Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.
2 Timothy 2:23 NLT
Fighting over words is foolishness. Only those who are immature will get sucked into it. Arguing with someone you don’t agree with accomplishes nothing but creating a rift between you. We get emotional with our convictions and allow our emotions to drive us instead of our heads. We tend to forget that we will not convince anyone of anything while they have their defences up. We dig our heels into the sand and will not listen when we feel our convictions are being threatened. It is not our role to convince anyone of the truth. Only the Holy Spirit can do that, and He can’t do that when we have stirred up the pot.
No one has perfect knowledge, not even you. We now see through a glass darkly. Because of our limited capacity to understand the things of God, we will always be able to learn new things. Some things we think we know are refined over time as our maturity in Christ grows. No matter how well-grounded we may be, we learn new things as the Spirit works in our lives. He leads us to sometimes change our thinking on things. So, we need to be careful how much we hold onto in our understanding of truth. There are some things that are undeniable and true for all believers for all time, and there are some understandings of truth that the Spirit changes in us as we grow in Christ.
It is foolish to hold onto and argue about things that are not clearly spelled out in Scripture. The Church has been divided over details for centuries and you or I are not going to settle the issues. We must realize that there are reasons why there are so many different church bodies worshiping the same Lord we do but in different ways. If there was no room for different understandings, the Lord would have fixed it a long time ago.
Wisdom would teach us to let those things go which are not essential to faith. Hang onto your convictions with an open heart and mind. Listen to the Spirit if He is changing your thinking on some things. But, whatever you do, don’t be argumentative over things. It will not change anyone and it will only prevent you from having godly fellowship with others. Agree to disagree agreeably on non-essential matters and let the love of Christ bind you together as one to the glory and honour of our Lord.
Arguing leads to fighting over words. Fighting causes divisions in the church. We argue, fight, and divide over things that don’t matter and it keeps us from fulfilling our mandate to go into all the world and make disciples—not of ourselves, but of Christ. As far is it is humanly possible to do, strive to live at peace with fellow believers and work together for the glory and honor of Christ until He comes.
A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.
1 Timothy 3:6-7 (NLT)
It is so tempting to put people into places of service before they are ready for it. In many, many churches there is a shortage of good leadership. Many churches find it hard to find people who are willing or able to be a part of the leadership of the church, so what they often do is put people in place who are relatively new in the faith. Elders are elected who have not yet been tested in the fires of life. Many elders have not yet been developed in their Biblical thinking to the point where they can make Biblical decisions about matters that come up in the church. Many elders are still immature in their faith and are unable to humbly handle being in a position of leadership. Many stumble and fall because they just aren’t ready to be put into such a role.
It is important to always examine the life of a church leader. There must be evidence outside the church that elders are walking the walk. It should be evident that elders are real in their profession of faith. And, those outside the church are the ones who really know whether or not one’s faith is real. It is easy to be godly in a church setting where everyone is godly (or at least pretend to be).
When a church leader stumbles and falls because he was not ready to lead, the cause of Christ is damaged. It is fuel for the fire for those who are not believers. It gives many non-believers a cause to judge believers as being hypocrites. It keeps many away from the church.
If you are in a church leadership position, you need to be on your knees daily. You need to be in the Word, learning, and growing in Christ. You need to always strive to have a humble heart before God and man. You should hold yourself accountable before your church family for how you are walking with Christ and your church family should hold you accountable for it. In fact, I believe it would be good if you were to ask your church family to hold you accountable for your prayer life, Bible study times, and service to the Lord. It would also be good to withhold participation in passing judgment on others if you know in your heart things are not right between you and the Lord. Integrity and humility are key parts of being a church leader.
If are relatively new to the faith and are asked to assume a key leadership position in the church, I would encourage you to pray much about it and turn it down if you sense you are not qualified to do it yet.
If you are seeking people to serve in leadership in the church, please remember Paul’s warning and only pursue those who are established believers who are respected in and outside of the church.
To the best of our ability, we must stand guard over the souls in the church and not let Satan get a foothold, especially in the leadership of the church.
He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.
1 Timothy 2:6 (NLT)
Jesus did not die for just a select few. He died for everyone who would believe in Him for the forgiveness of their sins. Salvation has no limitations or favourites. Anyone anywhere and at any time can be saved. We must never assume anything about anyone’s soul. The power of Christ to save the worst sinner on earth is more than sufficient to save him.
We should pray for those who aren’t saved. Pray that their hearts will be made tender, that they will have ears to hear the voice of God. Pray that the Lord will send messengers to them with the message. Pray with faith believing in their salvation at the proper time for their souls. Pray without ceasing, knowing that the Lord is faithful and will do all He can to bring them to salvation. Pray knowing that the Lord is not willing that anyone would leave this life without salvation. Pray that we will have the same compassion of our Lord for lost souls, whether we know them personally or not.
How many lost souls are on your heart’s prayer list? If you don’t have a list, ask the Lord to lay some soul on your heart. No one will be saved without the work of the Spirit on their heart and it is prayer that moves the Spirit to act.
And, whenever you can, put feet to your prayers and tell them about Jesus and His desire to save their soul. And, don’t just tell them, show them the love of Christ as much as you can.
Praying backed up by loving actions opens the door for talking. Someone you know needs you to be God’s voice to them. Ask the Lord to show you who he is.
For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 2:5 (NLT)
Jesus is our great High Priest. He set aside the role of the high priest under the law once and for all. He alone is able to stand before God on our behalf. He alone is able to make us fit to be in the presence of God. He did away with all of the law’s demands for sacrificial offerings when He offered himself up on the cross for our sins. He is the perfect sacrifice who alone is qualified to take away our sins.
Anyone who would suggest that they can forgive sins is a false teacher. Christ is seated at the right hand of God in heaven as the only one who can forgive. It is by His shed blood that we are made right with God. He alone is able to make us righteous and holy before God.
We do not need anyone else to stand before God on our behalf. Anyone can come to God through Christ. Jesus is THE mediator between God and man. We can ask anything in Jesus’ name and know that God hears us and answers our prayers. There is no power in any other name than that of Jesus. He is the living Word of God, the Alpha and Omega of all creation. He is God and has no equal. He needs no help from anyone; He stands before God as our High Priest, ever making intercession for us. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
It is before Him that every knee shall bow, in heaven above and earth below. If you do not bow before Him now, you will on Judgment Day. You will bow voluntarily or by force, but you will bow. It is your choice. Is Jesus your Saviour and Lord today?