. . in Pastor’s Perspective:
“Division in the Church”
In the Gospels, are these troubling words of Jesus: “Do you think I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” (Luke 12:51)
Yikes! At first blush this seems to go against the grain of what we hope a life of faith to be about and look like. But it’s true isn’t it? Jesus wants to separate (divide) us from putting our ultimate trust and faith in anything or anyone other than God and God’s Word, and everything God has done for us in Christ Jesus.
With that said, we also have to remember what the Bible tells us; that there is an active enemy of God (the devil) who is also intent on division, but of a different kind; which is to divide and separate us from God, God’s Word, our faith, and each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Greek word for “devil” is diablos, and it shares a root with the verb diaballein, which means “to split.” The devil is a splitter, a divider, a wedge driver. He divided Adam and Eve from God in the garden, and today would love to separate you from God and God’s people.
The Bible tells us : “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He comes “only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). His intent is to divide and devour a believer’s faith, hope, love, and relationships with others.
Thankfully, God has already defeated the devil, with all his empty promises. Always remember—the devil is a defeated devil. His days are numbered. As someone said to me recently: When the devil reminds you of all the wrongs of your past, remind him of his future! Again, thanks be to God in Christ, the devil is a defeated devil. The devil may seem to have his day and appear to have his way, but God will have his say and ultimately win the day.
And for the battles with the enemy we encounter today, God gives us these promises in Scripture:
•God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) •Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
•(The devil) is filled with fury, because he knows his time is short. (Revelation 12:12)
•Put on God’s armor…So stand strong, with the belt of truth tied around your waist and the protection of right living on your chest. On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. And also use the shield of faith, with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One. And put on the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, praying at all times. (Ephesians 6:13-18a)
As someone said, “The devil may be vicious, but he will not be victorious.” Amen! Amen!
Standing strong with you in the unity (and victory!) God has given us in Christ,