Sedition is division
I am so glad you decided to join us as we focus on the sin of sedition, also known as division and dissension, in the church not the world. Yes, some of the children of God cause and / or contribute to sedition / division / dissension in the body of Christ.
The letter to the church at Galatia addresses this issue which led to its mention as a “work of the flesh”. They are warned in Galatians 5:15 ‘But if you [unlovingly] bite and eat one another [i.e., figuratively], be careful that you do not totally consume one another.’
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (KJV)
- Other King James versions usage: AKJV, KJC and UKJV continued with ‘seditions’. RKJNT and NKJV replace seditions with ‘dissensions‘. The MKJV and KJ2K use ‘divisions‘. MSTC version used ‘sedition‘.
Stay away from dividers
Romans 16:17-19 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to watch out for those people who create divisions and who make others fall away from the Christian faith by teaching doctrine that is not the same as you have learned. Stay away from them. 18 People like these are not serving Christ our Lord. They are serving their own desires. By their smooth talk and flattering words they deceive unsuspecting people.
19 Everyone has heard about your obedience and this makes me happy for you. I want you to do what is good and to avoid what is evil. (GW)
Examples of sedition / division / dissension
- At Iconium – Acts 14:2 ‘But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles, and poisoned their minds against the Lord’s followers.’ – The non-believers stirred up distrust, hatred and opposition causing a division among the people. (OEB) [Read Acts 14:1-7 (key verses: 2 and 4)]
- At Lystra – Acts 14:19 ‘But some Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.’ (WEB)
An excerpt from The Bible Exposition Commentary ‘The crowd quieted down, but when some troublemaking Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium, the crowd followed their lead and stoned Paul. One minute, Paul was a god to be worshiped, the next minute, he was a criminal to be slain! Emerson called a mob “a society of bodies voluntarily bereaving themselves of reason.” Often this is true.’ [Read Acts 14:8-20 (key verse: 19)]
- At Corinth – 2 Corinthians 12:20 ‘For I fear lest perhaps when I come I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found by you such as you would not. Lest perhaps contentions, envyings, animosities, dissensions, detractions, whisperings, swellings, seditions, be among you.’ (DRA)
Paul expressed and showed deep concern for the Corinthians, visiting them three times, but needed to be firm with them; read 2 Corinthians 3:1-10.
Not spiritual behavior; No big I little you
1 Corinthians 3:3-4 because you are not yet spiritual. You are jealous and argue with each other. This proves that you are not spiritual and that you are acting like the people of this world.
4 Some of you say that you follow me, and others claim to follow Apollos. Isn’t that how ordinary people behave? (CEV)
Please read 1 Corinthians 3:1-17 and let me know what God shows you.
- Sedition – deliberate provoking or stirring up of discontent (unhappiness), a resistance, revolt, or rebellion against authority. Implies conduct leading to or inciting commotion (confusion) or resistance to authority but without overt (open to view) acts of violence or betrayal; a serious breach of allegiance. Used generally in the sense of rebellion; discord; insurrection (an act or instance of open rebellion against authority).
- Dissension – Disagreement in opinion, usually of a violent character, producing warm debates or angry words; contention in words; partisan and contentious divisions; breach of friendship and union; strife; discord; quarrel.
- Division – Disunion; difference in opinion or feeling; discord; variance; alienation. Example: There was a division among the people. John 7:43.
- Contention – Strife in words; controversy; altercation quarrel; dispute; as, a bone of contention. Ordinarily, however, these words denote a struggle arising from bad passions. In that case, strife usually springs from a quarrelsome temper, and contention from, a selfish spirit which seeks its own aggrandizement, or is fearful lest others should obtain too such. Strife has more reference to the manner than to the object of a struggle, while contention takes more account of the end to be gained.
- Strife – Exertion or contention for superiority; contest of emulation, either by intellectual or physical efforts.
1 Corinthians 1:10-17 (key verses: 10-13); Romans 16:17-20; 2 Corinthians 12:14-13:10 (key verses: 12:14, 12:19-21, 13:1); Romans 12:9-21 (key verses: 15-16); Romans 15:1-7 (key verses: 5-6); 2 Corinthians 13:11-14 (key verse: 11); 1 Corinthians 3:1-17 (focus verses: 1-4; key verse: 3 and 7); Matthew 12:22-30 [(key verses: 25-26 and 30) compare Mark 3:22-27 (key verses: 25-26); Luke 11:14-23 (key verses: 17-18 and 23)]
Unity not division
Philippians 2:1-4 [Therefore,] Does your life in Christ give you strength? [If there is any encouragement in Christ…] Does his love comfort you? […if any comfort from (his) love…] Do we share together in the Spirit? […if any fellowship/sharing of the Spirit…] Do you have mercy and kindness? […if any mercy/affection and kindness/compassion…]
2 If so […then], make me very happy [fulfill/complete my joy] by having the same thoughts [being like-minded/of one mind], sharing the same love, and having one mind [heart; soul] and purpose [goal; mind].
3 When you do things, do not let selfishness [rivalry; selfish ambition] or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor [regard; value] to others than to yourselves. 4 Do not be interested only in your own life [look out for your own interests], but be interested in the lives of others [look out for others’ interests]. (EXB)
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the body of Christ could drop sedition / division / dissension, be of one mind and have a common / united purpose? In my lifetime issues like women wearing pants, open-toed shoes and cosmetics, men wearing beards, people going to the movies or owning and watching television caused division.
- Denominations; worshipers are labeled based on common beliefs that are unlike other groups. Example: one group believes in the trinity vs. oneness
- Views on same-sex marriage and relationships
- Which assembly we attend or mega-pastor we follow
The above list are mere examples, what a shame that these topics promote sedition / division / dissension!
Is God Pleased with Division?
Jesus warned, ‘any kingdom (country) divided against itself will be destroyed; and every city or house (household; family) divided against itself will not stand (survive; continue safe and sound).’ Are we a family? Of course we are and we must learn to stand firm in the truth and stay away from things and people who cause division.
Romans 15:5-6 ‘Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice.’ (HCSB)
Do not allow the sin of sedition to be part of your life. Be blessed my friends, ♥ Tim.
♥ Question for “sedition”: What issues cause sedition / division / dissension in the church today? Is God pleased?
See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.
If you have questions or care to discuss this, email me using this form for a private message:
Scripture quotations marked (CEV) are from the Contemporary English Version Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission. || (EXB) The Expanded Bible Scripture taken from The Expanded Bible. Copyright ©2011 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || (GW) Scripture is taken from GOD’S WORD®, © 1995 God’s Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group. || (HCSB)Scripture quotations marked HCSB®, are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. HCSB® is a federally registered trademark of Holman Bible Publishers.