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The Sin Taking Sides

If you're divisive, you're doing it wrong. One of the most prominent things I've seen in my ministry and among friends right now is division. What's more, I see Christians take sides against one another over such divisions (Might be how we have so many divisions within the body of Christ...something to consider). The thing about divisions, though, is it's a sin addressed over and over throughout the word of God, with the New Testament writers pleading for no partiality (James) or for Unity (1 Corinthians, others), throughout. Galatians has this to say about "the fruits of the flesh:" " 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy (or murder), drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. " Did you read that? If not, I suggest you do so again. Those who participate in enmity, strife, Jealousy, fits of anger. rivalries, dissensions, divisions, or envy (among the other things listed) will NOT inherit God's kingdom. Those are sins that literally keep us out of the presence of God. Beloved brothers and sisters of Christ, whatever your issues with someone, if you've addressed it to them, let it go and seek Christ. Pray for them, be a person of peace (Romans 12, Galatians 5:22-23), do whatever it takes to represent Christ. Talking about it, using the Bible as a billy club, and even hinting if you never mention names is still divisive! Our enemies are not flesh and blood, but the spiritual forces that seek to kill, steal and destroy (Ephesians 6:10-20). So stop doing the enemy's work for him, and focus on seeking God! Focus on conforming to the image of Christ! Don't let your emotions, your pain. and your hurt dictate your attitude, instead, submit to Christ. Get on your knees and pray for those who hurt and persecute (bless and do not curse them, Romans 12), and let Love be your compass.

1 Peter 4

Stewards of God’s Grace

1Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,a arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 3For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.

7The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Suffering as a Christian

12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of gloryb and of God rests upon you. 15But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And

“If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”c

19Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

Footnotes: a 1 Some manuscripts add for us; some for you b 14 Some manuscripts insert and of power c 18 Greek where will the ungodly and sinner appear?

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