Read Ephesians 4:1-16
We all know the Great Commission. We are to go and make disciples of all nations.
Initially, the disciples of Jesus went to the Hebrews, teaching His word to His people. Paul was given a revelation that the Gentiles too needed the Gospel.
Gentiles translates as “the nations”, being any nation that was not Hebrew. Therefore, Paul took the Great Commission literally and went to make disciples of the nations.
There were many divisions between these two early church groups. It eventually came to a boiling point and Paul began teaching that God is a God of unity, not division.
As long as church groups are divided, they fight a war on two fronts. What army has ever prevailed that was divided in principle?
History replayed itself when Martin Luther nailed his grievances to the church door. This led a revolution against the Catholic Church and further divided God’s people. It has continued until each denomination has sub-denominations. Baptists are no longer just Baptists, but rather Southern, Freewill, Missionary, Fundamental, Independent, Landmark, Old Regular, Regular, Primitive, Progressive, Reformed, the list goes on and on…
Many of these divisions were created by what my pastor calls “rib issues”. Rib issues are those issues that are not specifically addressed in the Bible. Should birthdays be celebrated? What color should the church carpet be? Which side does the piano go on, and which side for the organ. Should baptism be full immersion or sprinkle?
Rib issues should not kill a church because the are easily resolved if the body of the church is capable of compromise.
By contrast, “spinal issues” are those specifically addressed in Biblical text. Jesus is the son of God and the only true path to Heaven. He was born of the Virgin Mary and lived as a missionary of peace, dying for our sins that we may live in a new covenant with God.
If any church has a problem with spinal issues, they are a dead church.
Either way, there should be no division in church. God calls us to unity of faith that we may bring God’s love to lost people. Then we can truly fulfill the Great Commission.
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” – Ephesians 4:11-13