Scripture: St John 1:29-42, 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
John’s gospel testifies that Jesus is the Son of God. John the Baptist tells his disciples to follow Jesus. One of the disciples shares with Jesus that someone in the crowd is preaching the love of God, but it wasn’t one of them. He wondered if he should stop him from preaching. Jesus tells him to leave the man alone, for no one can preach and teach about the love of God without the Holy Spirit being in his life.
There were many leaders saying that they had the only way to the fullness of God’s love. This was causing great difficulty for fruitful growth in the early church. This attitude has been a serious problem throughout the centuries for church growth. While the only true Christian church is the church that preaches the fact that the only way to the eternal throne of God in His heavenly kingdom is through the blood of Jesus, His death and His resurrection from the grave.
What appears to many is that not all the church believe that this is the only way! Men and women do not all encounter the living Lord in exactly the same way. Thus our different ways of interpreting Jesus’ love can and may be a stumbling block for some.
Some stumbling blocks maybe: Some believe to be baptized one must be immersed completely under water, while others practice by sprinkling or laying water on the individual head. Some denominations will not let you become a member of their church until you are baptized. The Quakers don’t believe in water baptism at all. It is only a baptism by the Holy Spirit. Others still believe that they are the only true Christian church. Some hold fast that if you are not a member of their church you can not take Holy Communion in their church. Eating in the sanctuary may be forbidden. You must have a separate building for fellowship. In most Christian churches there is the belief that the Spirit is united with the Lord at the moment of death. While the Advents believe that the Spirit remains with the body until Christ comes again. At that time the Spirit will rise and meet the Lord in the air as he descends from heaven. This is not all the differences of man’s interpretations and actions that can divide and stop church growth. Thus we see why some will not belong to a local church…until that church gets its act together!
One of the great witnesses in our church and her members is the Community Choir here in Clay County. The choir is made up of 25-30 people from 12-16 different denominations. This shows the church in unity. All are persons who love the Lord and desire to share that love through His gift of music. Thus, they share the greatest Christian experiences, His Holy Birth and His death and His resurrection.
It makes no difference of the church name above the door or the sign in the yard! What matters is the Love of Jesus in our hearts and lives. If we don’t get the church unity, how can we offer His greatest gifts to the world? We are the life, the human body, with many parts. Each part has its special function that makes it healthy. The earthly church is the Body of Christ in the world, spreading His love for all!
Let us pray!