A. We know from our studies that God wants us to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9).
- The commands for peace with the saints and all (I Thessalonians 5:13 and Hebrews 12:14).
- Most division/discord is sinful (Proverbs 6:16-19, I Corinthians 1:10, and I Corinthians 12:25).
- I say “most” because sometimes division is a must and peace is impossible (Luke 12:51-53).
- This is how Paul became “all things to all men” for the sake of being able to preach the Gospel (I Corinthians 9:16-23).
- How this worked was there were times wherein it was expedient for someone like Timothy to be circumcised [which matters not one way or the other in Christ - Galatians 5:6] to be able to teach the Jews (Acts 16:1-4). However, whenever that went from a liberty to someone making it a law, there was no room for compromise (Galatians 2:1-5).
- If you read Romans 14 you see one is at liberty to exalt a day above another (Romans 14:5-6). However, the moment that extends beyond a liberty there is a problem (Colossians 2:12-17).
II. Body: Peace And Unity Within The Body of Christ Tie Together (Colossians 3:15).
A. We have to make a distinction that is clear in the Scriptures. Cohabitation with sinners is an in inescapable fact about living in this world (I Corinthians 5:9-13).
- Therefore, peace we work to have among those outside of the body of Christ is a different subject matter (Romans 12:17-13:7).
- In that work of peace however, we cannot seek to be “of the world” or conform to the world (John 17:11-19 and Romans 12:1-2).
- Peace is not an altar upon which truth can be sacrificed. Truth must be upheld at all times (Proverbs 23:23 and II Corinthians 13:8).
- “One faith” does not allow for me to believe one thing and you to believe another (Revelation 2:14-16).
- Part of our work together is that we assemble together to provoke one another, while at the same time being unwavering in our faith (Hebrews 10:23-25).
- Consider how that in a congregation there is diversity of knowledge, natural abilities, experiences, temptations, struggles, spiritual maturity, cultural backgrounds, etc. Yet, even in the mess the congregation in Corinth was, there is an expectation of like-mindedness (II Corinthians 13:11).
- There are compromises we can make, such as when we assemble on the first day of the week (I Corinthians 11:33).
- The willingness to be more mindful of the weakest rather than catering to the strong (I Corinthians 12:22-27).
- Always be set to defend the Gospel (Philippians 1:17).
- Willing to earnestly contend for the faith (Proverbs 28:4 and Jude 1:3-4).
- Exposing those that teach another doctrine (Romans 16:17-18).
- We cannot allow contentious individuals to continue among us (Titus 3:9-11).
- Willing to stop mouths (Titus 1:10-14).
- Having said all of that, we cannot get to the point wherein we are so defensive that we’ll not consider truth because it is something we have not heard before (Proverbs 16:23 and II Peter 3:18).
- The warning in Ephesus (Ephesians 4:14).
- Cease to hear what (Proverbs 19:27)?
- Even who we have in our homes applies here (II John 1:7-11).
- BUT, He has a fire burning (Revelation 1:10-18)
- Think about His reaction in the temple (John 2:13-17).
III. Conclusion: Be like Jesus (Hebrews 1:8-9 and I John 2:3-6)!
© 1999-2022 Brian A. Yeager