At any time, I can look on Facebook posts or watch the news and see divisions, and the chasms seem to be getting larger. As a sinful people, it is our natural instinct to puff ourselves up and to “show” others how they are wrong and we are right, but that is not the way of Christ. Jesus came to unite us in the Spirit, while Satan uses devisiveness as a tactic to distract us from our mission. Our mission as Christians is to know Christ and to make Him known to others.
Satan loves to use “purely indifferent things” to polarize and divide Christians. His goal has always been to turn Christians against each other. Not only has Satan’s strategy worked for centuries, with every year he learns how to divide us more effectively. Satan’s strategy is to divide and conquer, but we must turn the tables on him. We must choose to unite and conquer. Paul’s wrote to believers at Corinth, whose church was torn apart by factions and spiritual immaturity, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Cor. 1:10)
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote so that his readers might better understand the dimensions of God’s eternal purpose and grace, and come to appreciate the high goals God has for the church. God has chosen us to be Christ’s representatives on earth. In light of this truth, Paul challenges us to live lives worthy of the calling we have received–the awesome privilege of being called Christ’s very own. “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Eph 4:1-3) God produced the unity through the reconciling death of Christ. “His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility.” (Eph 2:15-16).
The ascended Lord gave “gifts” to the members of his church to enable them to minister to one another and so promote unity and maturity. “So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Eph 4:11-13). The apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teacher were not to do all the work for the people but were to train the people to do the work themselves so that the body of Christ would grow.
No matter our role in the body of believers, we all have the responsibility to show Christ to others. Devisiveness is a tool of the devil. Uniting the body of believers is the work of the Holy Spirit. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Eph 4:29-32) Actions speak much louder than words. People are watching how you live your life. Are you being humble, gentle, patient, understanding and peaceful? Can they see Christ in you?