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It doesn't matter how much believers may try to separate themselves from each other theologically, the biblical truth is that we are all one.

Look at John 17 and you'll see what I mean. There Jesus prayed for all of us who would ever believe on Him:
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
(John 17:21)
First Corinthians 12 puts is this way:
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…. And whether one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
(vv. 12-13, 26)
What Affects Your Brother, Affects You
Once you understand that, you'll realize there's simply no way to cut another Christian down to size without diminishing yourself at the same time. Therefore, you'll be able to more easily resist the temptation to lash out against your critics.

That silence, however, does not leave you defenseless. Far from it! God Himself will take up your defense if you'll stand in faith on His promise in Isaiah. There it says:
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
(Isa. 54:17)
Personally, I stand on that promise every day. It's like a spiritual sword I hold out in front of me. Now, it's not intended for believers. It's intended to protect me from the devil and his crowd, but the fact of the matter is, if anyone decides to agree with the devil and attack me, they will run up on that sword just like he does.

Seek After Unity
I'm not glad about that. In fact, I pray for those who come against me. I don't want them to get hurt and I know most of them are simply being deceived, so I say, "Lord, open the eyes of that person's understanding. Don't let this situation destroy that child of God. Reveal to him or her the truth of John 17 and bring us into unity."

I'll be honest with you, that's not my natural, fleshly reaction.

But Romans 15:7 says we're to receive one another, as Christ also received us. Jesus, our Anointed Savior, received us in grace! He responded to us according to His love and His shed blood—not according to what we deserved.

Since the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts (Rom. 5:5), we have the power within us to respond to our critics in grace too! And if we'll do it, God will work powerfully among us.

A Personal Example
I saw that fact illustrated quite well a few years ago. During a series of meetings at a large church, another church in town decided I didn't have any business preaching there. So they came over and brought big signs and banners announcing that I was a false prophet, a liar, and other such things.

One night as we were driving to the service, one particular sign caught my eye. It said that I didn't believe in the blood of Jesus. I sensed an unction from the Holy Spirit so I just stopped and spoke for a few minutes with the fellow who was carrying the sign.

I said, "I just thought you ought to know this firsthand. I not only have great respect for the blood of the Lamb, but also believe in it and stand on it every day of my life. I preach the spotless blood, the precious blood and the pure blood of Almighty God that flowed through the veins of Jesus by which I am sanctified. So, that sign isn't true."

He started to argue, "Yes it is…" but before he got very far, I took his hand, prayed for him, and blessed him in the Name of Jesus. Then I just got back in the car and left.

As far as I could tell, there wasn't any change in that man's attitude—or the attitudes of any of the rest of that group at that time. But not long after that, I received a call from the pastor of the church where I preached and he said, "I have somebody here I want you to talk to."

Do you know who it was? The pastor of the group that had carried those signs! He and his wife said God had opened their eyes and they'd realized what they had done. They were calling to apologize. Those few moments on the phone with that pastor and his wife were like heaven on earth to Gloria and me.

Tough Love
I won't kid you. It's not easy to walk the Word way in those situations. Sometimes you may get so angry with folks, you'll want to let them have it!

But don't do it.

There's no blessing in that. Instead, settle it in your own heart and mind that you will walk in love, you will receive your brothers and sisters with the same grace that God has received you, and you will trust Him to open their eyes and set things right.

In the end, you'll find He can take care of you just fine.

Kenneth Copeland Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Kenneth Copeland
Web site: Kenneth Copeland Ministries
For the last 50 years Kenneth and Gloria Copeland have been passionately teaching Christians all over the world how to apply the principles of faith found in God’s WORD to their lives.

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