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Faith and spirituality in a modern world

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[3] Satan knows the importance of unity.

Flames starting around a unity sign.
Flames starting around a unity sign.

Satan has schemes to confuse the unity in the church and Christian groups:

In the last few years it has been brilliant to see how different denominations are accepting each other more and the walls of ignorance, hostility and pride are being taken down.
May that continue because the Lord wants to see united Christians.

But let’s explore the topic of unity and how Satan can weaken it:

Firstly, Satan hates God’s Word.

He tries to sow doubt into our minds about the Bible.

He tries to tell us that the Old Testament is now redundant, that it is all Old Covenant and therefore irrelevant.
But the truth is that we can learn so much about mankind, and a tremendous amount about God.

It is the same God throughout the Bible.
He wasn’t angry and breathing out threats through the Old Testament, then He had a change of heart when Jesus came.
No it is the same God.

Peter tells us to pay attention to what the prophets in the Old Testament have said:

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
2 Peter 1:19-21

Paul tells us that our foundation includes the prophets:

.. you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone”
Ephesians 2:20

Jesus Himself repeatedly confirms the authority of the Old Testament by quoting from it.

Satan tries to pour doubt on Paul’s teachings.
The modern theologians may say:-
‘The style seems so different, perhaps God didn’t want Paul’s letters to be in the Bible.’
But Peter confirms that Paul’s writings are Scripture, that they are God breathed, and that they have God’s authority upon them:-
Peter wrote:

Paul writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”
2 Peter 3:16

Satan tries to make us doubt the authority of the Bible, so we mustn’t listen to him!

Secondly, Satan hates unity among Christians

Because, as it says in Psalm 133 talking about unity:

it is there that the Lord bestows the blessing.”

But Satan likes to put unity above God’s teachings.
Why does he do that?

Why does Satan raise the importance of unity, if he wants to destroy it?
That may seem like going against his plan.
But by getting the largest amount of people, to agree on the smallest amount of Biblical Truth, then he can very effectively bring in false teaching.

Osterich with it's head in the sand.By succeeding to put unity, above God’s teachings, then more people will be allowed to teach in churches, who don’t hold to Christ’s teachings.
They say that they are Christians, but they don’t obey the Bible’s teachings.
And they say that the important thing is unity!

People may say:-
‘So and so, doesn’t agree with the virgin birth, nor the effectiveness of Christ’s sacrifice, but he’s a good bloke, he’s entitled to his views!’

In that type of environment those people are allowed to teach error.
But Paul said:

.. stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you”

Or what about what Jesus said:

If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

The truth is that Jesus only wants us to be united with Christians, who want to submit themselves to the Bible.
He does not want us to be united with those people who say that they are Christians, but who deny Him by their actions.

Osterich image: thanks to Serif ARTGallery CD

Peter Reason

December 2011

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