What the Lord Hates

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers”  (Proverbs 6:16-19).

While God hates all sin, some things are particularly loathsome to Him. For example, He hates discord among His followers. He sets His eyes on those who sow it, and stands ready to punish them if they persist in their behavior. He also commands the church to take action when people sow discord (Romans 16:17; Titus 3:10). Let’s take a look at how people divide the church.

1. Doctrinally.
The basis of all unity is God Himself, and what Scripture says about Him. The Apostles stressed correct doctrine in their letters to the churches, and so must we. Jesus condemned several churches for allowing false teaching in the church (see Revelation 2:14-16; 20-25). He commended others for maintaining doctrinal purity in the church (Revelation 2:1-2). When we allow false doctrine in the church, we threaten the vital unity of the church.

2. Disorderly Behavior.
God has set offices in the church to lead God’s people. For example, the elders lead the church and enforce its doctrine and standards (1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:9). The elders serve both God and the people. They must meet certain qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). God tasks them with leading the church and feeding the flock. The church should respond in loving submission:

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13:17).

3. Sinful Lifestyle.
Since God has called us to walk as wise people (Ephesians 5:15-17), we are to strive to walk in the Spirit and live godly lives (Galatians 5:16; 1 Peter 1:15-16). When we walk contrary to that standard, we threaten the unity of the church.

The path to church unity includes living as God wants us to live, and submitting to His appointed representatives. When we do that, we honor God and promote the unity of the church.

 

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