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Peace and Purity in the Church

Today’s reading: Psalm 120-123; I Corinthians 6

Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace. 7 I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!                                                       Psalm 120:6-7

To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!                                                                                        I Corinthians 6:7-8

Christians are called to be committed to the peace and purity of the church.[1] There ought never be occasions when professing believers war against and defraud one another.

Psalm 120 introduces the section of fifteen psalms known as “The Songs of Ascents,” traditionally believed to be songs sung by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem for the feasts. It is easy to see in these psalms the longing to be in Jerusalem and in the temple where the Lord’s presence was most keenly felt.

In this case the psalmist is weary of dealing with liars and deceivers. The locations of Meshech and Kedar may be mentioned to epitomize Gentile locales where one would expect to find liars and deceivers and a total disregard for the fear of God. It seems that the world’s culture had moved into Israel.

Paul found a similar situation in Corinth where the members of the congregation were going to secular courts with complaints against one another. The Apostle is horrified by the thought of this kind of hostility in the church. He tells them there is no place for this among God’s people, who should be willing to suffer wrong and be defrauded before going to a pagan court against a brother.

Sadly, these things continue to exist. Despite church members taking vows to “study the peace and purity of the church,” we hear of lawsuits, divorces with no biblical foundation, and other shameful behaviors taking place. Seek to be a force in your local church for peace and purity that God may be glorified.

[1] For example, one of the five questions asked of new members in the Presbyterian Church of America is “Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline of the Church, and promise to study its purity and peace?” Book of Church Order Ch. 57 Section 5.

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#Biblereading #devotional #Church #discipleship #GodsGlory #suffering #Humility

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