What to Avoid and What to Confront in the Fight For Unity Part 5


unity_432x3281

 

10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. Titus 3:10-11 (NKJV)

      We can say that Titus 3:9 gave us what we absolutely need to avoid. We can argue that through the years, those are the things we are confronting. Perhaps that is the reason why find ourselves in the mess we now are as the church. However, we must closely explore Titus 3:10-11 as we look at what we are called to face. Looking at some definitions we find the following,

  1. Reject: To discard, to cast off.

  2. Divisive: To take. Heretic, pertaining to choice, capable of choice in an sense. In ecclesiastical Gr., heretical (Titus 3:10). See Rom. 16:17 where one still belongs to the fellowship, but whom the fellowship eventually had to exclude.[1]

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. Romans 16:17 (NKJV)

 

      The Bible is telling us here that those that are divisive must be rejected, not accepted. But I can hear those that have a wrong idea of love saying that rejecting somebody is not love. But beloved, that is what the Bible is telling us to do specifically to those that come in to bring division.

      With thousands of denominations around the world, with a Church filled with divisions, where do we start? I guess this is the point that I am trying to make in this series, that we have decided to confront those things we are called to avoid and we have avoided those things we are called to confront.

      We, as the Body of Christ must be united. Before the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ we will be united; I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but we will be one. Going back to Titus 3:10-11 lets explore some key definitions,

10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. (NKJV)

  • Admonition: To admonish. Admonition, warning, exhortation [2]

  • Warped: To turn. To turn out of a place, used trans. as for a tree or post from the earth, to turn inside out as a garment. Used metaphorically meaning to change for the worse, subvert, pervert[3]

  • Sinning: One who keeps missing the mark in his relationship to God is hamartōlós (268), sinner.[4]

  • Self-condemned: To condemn. Self–condemned, condemned by one’s own decision (Titus 3:11), meaning passing sentence upon oneself. This is either voluntarily cutting oneself off from the church in open revolt, or, by renouncing his faith, rendering himself incapable of receiving the privileges and blessings to which he has been entitled. He is actually judging or declaring himself unworthy of the blessings tendered by the church. Such are the asebeís (765), ungodly ones.[5]

      When we talk about Admonition we are talking about giving a warning. Giving warnings involved talking and confronting the person that is bringing divisions in the Body of Christ. I know that many of us like to be passive. We like to wait and we hope for everything to go away, but that is not what the Bible is telling us here. Confronting anybody, especially somebody you love, is very uncomfortable, but it must be done.

      This divisive person must be confronted because that person is changing for the worst, because that person continue to insist in neglecting his/her relationship with God and because that person is condemned by his/her own decisions. This kind of person is toxic and must be dealt with.

      Beloved, we must be passionate about keeping the unity of the Body of Christ, but I am afraid that passion for unity is nowhere to be found. Everybody is doing his or her own thing. If they don’t like something they just leave and spread bad rumors about the place they left from. They jump from congregation to congregation looking for that teacher that will say what they want to hear.

      Churches have become social clubs where nobody wants to preach the Gospel for fear of offending somebody. The reality is that if you do preach the Gospel, if you do confront the things you are called to confront, you are not going to have a large congregation and you will not be on TV. Beloved, you will be ridiculed, you will be accused of judging, of being insensitive, a fanatic, etc.

      The world can do and say whatever they want to do and say. It becomes an issue for the church when the world wants to bring that garbage to our local congregations. That garbage is designed to divide us, it is then that we must be bold, confront and fight for our unity.

      If somebody is among us in our local churches gossiping, spreading rumors and speaking against our leaders and the things we stand for, these people must be confronted and not ignored. They are predators in an assignment from the enemy to take the minds of our brothers and sisters, especially those that are young in the faith.

      Let the false religions be exposed for what they are, but may the Body of Christ, the Bride of our Lord, be one.


[1] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[2] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[3] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[4] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[5] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Do It Lord


I heard a Bishop saying the other day that he does not even like to use the term Christian because it is so misused today. God did not give us a denominational name. We are simply called Saints, a people separated for God. The reality is that tomorrow morning church buildings will be filled with only two groups: The saved and unsaved.

