Tag Archives: Division

T. Austin Sparks on Church Division & Elitism

It is the anointing Spirit who makes the Church to be the house of God, and the house is one because Christ is one. We must never be caught in the mistake of imagining that those who hold the truth of the one body are more in the reality of it than those who do not. Those who know nothing of the teaching are as much part of Christ’s body (if they are in Him) as those who feel that they have received so much light on the subject. We must beware of the schisms which come because of the things which we know and others do not, for light alone can easily cause divisions. “Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13). That was a challenge made to the church whose members were so ready to boast of their knowledge and so partisan in their attitude to various spiritual teachers. These were the very people whom the apostle described as being a temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16), and also warned very solemnly against destroying that temple. How is the temple destroyed? It is by trying to divide Christ, by making parties and groups among the Lord’s people, often by wrongly imagining that they are superior to other Christians because of the teaching they have received or the teacher whom they follow. This is an offense to the Holy Spirit, and a sure way of thwarting God’s desire to show forth His glory. The Lord Jesus has so identified Himself in the Spirit with all who are His own people, that what is true of Him is also true of them, and what is done to them is really done to Him. So it is that practical love towards any of His members opens the way for His Spirit’s working and, conversely, carelessness, indifference or antagonism towards other members of Christ is a sure way of quenching the Holy Spirit. It may be that this is the explanation of there being so much less glory among God’s people than there ought to be. The moment we grieve the Spirit, we begin to dim the glory. It is in their life together that God’s people form the golden lampstand into which He will pour the golden oil through His own golden pipes. Let us not accept any less objective than God’s glory when we seek His fullness, for the Holy Spirit’s presence among us is specifically promised for the express purpose of providing a testimony to that glory. God’s negatives (“not by might, nor by power”) are but to make way for His glorious positive – “but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Original Article: http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=1402

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