Keep Them Together Eph. 4:4 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Jesus keeps things together that the devil wants to divide. Three principle things that the Lord wants to keep together are the body of Christ, the local church and husbands and wives. We have to be aware that the Lord wants to keep them together. And we need to do what the Lord says in order to keep them together. We are going to look at some basic things the Lord gives us to keep them together and how the devil attacks these basic things to split them apart.
The Body of Christ – Eph 4:4 “one body.” The body of Christ is one body. The Lord gave us one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and so forth. The way to keep the body of Christ together is in the unity of the Spirit [Eph 4:3]. Therefore, we are to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead in everything [Rom 8:14]. We are to understand the Bible by the Holy Spirit’s interpretation [2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:19-21]. We are to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit [Gal 5:22-23]. We are to do our work according to the gifts of the Holy Spirit [Rom 12:4-6]. Our responsibility, therefore, is to keep the unity of the Spirit so that he can keep the body of Christ together.
The devil has divided the body of Christ by imitating the work of the Spirit of God by using men’s private interpretation to change the doctrine of the Bible by using men to do the work of the Lord through the works of the flesh [Gal 5:19-21]. They end up biting and devouring each other [Gal 5:15]. Men profess that they have spiritual gifts that are, in reality, false gifts and by these false gifts they divide the body of Christ.
The Local Church – 1 Cor 1:10; Acts 1:14, 2:46 – the early church was with one accord. It is the Lord’s desire to keep each local church together. To keep the church together we need the same mind and the same judgment. We are of the same mind when we have the mind of Christ [Phil 2:18]. His mind was humble. He had the mind of an obedient servant and so must we. We have the same judgment when we judge everything by the word of God. The Bible, the “word of God,” is our written authority. Jesus Christ, the “Word of God,” is our divine authority. Jesus and the Bible will never be in disagreement. So, we have one authority whereby we can have the same mind and the same judgment in all matters.
The devil strives to divide the local church by introducing a different mind; a mind contrary to the mind of Christ. He gets people thinking with earthly, sensual and devilish wisdom [Jas 3:14-16] rather than with the wisdom that comes from above [Jas 4:17-18]. And the result is strife, confusion and every evil work. Pastors are given to the local church to protect the church by their ruling authority from these differences of mind which can destroy the church [Acts 20:28-32; Heb 13:7, 17].
Husbands and wives – Eph 5:31 – The Lord wants husbands and wives to be together as one. He gives husbands and wives each one basic thing to do to keep their marriage together [Eph 5:22-33]. Wives are supposed to submit themselves unto their own husbands as unto the Lord [Eph 5:22-24; 1 Pet 3:1-6]. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it [Eph 5:25].
The devil introduced women’s liberation in order to remove the responsibility of women to submit to their husbands. And he introduced other things that men can “love” to diminish their love for their wives.
As an outgrowth of the marriage, the family should be one, also. The Lord has given children the responsibility to obey their parents [Eph 6:1-3]. And he has given fathers the responsibility to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord [Eph 6:4]. A family can stay together if fathers will bring up the children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and if children will obey. You may have done all you can do to raise your children properly, but if they don’t want to obey, the family will be divided.
Also, when you decide to stand with the Lord Jesus Christ, your children may decide to stand against you [Matt 10:34-37]. It is interesting how the devil can take something good and twist it. When he puts the family first he can, in many cases, destroy the marriage, because one parent will prefer the children to his or her spouse. Or the parents will prefer the children to the Lord. Either case is divisive.
Conclusion: We must be aware of the Lord’s provisions and instructions to keep the body of Christ, the local church and husbands and wives together. By his means we can keep them together and contrary to his means they will divide.