So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.Romans 14:19(NASB)
Glance through many Christian social media sites and you often discover a critical spirit surfacing and a judgmental attitude being fostered and yet Paul spends much of his time urging brothers and sisters in Christ, to live together in godly harmony.
Paul is absolutely clear in all his teachings that the essentials of the Gospel of grace and the good news of salvation in Christ, where the incarnate Word of God died for our sins and rose again the third day.. must never be compromised. Paul denounces false teachers preaching another gospel in the strongest language possible and gives multiple warnings against following, 'another Jesus'.
But Paul also makes it very clear that in both Christian living, and in the non-essential of Christian doctrine, we need to be gracious, uncritical and living together in godly harmony. There should be no arguments on what to eat or what to drink, what day to worship or what ordinances to follow, for whether we live or die, eat or speak.. we are to do it to the glory of God.
The wonderful thing about the Christian life, in this church dispensation, is that in those non-essential doctrines we are given the grace to follow our own consciences - knowing that each one will give an account of their own lives to the Lord Himself.
The liberty of this age of grace is that we have not been placed under any required law - for we are living under grace. Because we are in Christ we have been set free from the law of sin and death - for when the Son set us free we are free indeed.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up in our most holy faith. Let us follow after the things which make for peace so that we may edify one another - and let us pursue what promotes a godlike tranquility in the body of Christ and build up one another in godly grace.
In essential doctrine may there be unity. In non-essential doctrine may we demonstrate tolerance but in all doctrine may we be those that show Chris's love.
Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times when I have allowed a critical spirit to interfere with godly harmony in the body of Christ. Give me discernment to know when to stand for the truth of the gospel of grace and when to refrain from ungodly criticism of others - and help me in all my dealings with my brothers and sisters in Christ, to demonstrate Your love, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN