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Love and Division


Love: The Supporting Ligament

The church is about to become effective in the world but the church's effectiveness is going to be based on their ability to function as the complete (mature) body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:16, "From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting
ligament, grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work."

Love holds the body of many parts together.
Love enables the variety of parts to move together.
Love is the condition in the church that will allow it to function at a complete level, or at full capacity, or as a mature fruitful body.

Division in the Body of Christ
Ministries and churches fragment and divide constantly in the church.
Each group or camp within the body of Christ leaves the other because they believe that the
other group is in error.
We are commanded in scripture to divide from the "enemy." 

Can all these different groups and divisions truly call each other the enemy and still be scripturally accurate? Yes, sometimes:

Divisions are necessary to preserve the truth and purpose of the church:
1 Corinthians 11:19, "No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval." (NIV)

("For there must also be factions among you, in order that those who are approved may have become evident among you." NAS)

People can become divisive in the body.  They cause division for unscriptural reasons:
Romans 16:17, "I urge you brothers, to watch out (Gr. "tag with a sign," "skopein") for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the
teaching you have learned.  Keep away from them."

Classifications of Divisions

There are divisions among Brothers:                                 
Some are different but not wrong:
1.  Different Calling. . . . as with  Peter, called to the Jews/Paul, called to the Gentiles; Paul, called to be an apostle, evangelist/Barnabas, called to be a pastor/encourager.  This can not be allowed to cause destructive division.            

 2.  Different Maturity Level . . . .as in Romans 14:1, "Accept him whos faith is weak with out passing judgment on disputable matters."  This is a poor excuse for division.  This is the body working together. 

("Accept" means to "receive to one's self.  It is used of God receiving or helping man and of
men recieving others into fellowship or companionship.")

Some are believers (saved) but are wrong:

3. Worldly . . . .as in ignoring the righteous standard of God.  (1 Co.5:11, ". . .not to associate with any so called brother. . .")

4. Deceived . . . .as in ignoring the truth in the revelation of God.  (1 John 10, "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting."

Some are "enemies" within the church

5.  Non believers within the church as in Acts 20:29-31, "I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;  and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.  Therefore be on the alert. . ."

Some are outside the church

6.  Non-believers who make no claim to the church as referred to in 1 Corinthians 5:12, "For what do I have to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?" (NAS)

The Three Classes in 1 John 2
#1. . .Dealing with Brothers/Sisters that are different:
1 John 2:1-14, Love for the brothers who have a different calling or a different maturity level. Point: Verse 4 and 9 - if a man says "I am mature" but does not accept his brother, he is still immature and still stumbling in the darkness while trying to serve.
Point: John writes this command to the spiritual children, spiritual young men and spiritual old men.

#2. . .Dealing with Brothers/Sisters that are wrong: 1 John 2:15-17, Do not love or accept the ways of the world.

1 John 2:16                             Philippians 3:18-19                         Romans 16:17,18

Motivation                                 Destination                                           Activation  

Cravings of sinful man                  Destruction is destiny                              Causes divisions
Lust of Eyes                               Stomach is their god                                Serve their appetite
Boasting of:                                Glory is in their shame                             Deceive with:
        -what he has                                                                                          -smooth talk
        -what he does                                                                                        -flattery

#3. . .Dealing with the Enemy:
1 John 2: 18-27, vs.18, "last hour" has no article "the" in Greek meaning it is referring to the general quality of the time when it arrives.  It does not say, "right now, at this time, this
is the last hour."  It is saying "the last hour will be like this. . ."

"antichrist" has no article "the" in the Greek.  This means this reference is not talking about "The Antichrist" that is to come.  It also refers to the quality and character of the

"even now many antichrists have come" is a reference to John's time, "even now."

"This is how we know this is the last hour."  How??  There will be an increase in the character of the antichrist in the world.  The quality of the last hour is that there will be an increase in the character of the antichrist.

vs. 19, "their going showed" is the one Greek word "phaneron" which means:
a- "evident, plain, known, to manifest, to reveal, to bring to light."
b- here it is aorist, passive subjunctive.  Subjunctive is the purpose clause and means there was a purpose for their going.  The heretics (enemies) went
out own their own volition but God let them go out all the way further and
further from the truth to unmask their counterfeit faith and teaching.  c- Their going was their unmasking or the revealing of their error.

Who is the enemy?

1)  One who opposes the results of the message of Christ
a)  Alexander in 2 Timothy 4:14,15 and Acts 19:23-28 (Demetriuis' revolt)
-Do a great deal of harm. . . . . . is effective
-Lord will repay them. . . . . . . . .no human revenge
-Guard against them. . . . . . . . . .need human protection
. . . . . . . . . .need to expose them
-They oppose the message because of the results that occur
b) Acts 13:10,  the devil is the enemy of all righteousness

2) One who sides with the results with out the message
a) False brothers,  2 Corinthians 11:26
b) Deceivers with out the message go into the world  2 John 7
c) Imitators 2 John 7
d) From the church, but did not belong to the church, 1 John 2:18-19

The enemy opposes righteousness and so is. . . . . . . . . ."sinful"
The enemy promotes false righteousness and so is. . . . .  "good"  (evil, human good w/o God)

The Crowns
Luke 19:11,  2 Timothy 2:11,12, Revelation 2:26-27, Revelation 19:16, Revelation 20:4-6

1) 1 Cor. 9:25,  Incorruptible Crown . . . . .Certified as having: "Mastery over Sin Nature"
2) 2 Tim. 4:8, Crown of Righteousness. . .Certified as: "Living Righteously & Looking for Return of Christ"
3) James 1:12, Crown of Life. . . . . . . . . . . .Certified as having: "Endured Trials as you Proceed in God's Plan"
4) 1 Thes.2:19, Crown of Rejoicing. . . . . . Certified to have: "Influence over others: Fruitful"
5) 1 Peter 5:2-3, Crown of Glory. . . . . . . . Certified as having: "Fulfilled Your Purpose in God's Plan"

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