What hope is there for us to maintain a community of love in which each lives to please his neighbour and accepts the other just as Christ accepted them? What hope is there of believers glorifying God in a spirit of unity with one heart and mouth when there is strong disagreement over inessentials? What hope is there of having the endurance and encouragement needed to overcome the tensions that could easily divide us?
There is every hope, because God has declared in the past that He would bring blessing to both Jew and Gentile, overcoming the things that divided them so that as one people they might rejoice in God. Knowing that God always fulfills what He promises, we can be sure that there is enough love in Christ for the strong and the weak to live and worship as one justified people of God. Such confidence in what God is about can strengthen us to build one another up instead of tearing each other down, knowing that God is bigger than the things that could easily and unnecessarily divide.
John DUNKLEY BTh, Dip.Min. and Dip. Pastoral Studies. He is an ordained Baptist minister and has pastored a number of Baptist churches. He has also ministered at Westcare Baptist Mission - an inner city ministry and served as a voluntary Police Chaplain.