Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 19, 2018

“For he who is not against us is for us.”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 9:38-41.

“John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.”  But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me.  For he who is not against us is for us.  For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.”  Mark 9:38-41.

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How do we reconcile today’s Scripture (“For he who is not against us is for us.”  Verse 40.) with the following Scripture?

“He who is not with Me is against Me;  and he who does not gather with Me scatters.”  Matthew 12:30.

Matthew 12:30 refers to the sharp distinction between God’s elect and the non-elect that we see in other Scriptures (for examples, John 15:18-25, Matthew 7:15-20, and 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

Today’s Scripture addresses the concerns that the disciples had, and we may have, that others do not “hang with us” nor do the same things in the same way that we do.  Also, remember the context of today’s Scripture is the immediate preceding Scripture (Matthew 9:33-37) in which Jesus addressed the discussion of the disciples with one another which of them was the greatest.  Neither the disciples then nor us today should feel superior toward others nor feel that we do not need others.

Christ is sovereign.  Christ is the Head of His church.  Christ will build His church.

You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.  This I command you, that you love one another.”  John 15:16-17.

As one example, Christ brought in the Gentiles with the Jews “… both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.  And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near;  for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,  having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”  Ephesians 2:16-22.

As another example, we have different gifts and functions in the church and cannot say to one another “I have no need of you”.

“For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.  And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be?  If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?  But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.  If they were all one member, where would the body be?  But now there are many members, but one body.  And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”;  or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”  On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;  and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it.  But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.  And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it;  if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.  And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.  All are not apostles, are they?  All are not prophets, are they?  All are not teachers, are they?  All are not workers of miracles, are they?  All do not have gifts of healings, do they?  All do not speak with tongues, do they?  All do not interpret, do they?  But earnestly desire the greater gifts.”  1 Corinthians 12:12-31.


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