When crises arise, humanity demonstrates a unity to offer aid to the afflicted. Look at the current Ukraine crisis and observe the mountains of aid communities have donated to those afflicted and displaced. Many countries show demonstations of peaceful protests in support of Ukrainians and the injustices they are suffering. Crises unite communities and petty indifferences are replaced by compassion for our fellowmen. When we all work together we discover the strength of unity.
Consider the history of the Church. Throughout the ages Christianity has been riddled with denominational splits, schisms and grievous disunity. The devil rubs his hands in glee when fellow Christians dispute, take offence and fall out with one another. That is his life’s work to rob, steal and destroy our relationship with the Lord. What crisis will it take to unite the Body of Christ? It is time to be rid of our petty schisms. We will not always agree with some things, we are not talking about compromising sound doctrine and the word of God, but we can allow another’s expression of faith to be different to mine.
Romans 14 addresses the problems caused by disunity and brings clarity of instruction to deal with such. Unity is not uniformity. We are not all the same in the expression of our faith, there is diversity. Romans 14 instructs us not to compare ourselves to others who believe they are called to something different, neither judge them in these differences. If people are doing what they are doing to the Lord, it is none of our business. We do not have to agree on every issue but it is needful that we recognise the diversity of God’s giftings to people, accepting this brings unity.
Romans 14:4-23 “Who art thou that judges another man’s servant? To his own master he stands, or falls. He shall be held up, for God is able to make him stand. ……..Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind………we live unto the Lord……..Why do you judge your brother, or set him at nought? For we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ. So then everyone of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not judge one another anymore, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way……….Let us therefore follow after the things that make for peace and things wherewith one may edify another………Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he that condemns not himself in that thing which he allows”.
Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”, Matthew 5:8. If my heart is united with the Lord’s, His love operating in me unites me with others, accepting the diversity of expressions of their faith. We can travel the road together in the unity of the faith, in the knowledge of the Son of God, as our Father brings us to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, (Ephesians 4:13).
United…….we stand in Christ!