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What Unites Us
by Toni Babcock
11/11/2017 / Christian Living
"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:20 KJV)
In a sermon at Wheaton Bible Church around the time of the second world war, J.C. Macaulay made the following observation, "There are two states in which no differences are expressed - the state of the dead and the Nazi state." The point being, Jesus did not stamp out freedom of expression within the parameters of saving faith in the gospel. He appears to look past empty profession and a dutiful lockstep behind a particular creed. Instead He emphasized, "by their fruits ye shall know them".
As Christians of diverse theological persuasions, we take comfort in the fact we are known by Christ, not on the basis of our religious attachments, but on the basis of the fruit of His Spirit in our lives - because in spite of our differences, we experience a unity of faith that cannot help but bear fruit. Thus, we resist lording it over one another in a despotic way, while still seeking to preserve the purity of the faith and our shared values in Christ as His body. It's a beautiful thing.
Jesus Christ is the Author and finisher of our faith, and the true fruit bearer in our lives. Empty professions will fall flat in the day of judgment. He won't ask what church we belonged to, or what great deeds we accomplished in His name. What matters most to Jesus is "he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:20-21 KJV) As Christians who know and follow Jesus, its up to us to seek the Lord here and now, and figure out for ourselves what it is.
Toni Babcock is author of The Stone Writer, Christian Fiction for Young Readers and Teens.
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