Battle Lines Between Unity and Division
Verse 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
Once again Jude reminds his readers that these false teachers work at dividing the people of God. This is important to remember. For one reason, this is an easy way to identify these trouble makers. But it once again can serve to remind us that we can find ourselves helping these people trouble the Church if we aren’t careful.
We talked some yesterday about the different desires that we struggle with following. Jude points out in our verse for today that these can be identified as natural instincts. This isn’t saying that we can’t help but act this way due to our humanity. It does give us a reminder of how easy it is to follow what comes easily to our human nature. But we have to remember that we are a new creation in Christ and therefore have a godly spiritual nature.
The false teachers he is warning us about don’t have the Spirit and therefore only live their natural instincts. This means that they are driven by the things that drive a person not seeking after God’s interests. They don’t have God’s Holy Spirit in them giving them a hunger for the things that please God. And since they don’t have the Holy Spirit, we know that ultimately the one pushing them to their goal is the enemy of our souls.
This brings us to a very important, personal question, “Why are we so often complacent to these false teachers and those who try to cause troubles in the Church?” And when we say those who cause troubles in the Church we aren’t necessarily speaking about those that cause major rifts in the body. We are talking about those who injure the unity of the family of God. These could be the people known for their gossiping, or maybe their sharp tongue and hurtful spirit.
Regardless of their method, anyone who works in a way that divides the Church is working against God. And yet if we were to try to keep unity of our own efforts we would fail because we would still be striving for our own desires. A. W. Tozer said in his book, The Pursuit of God, “So one hundred worshipers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become “unity” conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.” The key to a healthy Church are hearts set on Christ and His teaching.
Making It Personal
Are you a worker of unity or division? What is more important to you, getting your way or God getting the glory? How can you start living towards unity today?
Making It Personal Kids
What are some ways that you cause division among other people? How can you help people get along? Who do you need to get along better with today?
Father, we confess that we are not always living as people filled with Your Holy Spirit. Father, please give us the desire to hear Your voice more clearly so that we may live in obedience to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.