Division Among Brethren

September 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm (Remodeling the Mind) (, , , , )

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Now if the Gospel will not allow us to pay our enemies back in their own coin, returning anger for anger, then certainly it forbids a brother to spit fire into the face of another brother. When such embers of contention begin to smoke among Christians, we can be sure Satan planted the spark; he is the one great kindle-coal of all strife.

Wherever there is a storm in the spirits of saints, and the winds of their emotions are high and loud, it is easy to see who has stirred up the tempest. The devil practices his black art on unmortified lust, that enable him to raise easily many storms of division among believers. Paul and Barnabas, for instance, set out in calm together, but Satan sent a storm to part them in the middle of their journeyings: “And the contention was so sharp between them, they departed asunder one from the other” (Acts 15:39)

There is nothing, next to Christ and heaven, which Satan begrudges believers more than their peace and mutual love. If he cannot separate them from Christ, and stop them from getting to heaven, he takes sinister pleasure in watching them get there in a storm. He would have them be like a shattered fleet separated from one another, saints deprived of the comfort and help of other believers along the way. And when the devil can divide, he hopes to ruin also, knowing well that one ship is more easily taken than a squadron.

Now I love clear, calm air; but most of all I enjoy it in the church. I confess I am more aware of the greatness of this mercy when I see the dismal results of divisions that have troubled believers during these last years. What can I compare error to, better than smoke? And contention, than to fire? It is an emblem of hell itself, where darkness and flames meet to intensify the horror.

Taken from The Christian in Complete Armor by William Gurnall (all emphasis is mine)

A note: mortified lust as used in the above passage must be understood from a 1600’s point of view, which is when this was written. Lust, today, usually gets associated with sexual sin. This is not the key way to view lust here. Though it can be included in the “list” of mortified lust referred to here. Lust of the flesh as used in the Bible is the more accurate usage. Anything that stands between you as a clean new creature and the Savior who presents you to the Father. (See 1 Peter 2:1, James 1:14, 1 John 2:16)

Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ❤

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1 Comment

  1. Division Among Brethren | sevv61's Blog said,

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