10. Contention

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
God the Son is called the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:66For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)). He came into the world with a song of peace: "On earth peace"; He went out of the world with a legacy of peace, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you" (John 14:2727Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)). Christ's earnest prayer was for peace; He prayed that His people might be one. Christ not only prayed for peace, but bled for peace: "Having made peace through the blood of His cross" (Col. 1:2020And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:20)). He died not only to make peace between God and man, but between man and man. Christ suffered on the cross, that He might cement Christians together with His blood; as He prayed for peace, so He paid for peace.
If there be but one God, as God is one, so let them that serve Him be one. That is what Christ prayed for. "That they all may be one" (John 17:2121That 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)). How sad is it to see religion wearing a coat of divers colors; to see Christians of so many opinions, and going so many different ways! It is Satan that has sown these tares of division. He first divided men from God, and then one man from another.
In the primitive times, there was so much love among the godly, as set the heathens a-wondering; and now there is so little, as may set Christians a-blushing.
The saints are Christ's lambs; for a dog to worry a lamb is usual, but for one lamb to worry another is unnatural.
Want of love among Christians doth much silence the Spirit of prayer; hot passions make cold prayers; where animosities and contentions prevail, instead of praying one for another, Christians will be ready to pray one against another.
Why doth the Lord bring His people together in affliction, but to bring them together in affection. Metals will unite in a furnace; if ever Christians unite, it should be in the furnace of affliction. God's rod hath this loud voice in it, "Love one another"; how unworthy is it when Christians are suffering together, to be then striving together!
"Speak not evil one of another" (James 4:1111Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. (James 4:11)). Unmerciful men know how to boil a quart to a pint; they have the devilish art so to extenuate and lessen the merit of others, that it is even boiled away to nothing. Some, though they have not the power of creation, yet they have the power of annihilation. They can sooner annihilate the good which is in others, than imitate it.
Put on "the breastplate of love" (1 Thess. 5:88But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:8)). This breastplate is insuperable, it may be shot at but it cannot be shot through. "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it."
Love will be the perfume and music of heaven. As perfect love casts out fear, so it casts out envy and discord. Those Christians who could not live quietly together on earth (which was the blemish of their profession) in heaven shall be all love; the fire of strife shall cease; there shall be no vilifying, or censuring one another, or raking into one another's sores, but all shall be tied together with the heart-strings of love. Satan cannot put in his cloven foot there to make divisions. There shall be perfect harmony and concord, and not one jarring string in the saint's music.