Monday, December 17, 2012

Conflicts and Disagreements WILL Occur in the Church

Scripture: Philippians 4:1-3
Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Insights: Remember that the theme of the book of Philippians is JOY.  In chapter one we got the theoretical applications for joy.  In chapter two we got the application examples of joy found in Jesus, Paul, Timothy and Epaphroditus.  In chapter three we observed the religiously lost Judaizers trying to steal the joy from these believers at Philippi.  As we turn to this fourth and final chapter we once again observe Paul reiterating the theme of this book in the first verse.  He was in prison in Rome and desired to be with these dear believers.  He was the one who first shared the gospel with them and he called them his joy and crown.  This statement was a reminder to these believers of the importance of joyful relationships found within the body of Christ.  Verses two and three tell us the reason for this reminder.  Eudia and Syntyche, two ladies in leadership, were at odds with each other and as a result the church was becoming divided.  Some of the believers were supporting Eudia and others were supporting Syntyche.  This internal conflict had the possible effect of stealing the joy of these dear Christians at Philippi.  Paul was dead set against this possible outcome.  So, he urged these ladies to live in harmony with each other, but notice the way Paul worded it.  He literally wrote, “live in harmony in the Lord.”  Paul knew that the only way for restoration and harmony to exist between these two ladies was because of the healing work of Jesus Christ.  Paul also encouraged the other believers to help these ladies work on reconciliation.  Beloved these statements are true today as well.  Satan hates the church and he will do whatever he can to cause conflict and disagreements to rise up within the church.  This reality has been true from the very first and will remain true until we reach eternity.  Yet, Beloved, we ought to seek harmony in the Lord just as Paul encouraged these two ladies.  Beloved, seek peace!

  1. Are you presently in conflict with anyone?
  2. Are you willing to work on reconciliation and harmonious living with this individual?
Prayer: Lord, as a flawed individual there is no way for me to bring about restoration in damaged relationships.  You, however, are able to heal the broken hearted and by Your grace bring joyful reunion to the body of Christ.  Do such a work in my life and those in my life with whom conflict is evident.  Amen. 

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