Why division in the church is dangerous
From Acts: A 28-Day Devotional
A dispute breaks out about whether Christians should be circumcised or not. After hearing what God was doing in non-Jewish communities, the church agreed it shouldn’t burden new Christians with lots of requirements.
As the Gospel spreads and grows in the early church, a diverse group emerged. What was once a small band of Jewish locals now included a large number of non-Jews, or Gentiles. Differences in opinion caused friction in the church body. People hoped church leaders would pick a side. But they didn’t realize they were all working toward a shared vision.
Like the early church, we must fight for unity as divisions spring up from our different backgrounds, traditions, and preferences. We are different in many ways, but we are the same in the one way that matters. We have all experienced salvation by grace through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our mission to see the Gospel spread throughout the world unites us, despite our differences.
Peter says in Acts 15:8 that the same Spirit lives in all of us; God has not made a distinction. Everyone who is in Christ is part of God's family. We are one body, and we each have a role to fill. Embracing our differences and focusing on our united mission helps us reach more people with the good news about Jesus. So let’s be mindful that divisions in the church are cancerous to the body and fight for unity every chance we get.
- What does this passage teach us about God? How does it apply to you?
- ￼What are the benefits of a diverse church? How can you help make NewSpring the kind of church that welcomes those who are turning to God?
- Jews and Gentiles were united by the recognition that they could not earn their salvation. The same is true for us today. Are you trying to earn God’s approval through good works? Flip over to Hebrews 11:6. What pleases God?