague and troubling reports, will never be unraveled for the truth sake, by men. This is Godís business in that day. There is nothing hid which will not come to light.

This is nothing more than the work of the devil! This I have learned the hard way!

On occasion it may be a snared believer, who hasnít learned to control his appetite. They will!

But, ďYou keep yourselves in the love of GODĒ Stay humble!  Christ is your defender. Covet, promote, and pray for unity and peace in Christ and his truth.

Pastor JesseGistand
Grace Bible Church
San Leandro, CA 94572

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