The Main Thing vs. Other Important Things by Caleb H.
February 2, 2009, 6:06 am
Filed under: Devotions


by Caleb Hancock

What is a make it or break it issue for you? Is there a certain topic that, if the acquaintance that you are getting to know disagrees with you on, you just KNOW will keep you from getting to be close friends?

Is it your favorite sports team, favorite type of music, or whether or not you think that passing gas in public is acceptable or not?

Or is it a more serious issue that threatens to separate you? Like political standings, or even more substantial, religious beliefs?

Men, I am convinced that there are thousands of relationships that are needlessly hindered within the church world-wide due to differing beliefs on secondary issues. Issues like the sacraments (baptism and communion for example), or methods of church governing (polity), the primacy or role of church in a Christian’s life, beliefs about the end times (eschatology) or even theological differences about God’s sovereignty or other issues.

Now…I am not advocating that these issues are unimportant or don’t have significant impacts on the beliefs and lives of said individuals, but I am attempting to argue that there is a set of core beliefs that is even more central and should be more unifying than all of these.

Namely, the gospel of Jesus Christ; the good news of the fact that while God is holy, and evil may not dwell with him or even be in his presence, and that we all are sinners and deserving of His just wrath, He made a way for His justice to be met by sacrificing His only begotten Son, Jesus, who never sinned, in order that all those who turn in repentance and faith in Christ’s work would have their sins atoned for and the righteous requirements of the law, met in Christ, would be imputed to the believer. The fact that all of this is imputed to the believer, not by works or merit of their own, but through faith in Christ alone.

This is the gospel.

And I submit, that while it is good to have biblical convictions and stand on your beliefs (albeit, it should be done in a humble manner!), we can differ in secondary matters and yet be unified in the gospel of Christ, the Main Thing.

Men, do you squabble and get into arguments with those who hold different beliefs than you? Do you enjoy debates and try to prove your points to the condemnation or belittling of your “opponents”? BEWARE!!! Pride is present.

Men, any orthodox belief that you are convinced of is not because you are a good, smart, righteous in your own merit man. Rather, it is extraordinary grace shown to you, a sinner who deserves nothing but God’s opposition in your own merit!

Let’s learn to agree to disagree about issues of secondary importance, and praise God for the unity that we can experience with our Christian brothers and sisters in the Main Thing, the good news of Jesus Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and work in His redeemed people.

For more on the subject of this blog, let me recommend that you explore the manifesto and messages from the Together for the Gospel conference by clicking on their logo below.



1 Comment so far
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Amen! I think that is a great perspective to hold onto. I know that my Dad is free will all the way. Now that I believe in predestination it is easy for me to discount some of the points he makes. But he believes that the same Savior did the same work in his life as I believe He did in mine. We all have areas where our doctrine is weak or even wrong, but the Lord only requires that we know His gospel. The rest will be revealed in eternity.

Comment by JRam

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