John 17:20 (NKJV) “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will[e] believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Have you ever noticed there are some people who like to fight? They like to argue, and they are unhappy when they are happy. So they find something to get worked up about, something new to debate, and they just love conflict. It’s a sad way to live. Are you one of these people? or do you have people like this in your life?
When I was a younger Christian, I felt that it was my job to set everyone straight. I had been a Christian for a few years and had been reading the Bible and going to church on a regular. I thought, I’m going to help teach people straight as it relates to God. That was the way I was, and I knew a few things about the Bible so it was my job to help everyone. I had the answer to many questions, and felt compelled to share my insight. Good intentions can be wrong at times especially if it lacks the love needed for the assignment (I Peter 3:15).
I don’t feel that way anymore. Obviously, I want everyone to believe in Jesus. But if you have a slightly different take on a theological truth than I do, I don’t feel that it is my job to convince you. I like this statement regarding believers: “In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” The word essentials refers to the most important theological doctrines like that of the Bible being the Word of God, Jesus Christ being the only way to the Father, and salvation coming through Christ and Christ alone. Those are the essentials. In essentials, unity. We don’t ever flex on essentials, we just flow in love people of God!
But in nonessentials, liberty. What are nonessentials? Things like the style of music, some people like it loud, some people like it quiet, some people like a certain style, and others like another style. All I am trying to say today is; these are secondary issues. We should never divide over them! In nonessentials, liberty, Finally, in all things, charity, which is another word for love. My focus in this message is to simply “just be loving” people of God and that must be done without compromise!
Blessings and Love,
Pastor James Baker, Jr.