Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of May 19, 2002


FREEDOM FROM DIVISIONS IN THE CHURCH

For He … has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace ... Ephesians 2:14-15

In Ephesians 2:14-15 Paul makes clear that through His crucifixion Jesus broke down the middle wall of partition that separated Jews from Gentiles. He abolished that wall—which was the law.

The truth is the law has created a wall of partition between believers.

The Pharisees of Jesus day illustrate that one living by legalism becomes a severe critic of those who break the laws of God. The legalist takes another’s disobedience to the laws of God personally—as if one sins against him. Such criticism is extremely divisive among believers.

In Romans 8:3 Paul says that seeking to keep the law is living in the flesh. In light of that, notice how many things Paul lists as works of the flesh that reveal a spirit of enmity.

Now the works of the flesh are evident,…  hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, … dissensions, … envy … Galatians 5:19-21a

When the approach of a church to Christian living is keeping the law rather than walking in the Spirit, the result is enmity. That church will have divisions.

The sadness created by the divisions is not necessary. When we received Jesus as Lord and Savior, we were baptized into the crucifixion of Jesus. Our flesh and all it produces in us was crucified.

Let us experience our crucifixion and enjoy freedom from all the forces of enmity against our fellow believers—let us enjoy the freedom from the grief of church divisions.

May the Lord make it so throughout the Christian world.