June 25, 2018

Sin of Division

By Clinton D. Hamilton

Conscientious people are rightly disturbed over the divided condition of the religious world. One of the real
causes of unbelief in the present day is the division among the professed followers of Christ. Three sins are
condemned in the Bible more frequently than others; they are division, drunkenness and fornication. None of
us can disregard the teaching of the Lord on unity and at the same time expect His approval. Each person who
claims to follow Christ must examine himself to see whether he is in the faith revealed in the, New Testament.

The part of the prayer of Jesus should strike the heart of every believer: "Neither for these only do I pray,
but for them also that believe on me through their word ; that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in
me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me" (John 17:20,
21). Unity among believers such as that which exists between Jesus and the Father will cause the world to
believe that the Father sent Jesus.

In this same prayer Jesus also said, "And the glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them; that
they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the
world may know that thou didst send me, and lovedst them, even as thou lovedst me" (John 17:22, 23).. The
perfecting of the body, the church, into one unity, will cause them to believe! Blessed is he who works for this
unity but cursed is he who helps destroy it! When division arose in the congregation of the Lord's people at
Corinth in the first century, Paul denounced it in these words, "If any man destroyeth the temple of God, him
shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, and such are ye" (I Cor. 3:17). Every Christian must be
diligent in his faithfulness to Christ by seeking to keep himself within the doctrine which has as one of its fruits
unity. Woe to that believer who destroys the church of the Lord through divisive work.

What has brought about such terrible division among those who claim to believe and follow Christ? What
is the reason for more than three hundred different denominations, which claim to follow Christ, in our own
countrv? The answer to this question is not only interesting but it is also vital. The source of information about
Jesus is the Bible. But many who claim faith in Jesus deny the Bible. Some who claim faith in Jesus and belief
of the Bible do not heed what the Bible teaches. Some who teach the truth do not try to practice it with
diligence. Prejudice and self-interest often blind one to the truth and cause him to reach and practice error.
Sometimes our love and appreciation of men goes too far so as to cause us to accept them rather than the
teaching of the Lord. Human wisdom may be exalted above divine wisdom. This will cause us to reject the truth
for some humanly devised plan. Such plans may involve the organization and work of the church, the conditions
of salvation, the worship of the church, and a host of others.

There are fundamental consequences involved in violation of what this faith really demands. Assessing the
causes of division is valuable in overcoming it. Until we understand the cause we cannot proceed to correct the
error. In subsequent articles, I propose to discuss causes of division among professed followers of Christ, and
then to consider the Lord's plan for unity among believers. I confidently believe that unity is possible; it will
he a reality when each one wholly commits himself to the Lord.

Truth Magazine III:10; p. 24
July 1959