Precious brothers and sisters,
A Call To Unity
“For you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal?” (1Corinthians 3:3, 4 NKJV)
I remember very well a song we learnt and sang in the church choir when I was just a young boy. It’s lyrics were: “Though we are many, we are one Body. We are one Body in Christ…”. This ended up being a very popular song in our circle. However, it just dawned on me that I really did not have a knowing of what that song meant all those times we sang it. Its message was deeper than what we cared to know and probably deeper than what our choir master/mistress cared to know and teach. But now, I get it! It was a song with a pure and timely message from the Holy Spirit for the Church. It was the cry of Jesus’ aching heart for His broken Body. And today, after many years, it is so sad that Jesus still has to weep over the division of His Body. And I think probably more than He would have in those years.
Anyone who has the Spirit of Truth in him/her will bear me witness that Christ’s Church today is sadly divided. For clarity’s sake, when I say the Spirit of Truth, I mean the Holy Spirit. And when I say Christ’s Church, I mean the collective body of the followers of Jesus Christ all around the world. Whether they will call themselves Pentecostals, Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, New Creation Realists, and whatever other denomination there could be—it is burdensome to keep up with these facts. And this is Christ’s point precisely:
We are too obviously divided to even be called one.
I mean, without having to go into a detailed research, it is clearly seen on the surface that we are divided.
The groups and sects we have broken ourselves into will show the lamest of men that we are a divided body. With these different sects and groups come different doctrines and gospels. So that members of one sect think of themselves as superior to those of another sect. Because to them their gospel is the authentic one. I will like to say now that there is one Gospel, one doctrine, one Truth by which every follower of Christ must live. And that Truth contains the full counsel of God. No part of God’s counsel can be regarded as more important than another. Rather, all of God’s counsel is One Truth with different phases. And together, these different phases of this One Truth produce a matured follower of Christ. That is what Paul talked about:
“Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13)
Can we not see what Satan is doing? How is it that our eyes have become so blinded by the lie and our ears deafened to the Truth? Do we not know that our Lord Jesus Christ said that a house divided against itself cannot stand? Yet we keep declaring, confessing, and praying that the gates of hell will not/should not prevail against the Church. By our own selves—in our selfish and ignorant divisions—we are falling. Can we not see the obvious plot of the devil? He knows well that there is no strength in division. That is why hundreds of years ago he introduced division to our fathers subtly in the name of denominationalism. And we today, precious and ignorant ones, we have innocently but blindly followed on in this stead. We go about believing that our “man of God” or our G.O is the main man. We follow them to a point where we begin to honour them and their words over God. We think that our denomination or ministry is the one truly ordained of God and so we look upon the brethren in other ministries with disdain. And I should say, looking upon a fellow with disdain is against God’s counsel. So tell me, are we any better than the ones whom we think are inferior?
Do we see how the devil is subtly and cunningly putting us up against ourselves? Today, posters advertising churches, their pastors, and their service times are springing up on commercial billboards. This is saddening. They are breeding competition amongst themselves. No, they will not admit to this. Some of them probably don’t even see this. But it is obvious and disheartening.
I am attempting to help us see how we today are rejoicing in iniquity. Not because we desire to, but because this iniquity has been so rubbed in our faces to the point that it is all we see. We grew into it and it has become all we know. But it is all a lie from the heart of hell. And it is tearing Christ’s Body apart. It is putting us up against ourselves. We must beware of the different colours of denominationalism. It comes in different colours and has birthed many fruits today. The word denominationalism is defined in the dictionary like this:
“The division of one religion into separate groups, sects, schools of thought or denominations.”
Did you notice the word division? May our eyes and hearts be opened to God’s Truth in Jesus’ Name. The definition of this word is clearly against Jesus’ hearty prayer for us—those who believe in Him.
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
(John 17:20-23 NKJV)
Please ask the Holy Spirit that the eyes of your understanding be enlightened that you may see this. This division lurking in the Church today is one of the major reasons why it is hard to get the unbeliever to see that Jesus is the One true Saviour sent by the Father. Now, you may be saying to yourself, “I’m not in this error of division”. Well, that thought in itself is an expression of one of the fruits of this division. You attempt to vindicate and justify yourself instead of looking out for the entire Body. What good does it do if you are not in iniquity but another member of the Body is? It means the whole Body is in iniquity. Get this, we are ONE Body! And it’s time we begin to unite!
The first step towards this unity is to find ourselves in Christ alone and not in a man. Sadly some of us have found ourselves in “our men of God” instead of in Christ. And this is as a result of this division as we see in our opening scripture. Sometime ago I read the WhatsApp status message of a precious sister in Christ. It said, “I am addicted to faith in my man of God”. I’ll never forget, I was unsure of how I felt, but I felt deeply saddened. I had to share it with my wife. That precious sister didn’t mean any harm, she was only innocently expressing what she knew in the core of her heart. Many of us may not come close to admitting that our hearts have taken this same posture that this dear sister’s heart had taken. But if we look by the searching light of the Holy Spirit we will see it. Today we believe that we will be healed because “our man of God” said it; not because God said it. We believe we won’t be wretched and poor because “our man of God” declared it. Some even go as far as petitioning God through their man of God. I have heard people give testimonies saying they prayed to the God of so and so (they mention their man of God’s name) and that was when God answered them. Didn’t Jesus say we should ask whatsoever we will in His name that He will do it? And doesn’t Hebrews 10:19-22 tell us that it is only by the Blood of Jesus, by a New and Living Way opened for us, by a Great High Priest—Jesus Christ—that we have access to God’s Holy Presence? How then is it that we seek to gain God’s attention and favour by identifying with a man like us?
Beware brethren! Satan’s ways are subtle that is why we are admonished to be vigilant. So first we must establish our identity in Christ and Christ alone. Only then will we begin to see His Body as He sees it. The veil will be taken off our faces and we will begin to see clearly. Then His Truth will begin to find expression in our hearts and we will begin to know the passion of the Bridegroom for His Bride. We will begin to hear His heart’s cry. And then His love will flow out of us to our brethren and His prayer for us to be one in Him as He is in the Father will be fulfilled.
Let the one that has ears hear the word of the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Michael Isebiama David.