Sunday, August 7, 2022

No Divisions Among You

By Joe Chesser


            Satan is a most vicious and subtle adversary, especially with those who are not fully in his camp.  He doesn’t have to be overly sneaky with them – he’s already got them and they aren’t going anywhere.  But for those of us who believe in Jesus and have the desire to live for and die with Him, Satan’s cunning is creative and devious.  He’ll twist the scriptures and make promises he can’t possibly deliver (Matt. 4:1-11).  He’ll hunt you down like a lion (1 Peter 5:8).  He’ll attack you like an enemy (Eph. 6:10-18).  He’ll even alter his appearance to seem trustworthy, like an “angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14).

            He’ll make you feel good about your choices, yet all the while encouraging you to sin in other ways.  For example, he allowed the Corinthian Christians to enjoy listening to the preaching of Peter, Apollos, and Paul, while subtly encouraging them to divide into splinter groups preferring Peter or Paul or Apollos. He had quietly diverted their attention away from the message and on to the messenger, turning something good into something evil.  That’s why Paul had to sternly appeal to them in the name of Jesus, “that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you” (1 Cor. 1:10).  There’s nothing wrong with different preaching styles, or even with preferring certain styles or methods over others. Peter, Apollos and Paul differed in their preaching styles due to their experiences, education and personalities.  But even though they each taught the same gospel, Satan convinced the Christians to begin quarreling and dividing among themselves over these preachers.  They all loved Jesus, but when their love for each other eroded into fights and quarrels, Satan was happy.  Among the other things Paul listed as acts of the flesh (sinful nature) are “hatred, discord … dissensions, factions …” and he concluded, “those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal.5:19-21). Satan wins when Christians quarrel and divide. Keeping some, while breaking others, still makes you a lawbreaker (James 2:8-11).  Jesus prayed for unity (John 17:20-21).

            Of course, it’s not just over preacher preferences that Satan gets Christians to divide; it can be over any preference or optional matter.  It could be …

                        … politics (Republican/Democrat/Independent – liberal/conservative)

                        … worship styles (traditional/contemporary – lively/meditative)

                        … race (black/white/oriental/Hispanic)

                        … education (Vo-Tech/State University/Christian College)

                        … holidays (how to observe Christmas/Easter)

                        … church programs (missions/Bible classes/visitation/worship times)

            When it comes to doctrine, we must all take a firm stand to turn neither to the left nor to the right (Josh. 23:6-7; Rev. 22:19), but be submissively obedient.  However, personal views and opinions must never be the cause of division.  It’s OK to have preferences.  It’s not OK to divide the body of Christ over them.  Prayerfully read Romans 14.

- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted at

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