The Unity of the Gospel 3 wk/3 qrter 2017
The Importance of Unity
Circumcision and the False Brothers
Unity in Diversity
Confrontation in Antioch (Gal. 2 : 11-13)
Paul's Concern (Gal. 2:14)
Not Revealed to Just One or Two—God has not passed His people by, and chosen one solitary man here and another there as the only ones worthy to be entrusted with His truth. He does not give one man new light contrary to the established faith of the body. In every reform men have arisen making this claim. Paul warned the church in his day, “Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” The greatest harm to God’s people comes through those who go out from among them speaking perverse things. Through them the way of truth is evil spoken of.
Let none be self confident, as though God had given them special light above their brethren. Christ is represented as dwelling in His people; and believers, as “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.” “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,” says Paul, “beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Inconsequential Matters—I would say to my brethren and sisters, Keep close to the instruction found in the word of God. Dwell upon the rich truths of the Scriptures. Thus only can you become one in Christ. You have no time to engage in controversy regarding the killing of insects. Jesus has not placed this burden upon you. “What is the chaff to the wheat?” These side issues which arise are as hay, wood, and stubble compared with the truth for these last days. Those who leave the great truths of God’s word to speak of such matters are not preaching the gospel. They are dealing with the idle sophistry which the enemy brings forward to divert minds from the truths that concern their eternal welfare. They have no word from Christ to vindicate their suppositions.
Do not spend your time in the discussion of such matters. If you have any question as to what you should teach, any question as to the subjects upon which you should dwell, go right to the discourses of the Great Teacher, and follow His instructions.…
Erroneous theories, with no authority from the word of God, will come in on the right hand and on the left, and to weaklings these theories will appear as truth which makes wise. But they are as nothingness. And yet many church members have become so well satisfied with cheap food that they have a dyspeptic religion. Why will men and women belittle their experience by gathering up idle tales and presenting them as matters worthy of attention? The people of God have no time to dwell on the indefinite, frivolous questions which have no bearing on God’s requirements.—Preach the Word, p. 10 (1901).