Romans: “The Gospel of Jesus Christ: Hear It! Believe It! Live It!”
Jesus gave His life for the Church, His Body … yet all too often those who are part of the visible church cause division and turmoil for the sake of their opinions! It should not be so. While there is ONE true Church, made up of every true believer who has been born again by the Spirit of God, there are many different denominations, groups and even cults who all claim to be “Christian.” No wonder many are confused about “church”!! In early times there was only ONE church, one gathering of believers, in every city. Today there are multiple expressions of the church in virtually every community, largely because of differences in “theology,” in their understanding of the truth revealed in God’s Word. Separation from denominations and organizations that teach false doctrine is the responsibility of every true believer, as painful as that can be. Not every “church” is pleasing to God or faithful to Christ. Yet, the local congregation remains God’s plan for His children. In His Word, He lays out the importance of Elders as overseers of the “flock” that has been entrusted to their care. Those who are members of the local Body are exhorted to continue to meet together, to love one another, to spur one another on, and to hold fast to sound teaching. Christ loves the Church, His Body, and every believer must likewise love the Body of Christ and do his or her part to build up the Body (Ephesians 4:11-16). In our text today Paul warns against needless division within the Body caused by quarrels over things that are matters of opinion. He urges us to recognize what is really important and to live by faith, trusting God to be at work in us and in our brothers and sisters in Christ, producing a Body where Christ is at the center and the Holy Spirit is producing a beautiful peace that results in a gathering that is pleasing to the Father. May that be your goal … our goal … as we seek first His kingdom, and as we acknowledge the Lordship of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!