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How Is It That There Are Divisions In The Church? The Answer Is Simple!

How can it be that there are divisions in The Church?  And when I refer to The Church here, I speak of the Universal Church, The Body Of Christ.

Well, I was reading John 17 today, “The High Priestly Prayer” of Jesus, and the answer jumped out at me.  I will quote part of it here:

18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

Jesus prays specifically that His Church be united, and in verses 21 and 23 He gives the reason,  “that the world may believe that You sent Me” and “and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me“.  When we are One Body in Christ, united under One Lord, we are a powerful force in the world, proclaiming through our unity, that Jesus is the Christ, sent be God as a Savior to the world.  That is what God intended for His Church from the beginning.

But it seems we have listened to Satan rather than to our Father and to our Lord Jesus Christ, and instead of being a unified body, we have divisions everywhere!  We have one group that believes, “Once saved, always saved” and another that believes you can lose your salvation.  We have one group that believes that anyone can be saved, and another that believes that only a group specifically elected to salvation by God can be saved.  I could go on and on, but that would be boring, and I think you have gotten my point.  So, we have hundreds of denominations and sects, all of them believing that they are right, and all others are wrong.

Rather than listening to God’s Holy Spirit that dwells within us, and clinging to His simple Gospel message, we have chosen rather to allow Satan to stir up our pride and to divide us against ourselves and against our Lord, making us complicit in his attack against our God and His (our) Church, our very own Spiritual Body.

Divisions in the Church were first addressed by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians and since that day, divisions among us have only gotten worse!

The really sad thing is, it never had to be this way.  In Christ, we are more than conquerors, over Satan and over every enemy of the Church.  It has always been in our power to stop divisions, but sadly, we never have.

And, can I share the really, really sad thing?  If we were half the followers of Christ that we claim to be (and I do include myself) this NEVER would have happened!  How can we say that we are His followers, and that Christ lives in us and through us, and then, through our inaction allow this situation to be perpetuated?

This is not something that we will change in a year, or even five or ten.  It is something that we could change in a generation.

But only if we start today!  Won’t you join us?

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August 7, 2012 - Posted by | Discipleship, Knowing Jesus, Prayer, Spiritual Commentary | , , , , , ,

23 Comments »

  1. In order to have this unity, we must each choose not to participate and support the particular division of which we are a part. That is the difficulty. When we are part of a group which even has a name which distinguishes it from others in the church, that is a division. Are we willing to stop attending and sending our money to the particular division of which we are a part? Are we simply willing to meet together with other believers without defining our group as separate, or distinct? It is easy to talk about unity, but difficult to walk in it. Our whole system of how we do church promotes division. We are expected to choose “a church” to participate in. When another believer hears that you are a Christian, often the first thing they ask is, “Which church do you go to?” But there is no such thing in the Bible as a church, only the church. We are divided into “churches”, but in the Bible, there is only one church in each city. Really having unity requires a very radical change in how we think about and “do” church.

    Comment by Ron Willour | February 24, 2013 | Reply

    • Hi, thanks for stopping by and offering your ideas. As you paint the picture, it seems as though we are pretty much without hope, and you may be right. After all, Paul wrote to the Corinthian church warning them about forming divisions.

      But I don’t think it is true that as long as there is more than a single church building that divisions are inevitable. Suppose that two churches got together and decided that even though they had certain theological differences they were not going to divide over them. So long as each held the same view on the essentials of the faith they would simply agree to disagree. If they then went a step further and preached this unity from their pulpits I think they could go a long way toward healing division. Why emphasize our differences? Why not rather emphasize what holds us together, the Risen Lord Himself?

      God bless,
      John

      Comment by johnconstitution | March 5, 2013 | Reply

  2. Thank you. This is very well received and I will do all I can to change to give heed to the wisdom of God spoken here and be a part of God’s Kingdom purpose flow. Pride is a huge issue in all of us, Lord strip us of it, bring us together in unity, being called to YOU 1st.

    Comment by kmac4him | February 6, 2013 | Reply

    • Hi, thanks for stopping by, and for your insightful comments.

      I agree with you that pride is a huge issue for us, and it is so sad, the vast majority of what we feel we have to be right about has no bearing on our salvation or relationship with the Lord whatsoever.

      May we, as the Church, meet one another in love,forgetting that which separates us and rather rejoice in what binds us together in the first place, our Savior and the Holy Spirit who dwells in each of us who believes.

      May the Lord richly bless you and yours,
      John

      Comment by johnconstitution | February 6, 2013 | Reply

  3. John,

    God is truly using you in a mighty way! Sound Doctrine and Gospel Truth.

    I do tell the Lord thank you for your faithfulness for such a time as this.

    God bless and I love you my brother.

    Debra

    Comment by Minister Aiken | December 5, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you Debra, and God bless you in all that you do.

      John

      Comment by johnconstitution | December 11, 2012 | Reply

      • Amen!

