Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Owen: the reason for divisions

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
    Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
    —Colossians 3:13-15 (NIV)
    Were Christians duly instructed how many lesser differences, in mind, and judgment, and practice, are really consistent with the nature, ends, and genuine fruit of the unity that Christ requires among them, it would undoubtedly prevail with them so as to manage themselves in their differences, by mutual forbearance and condescension in their love, as not to contract the guilt of being disturbers or breakers of it... To speak plainly, among all the churches in the world which are free from idolatry and persecution, it is not different opinions, nor a difference in judgment about revealed truths, nor a different practice in sacred administrations, but pride, self-interest, love of honour, reputation, and dominion, with the influence of civil or political intrigues and considerations, that are the true cause of that defect of evangelical unity that is at this day amongst them.
    ... John Owen (1616-1683), A Discourse Concerning Evangelical Love [1672], in Works of John Owen, v. XV, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1851, P. 113 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 12:4-5; Eph. 4:3-6; 5:29-30; Col. 3:13-15
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, lead Your people to put away our pride.
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