Christians who truly love one another realize that they don’t have to agree on everything. As Christians, we have freedom in Christ—freedom from the laws and rules that bound people before Christ came and made salvation possible through faith alone. Rules and regulations don’t change the heart; they only bring feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Yet, rather than embrace the freedom Christ gives, many Christians choose to create and impose a set of do’s and don’ts on other Christians. These man-made standards divide and destroy relationships and churches.
John 17:21; John 8:36; Col 2:16-17; Col 2:22-23; 1 Peter 2:16; Rom 6:1; Gal 2:16; 1 Cor 10:23-26;
1 Cor 10:30-33; 1 Cor 11:1; Rom 14:17; Rom 14:20; Gal 5:13; John 13:35
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36) “All people will know that you are my followers if you love each another.”(John 13:35) “Father, I pray that all who believe in me can be one. You are in me and I am in you. I pray that they can also be one in us. Then the world will believe that you sent me.” (John 17:21)
As long as we agree that salvation comes only through receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, we should allow much grace to other Christians and especially to those new in the faith. In 1 Corinthians 10:32-33, Paul instructs us that our life and actions should not cause trouble or confusion for others regarding our faith. We should always make the welfare of others a priority and our actions should be for the good of all, so that many will be drawn to Christ and receive salvation.
Can you think of any personal opinion or practice that separates you from other Christians? Is there a rule that you strongly feel all Christians should abide by? Upon what do you base your opinion? Is it a salvation issue? What does the Bible have to say on the topic?
Be loving. Do not hold yourself in higher regard than other Christians, thinking you are more righteous because of your self-imposed rules. Follow Jesus’ command to love one another.
Father, help others to know I am a Christian by the love I show for my brothers and sisters in Christ. May I consider the welfare of others before my own and not allow my selfish notions to cause hurt and division. In Jesus Name, Amen.