Ephesians 2:17 – “And come and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh”
Ephesians 2:18 – “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
Ephesians 2:19 – “Now, therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”
Why is it there is such an extreme difficulty in reconciling brothers and sisters in Christ – in the Church of Christ, even though the scriptures are clear that this is a main work of the church of the Bible?
Had God commanded that we divide we couldn’t have done a better job. It has been our erroneous, mistaken, sinful modus operandi for allegedly purifying the church, remaining faithful and loyal, and upholding truth. To seek unity by dividing is anti-scriptural, unscriptural, unreasonable, and a work of the flesh. Essentially it is being motivated by the party spirit.
The party spirit is very deceptive, and often those who boast the most in their denial of being possessed by it are often the greatest effected by its poison. They tend to be arbitrary, dogmatic, and even hateful at times. For example, on one occasion at the annual Sulphur Meeting of the one cup Church of Christ a brother passed out a little booklet presenting his views on divorce (which were no-exception as we say) and a leading bother of a different persuasion said, “Let’s gather them up and burn them.” The partisan is not only afraid to acknowledge any truth held by those outside the group, but is even unwilling to listen to or read what another has to say. This is not the attitude of a free man in Christ who is not afraid to go anywhere, hear anyone, or read anything. This is the attitude of one who has abandoned his search for truth and thinks he has arrived. Not even the apostle Paul thought that about himself. (Philippians 3:12-13).
Brethren, the party spirit has made us inconsistent, intolerant, more legalistic than spiritual, and inverted our values. We have deemed our interpretations and divisions more important than love of the brethren and unity. Until we rid ourselves of this passion of the flesh we will have difficulty reconciling brothers and sisters in Christ.