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The Church - Lesson 18

The Church in 25 Lessons

Jon Gary Williams

Lesson 18 - The Church: The Sin of Division

Unity is central to the nature of Christ's kingdom. Jesus prayed for unity among his followers and the apostles made unity their plea. The enemy of unity is division. (Lk. 11:17) Division destroys harmony and accord. It shatters peace and fellowship. It divides brethren who should be one in Christ. God hates division. (Prov. 6:19) God sees unity as something good and pleasant. (Psalms 133:1)

I. Factions and sects are condemned
A. Gal. 5:20 "strife, seditions, heresies" (ASV "factions, divisions, parties")
B. Rom. 2:8 "contentious" (ASV "factious")

C. Jam. 3:14 "bitter envy and strife" (ASV "bitter jealousy and faction")

D. II Pet. 2:1,2 "damnable heresies" (ASV "destructive heresies")

E. I Cor. 11:18 "divisions" 

II. Guarding against those who cause division
A. Rom. 16:17,18 - "mark" and "avoid"

B. II Jn. 9-11 - "receive him not...neither bid him God speed"
C. Tit. 3:10,11 - "reject" 

III. How division can be avoided
A. Tit. 2:7 - by teaching uncorrupted doctrine and using sound speech 

B. Tit. 1:9 - by elders holding to the faithful word 

C. Tit. 3:9 - by avoiding things that are unprofitable (cf. II Tim. 2:14,23) 

D. II Tim. 2:15 - by giving diligence to rightly divide (handle aright) God's word 

E. I Pet .4:7 - by being sober-minded and being given to prayer 

F. I Pet. 4:11 - by speaking where God has spoken 

G. II Pet. 1:16 - by refusing to follow crafty, false doctrines 

H. II Pet. 2:2 - by not following after pernicious (lascivious) ways 

I. I Cor. 1:10 - by speaking the same thing and being of the same mind 

J. Phil. 2:3 - by avoiding pride and exercising humility