Peace and Edification

 

Watering the Tulips

December 19, 2012

“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” – Romans 14:19

Christian people are to stand for the truth.  Numerous verses could be supplied to prove this.  1 Corinthians 16:13, for instance, says, “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong”.  This speaks loudly to seeking out the truth of “the faith” and standing for it.  However, the manner in which we stand must never be arrogant or spiteful.  In fact, the verse that follows this one says, “let all that you do be done with love” (1 Corinthians 16:14).

Christian people are going to disagree.  Jesus Himself told us, “It is impossible that no offenses should come…” (Luke 17:1).  There isn’t a one of us that will live through this life without disagreeing with somebody else.  Where there is no disagreement, somebody is leading the parade.  If, however, we all enter into a study of God’s Word, we will sometimes find ourselves with different understanding.  Now, somebody is incorrect – perhaps all of us.  But, there is a right way to handle our differences.

There has, perhaps, never been a man more bold (outside of the Lord Himself) than our brother Paul.  He boldly spoke the truths of God’s Word.  This does not mean, however, that Paul was purposely offensive.  In fact, he said we ought to be “…speaking the truth in love…” (Ephesians 4:15).  There are two admonitions in this verse.  Most certainly, we are to speak the truth if we talk of the Lord and His precious Word.  Hopefully, there is no disagreement there.  Secondly, this is always to be done in a loving manner.   There simply is no excuse for treating our fellow man in a way contrary to the way the Lord has treated us.

God’s Word is the “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17).  We do not wield the sword that is the Word of God.  The Holy Spirit alone has this right.  Unquestionably, we are to stand on the Lord’s Word in all that we do.  We are to find our doctrines and practices from the Bible and it alone.  Yet still, we do not wield the Word of God.  Our job is to preach it.  If it pierces “even to the division of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow” (Hebrews 4:12), the Spirit must do that.  We have neither the right nor the power to make the Word so effectual.

So, what is being said here?  Simply, we are to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints with the right motive and the right attitude.  Our motive should always be that we may “edify one another” (Romans 14:19).  Our attitude should always be such as will “make for peace”.  God’s children ought to be known by love (John 13:35).

Child of God, pray today that God will empower you to stand firm in the truth.  While you pray along these lines, ask Him to help you do this in the right way.

Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL.  For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net.  “Your App to the Gospel” is available the iTunes app store as well as Google Play.  Please download it today!

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