 

Through church history we have seen that everybody missed something regarding doctrine and, when their doctrine was better, they missed in love. We know in part. I think that the time will come where leaders in the Body of Christ will start doing radical things towards the unity of the Body.

 

I see pastors closing their buildings and moving in with other congregations. I see entire denominations closing their 501 © (3) and humbly uniting with other groups. It will happen, little by little until all you will see is the Body of Christ. This is going to be the final separation done by the Holy Ghost. The Protestant Church soon started protesting against each other and division came like a flood, but praise the living God that people will start crying out and realizing that there must be a better way.

 

Yes Lord, is coming, I see it. The hearts of the fathers are turning toward their children. Reconciliation will take place, repentance will take place, forgiveness will take place and UNITY is coming. It will be shocking; it will be reported all over CNN, Fox, NBC and others. It will be the Body of Christ loving each other, letting go of denominations and embracing a church where ALL ARE TRULY welcome. Praise the Living God! Do it Lord! Bring down arrogance and our desire to sin, Oh God… Do it in North Carolina, do it Kansa City, do it in Florida, do it in Puerto Rico, do it here in Alaska and all over the world. We are hungry for you Jesus, we are crying out “Come Lord Jesus!” Whatever it takes, do it Lord…Revival is coming!

What to Avoid and What to Confront in the Fight For Unity Part 4


unity_432x3281

“In Essentials, Unity; In Nonessentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.”

http://www.moravian.org/the-moravian-church/the-moravian-church/history.html

        These powerful words bring me straight to the Scriptures as we begin to discuss what the Body of Christ, must avoid,

But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Titus 3:9 (NKJV)

The Bible is telling us to avoid the following foolish disputes. These foolish disputes are:

  1. Genealogies

  2. Contentions

  3. Strivings about the law

Lets look together at some definitions:

  1. Foolish: Is the Greek Word mōrós meaning, silly, stupid, foolish, from which the Eng. word “moron” is derived.[1]

  2. Disputes: A word used by the Greeks to indicate philosophical inquiry. In the NT, it indicates an exchange of words rather than a true search.[2]

   The Bible is talking about avoiding Foolish Disputes. Base on these Greek definitions we can conclude that we ought to avoid exchanging words for the sake of words and not in search of the true. When we just use words, without any desire to find the truth we become morons.

Lets look at other key definitions to expand on this verse,

  1. Genealogies: γενεαλογία genealogía; to make a genealogical register. Genealogy. The expression in 1 Tim. 1:4 denotes busying oneself about traditions of the past based upon the slightest historical hints which diverted the heart from God’s truth. This, as it appears from Titus 1:10, was a practice of Jewish false teachers though this is not implied in the expression itself (see also Titus 3:9). These Jews were turning the entire historical substance into mere myth. The genealogies were not treated primarily as historical documents but instead were subjected to a highly symbolic interpretive scheme. Names, dates and places supposedly contained hidden meanings which became the basis for esoteric doctrines.[3]

  2. Contentions: Strife, contention, wrangling [4]

  3. Strivings: To fight. Fighting, battle (2 Cor. 7:5; 2 Tim. 2:23, controversies respecting the Mosaic laws; [5]

   As we look closer at the things we must reject, we see first Genealogy. What genealogy in this verse is focusing on is on traditions of men. This is when we focus on man-made traditions rather than on God’s word. The enemy has done a great job in keeping us focusing on the wrong things. I am not saying that all traditions are wrong, but we must understand that nothing should be taking our focus away from the Lord and His Word.

   We should also avoid contentions, that means strives. The Bible also used the word striving, but this time it is strives caused by arguments over the Law of Moses. Perhaps we all need to be reminded that according to First Corinthian 13, we know in part.

   It is almost comical that people have jumped out of churches because they disagree with one point, but as we are able to look back through the eyes of history, we can clearly see that they, who left, missed something else. I guess that is the reason why Paul called these issues of genealogy, contentions and strives, foolish disputes.

   So then, the question is, what is it that we are supposed to confront?

TO BE CONTINUED…


[1] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[2] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[3] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[4] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[5] Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.