Now that takes humility! And without humility, we can't learn. We can't learn the truth about ourselves or the truth about the Bible. According to the ancient Greeks, the opposite of a friend was not an enemy, but a flatterer. Our pride is our greatest enemy in all this.

Welcome correction as a good enemy of your pride. And appreciate the way in which those who differ with you can sometimes help to fill out or better balance the picture you're presenting. It can be good to have Christian friends that disagree with us on some things—it gives us the opportunity to learn and to exercise our love.


How can we summarize everything we've considered? Handle Scripture carefully and in context. Know the Bible well. Love God by loving his Word. Meditate on Psalm 119. As Paul told Timothy, "the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 2:24-25).

Put it all in perspective. If you're a Christian, you're an heir of heaven! God has called you to be a messenger of his gospel more than any other message. And what is your witness? Do people think of you as argumentative or quarrelsome? We want to be known more by what we are for than by what we're against. And we always want to be for the gospel, and for being reformed by the Word of God.

In essentials unity, in non-essentials diversity, in all things love.

Mark Dever leads 9Marks Ministries, which exists to equip church leaders with a biblical vision for displaying God's glory through healthy churches.


Pastor Dever (Ph.D. Cambridge) is the Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and has authored several books including Nine Marks of a Healthy Church and The Deliberate Church: Building Your Ministry on the Gospel. Mark also serves as one of the principles of Together for the Gospel.




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