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He Who Sows Discord Among Brethren

November 08, 2009

God hates some things. One of them is the person who sows discord among his brethren. Some are too ready to quarrel and fight. Often due to envy, a person will stir up strife. Either for money, power and control, or glory and honor, or a combination of two or more of these, he will attack his brethren. Our responsibility is to help our brothers and sisters be edified, or built up, not torn down. Not only that, but those on the outside are watching, as well. Fighting and quarreling are destructive, and God hates that!

Bernie Parsons

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He That Soweth Discord Among Brethren

By Bernie Parsons

Presented to Load church of Christ on 11-8-2009

Among the proverbs attributed to the wise king Solomon is the following about seven abominations – that is, seven things that God hates.

Proverbs 6:16 “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.“

All of these are important to consider, and I have done that in several previous sermons. However, at this time I would like to concentrate on the seventh thing that the Lord hates—“he that soweth discord among brethren”.

In fact, whoever compiled the list of proverbs placed the following remarks about he who sows discord just prior to the seven things that God hates.

Proverbs 6:12 “A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.
13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;
14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.
15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.”

To sow means to plant the seeds of something. Discord means strife, or quarreling. One who sows discord deliberately plants the seeds. It is not accidental. It doesn’t just happen. He spends time thinking about the disruption and damage that he intends. He hides his true motives as he works behind the scenes. He pretends to be doing one thing while he is doing another.

God hates discord. God loves unity and peace. We are our Father’s children.

Romans 8:5 "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:"

As we will examine further toward the end of this lesson, strife is carnal – fleshly – and worldly. The children of God are spiritual. How do we know that we are the children of God?

1 John 4:6 "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."

1 John 5:2 "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."

1 John 4:20 "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also."

1 John 3:10 "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother."

We know that we are the children of God, because we are motivated by charity – love that is not earned or deserved. Children of the devil don’t understand that love. They love themselves and what pleases them. They sow discord for one or more of these: financial gain, power and control over others, or personal honor and glory. They don’t care about others and the damage that they are doing to them.

John 13:34 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

Brotherly love identifies the disciples of Christ, not only to other Christians, but to outsiders, as well. There is much freedom in following Christ. We are not bound by strict sets of rules as were the Israelites under the Law of Moses. Those who set forth rules not set by God take away our freedom and sow discord among the brethren. That bondage is not the spirit of the Lord. It leads to infighting, judging, and destructive behavior toward others.

2 Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

1 Peter 2:16 "As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God."

Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

Galatians 5:13 "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 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
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."

Christians must not turn on one another. This does not show love, and is not from God. If we fight each other, we are in danger of destroying one another. Strife is not from God. The qualities that God gives us are found in verses 22 and 23. We are to serve one another in love.

1 Peter 4:8 "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."

It is easy to condemn someone for things that we think are wrong if we are not careful. With proper love, many weaknesses can be overlooked. Charity covers a multitude of sins.

James 3:13 "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."

Strife is not from God, but is from this earth, and James said that it was sensual and devilish. Where there is strife, every kind of evil work follows along with it. What comes from God? Look at verses 17 and 18. A wise man avoids strife and works toward peace.

Romans 16:17 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."

God’s people are not to sow discord, but are to make peace. God’s people are to be pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated – that is, easy to talk to when trying to persuade – full of mercy and good works, not showing partiality or being hypocritical. We are to make peace, and avoid those who cause discord and pit one against another.

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

Colossians 3:12 "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."

This depiction of the attributes of God’s people is quite simple and easy to understand. God’s people are merciful, kind, humble, meek, longsuffering, enduring each other, forgiving each other, but most of all, have charity – love that is not earned or deserved – which binds us all together. Love binds us, discord separates us. God hates those who sow discord.

God’s people are peaceable.



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