Inside/Outside #13

The acts of the flesh are obvious…selfish ambition…dissensions….factions

Today let  us be taking a look at 3 more of the acts of the flesh concerning of which are either latent or active on the inside of all who have no resistance to overcome or rise above them.

Selfishness by definition is: devotion to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits and welfare, regardless of others. When this is coupled with the word ‘ambition’ it has the potential of leaving behind in its selfish pursuits a lot of damage and injury that may or may not be reparable. And if not repaired, then contemplate what a selfishly ambitious person can be to his own future and especially the future of the body of the church to which he has promised some conditions of loyalty and support.

Dissension by definition is a reflection of a strong disagreement which creates a quarrelsome contention. This situation can be between two or more. Disagreements do not require one to be disagreeable. Within any grouping of people, there will be some measure of disagreement over matters which are either major or minor. If the issues are of major importance and significance then there must be of necessity a separation of the ways. A Biblical illustration of that fact can be seen in the issue that arose between Paul, Barnabas and John Mark. Read for yourself from Acts 15:36-40 Barnabus was desirous to take John along but Paul was insisting that he not be taken along. There arose such a sharp disagreement that they separated one from another. But at the end all was reconciled and Paul and John Mark were brought together. Indeed just as it should be among friends. But if the issues are of a minor matter, then there should be a gentle agreement to disagree. In matters of Eschatology, our pastor does not force or insist that his views become ours but uses the pulpit, as he should, to share his views and see if we can be persuaded.

Factions by definition: a group or clique within a larger group or the synonyms for the word are schism [pronounced sisom not skisom] or split. Now let’s try to be a bit factious over how I direct your attention to the correct pronunciation of the word ‘schism’ or is this a minor matter over which we can agree to disagree. You have a perfect right to be wrong should you choose. And where is any Baptist who has not heard of or has be a participating person in a church schism or split. Remember that such is an act of the flesh and is not a fruit of the Spirit. It is on the inside and works its way to the outside.