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Handling the Problem of Church Division

Just because a Christian cannot live like a devil does not mean that they are really free from sin.  Even the best Christians suffer from the daily struggle as Romans 7:14-25 has Paul speak of the frustration of the Christian life that he still has to deal with sin.  I feel that frustration myself and that problem can cause divisions in the Church.  Until the Church is fully redeemed, there will always be problems and the need for constant fellowship with God is there.

1 Corinthians 3:1-5 says, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?"

In context, the whole problem of the believers in Corinth that although they were not really carnal in the sense they were living wantonly but they had some problems of dealing with carnality.  Christians can fall into carnal states and even if they do not remain carnal indefinitely, they still have to fight with carnality daily even if they do not live like the rest of the world.  Just because a Christian does not habitually go to the places where the unsaved go does not mean they cannot fall into sin.  Sometimes, a Christian can still struggle with Pharisaical pride to a certain extent.  They may not think they are saved by works but they can be quick to say, "Lord I thank you I am not like my office mate.  I pray, I read the Bible, I do good works unlike him who is always wasting his money going to the brothel."   This was the problem that they were carnal in their understanding at that moment.

The problem of pride is still there.  Even if Peter was a Christian, he loved the Lord Jesus Christ but he had the problem of pride.  Do you remember when he bragged that he would not deny the Lord Jesus?  After saying that, he ended up denying the Lord Jesus Christ thrice which made him weep bitterly over his failure.  I would dare assume that the Lord Jesus Christ allowed it to happen so Peter can be humbled.  I remembered when I bragged I would never quit but later, I find myself slumping like a loser.  I would say when I was bragging, that was me and when I was humbled and later returned back on track, it was the grace of God at work.  Christians if they do not keep an eye on their pride can fall into deep backsliding like Samson and Solomon.  It took real humbling moments to bring Samson and Solomon back on track.

If not pride, then there is also self-righteousness.  Just because a Christian is saved by grace does not mean they cannot fall into some degree of self-righteousness.  There are points in the Christian life to show contempt towards unsaved people instead of loving them.  I feel it myself that I feel contempt towards the unsaved and displaying a Pharisaical attitude towards them.  That kind of attitude can also cause division because as Christians are called to correct one another, there are times Christians can become so self-absorbed that they can blow up.  They might even start hurling false accusations against other believers leading to fights within the offices.  I remembered when I was told that if I feel self-righteous against the others, I should remember that the Christian's transformed life is not about one's self but about the transforming power of God's grace.  

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