        Merry Christmas!

        Love you my brother.

        Debra

        Comment by Minister Aiken | December 11, 2012 | Reply

  4. Certainly concur with what I’ve read here. And much like the paradigm-shift when Christ upset the temple tables configured around money, I believe it’s a great day now to use the (digital) paradigm-shift to start connecting/reconfiguring The Church city-by-city. Visit CityReaching.org and start doing what you can in your community to connect/communicate among bible-believing churches. [Little by little, we’re doing exactly that in Indianapolis.]

    Comment by @IndyChristian | October 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi, thanks for stopping by and for sharing the CityReaching ministry. I stopped by the site, and much of the info there seems old. Is this a ministry that was started and went dormant and is now being restarted?

      I hope so, because I feel the need to do something ministry-wise in San Jose, CA.

      God bless, and I hope to hear back from you,
      John

      Comment by johnconstitution | October 13, 2012 | Reply

  5. […] finish reading this article please head over to https://mylordisjesus.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/how-is-it-that-there-are-divisions-in-the-church-the-… While you are there why not check out the rest of John’s site and let him know that something […]

    Pingback by How Is It That There Are Divisions In The Church? The Answer Is Simple! « Inspirational Christian Blogs | October 2, 2012 | Reply

  6. Does anyone know the Revelations verse which talks about this?

    Comment by Ms. Lacey | September 11, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi Lacey, thanks for stopping by.

      I am sorry, but I do not know off hand which verse in Revelation you might be referring to.

      God bless!
      John

      Comment by johnconstitution | September 11, 2012 | Reply

  7. […] How Is It That There Are Divisions In The Church? The Answer Is Simple! (mylordisjesus.wordpress.com) […]

    Pingback by Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? | iSing4God.Com | August 25, 2012 | Reply

  8. Well said brother

    Comment by Pastor Mike | August 12, 2012 | Reply

    • Thanks! God bless you and all that you do for Him!

      John

      Comment by johnconstitution | August 12, 2012 | Reply

  9. […] How Is It That There Are Divisions In The Church? The Answer Is Simple! (mylordisjesus.wordpress.com) Like this:LikeOne blogger likes this. […]

    Pingback by So Simple 081112 « Mennonite Preacher | August 11, 2012 | Reply

  10. Great post! There a new movement to answer Jesus’ Prayer in John chapter 17. Please check out the site http://www.onebigchurch.com. thanks and God bless!

    Comment by soulcaffeine | August 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you for posting this link! This is just the sort of project I have been hoping to find! I will definitely be involving myself in this ministry!

      God bless you in all that you do for Him!
      John

      Comment by johnconstitution | August 10, 2012 | Reply

  11. […] How Is It That There Are Divisions In The Church? The Answer Is Simple! (mylordisjesus.wordpress.com) […]

    Pingback by Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? | I Sing for God | August 9, 2012 | Reply

  12. I’m so glad John that you touched up on this very important subject of unity. It seems like our Lord made unity such a high priority but I think in our Christian lives, we totally put it as one of the bottom priorities on our list or we don’t even think about it at all.

    I’m so blessed to be a part of a church staff that puts unity as one of the top items on its priority list. Even at the expense of not getting as many tasks done as other churches.

    Comment by Peter Guirguis | August 7, 2012 | Reply

    • Hi Peter, thanks for stopping by, and for your comments.

      You’re right, in my case at least. Until very recently I never gave unity much of a thought. When I saw that Jesus addressed it specifically in His prayer, I was blown away, especially after reading His reason for its importance

      the strange thing is, I have read Jesus’ John 17 prayer many times, and this is the first time that those verses particularly impressed me.

      God bless you in all you do for Him,
      John

      Comment by johnconstitution | August 7, 2012 | Reply

      • So often we confuse unity and uniformity and allow our personal need to be right to override our collective need to love.
        One small practical way to resist this is each time we pray the Lord’s prayer to pause after the word ‘our’ and ask who is ‘our’ today? There is me; there is Jesus and which other person (or very small group). It must be personal. To say ‘everyone’ is lazy and meaningless. Jesus makes us all brothers and sisters, children of the Father. He is the one who brings everyone; it is a special privilege that he will allow us to be responsible for bringing one of his brothers or sisters into the presence of the Father.
        Once we have prayed for someone like this we are much more inclined to treat them with love when we meet. And it is love that leads to unity.

        Ros

        Comment by Rosalie Squires | August 9, 2012 | Reply

        • Hi Rosalie, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope you were blessed by this article.

          I agree with what you are saying. In fact, I am reminded of The Great Commandment in Matthew 22:37-39, “37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”.

          In loving God, we choose to please Him, and to be obedient to Him. In loving our neighbor, we find the practical means to carry out God’s will for our lives.

          God bless you Rosalie in all that you do for Him,
          John

          Comment by johnconstitution | August 9, 2012 | Reply


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