STICKING TOGETHER

  • By Pastor Boffey
  • on Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Job 41:16-17 (16) One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. (17) They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered. Were it not for the context, the spiritually-minded might hope that today's text is a candid description from Paul's writings of the very special internal relationship that Christ intends for His churches. If one can allow the scales of leviathan (the subject of God's address here to Job) some latitude, there are some instructive applications (negative and positive) to be made from this "piercing serpent" (Isa 27:1). We first note that leviathan-minded wicked men can be joined together, can stick together like the scales of this beast---particularly when they have a mutually profitable evil enterprise. They can be remarkably cohesive and unified when conspiring to defraud or destroy, sometimes even binding themselves together fraternally with a curse to save society from "dangerous" Christians like Paul (Acts 23:12-15). "Dangerous" Christians like Paul threaten the livelihood of the manufacturers and marketers of evil things and so sometimes fellowcraftsmen join and stick together to stir up trouble for such Christians by craftily manipulating public opinion to the craft's advantage (Acts 19:23-32). Such collusion is especially perilous when its participants are society's leaders, as the prophet Micah described: "That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up" (Mic 7:3). The cohesion and unity of leviathan-minded men who are joined one to another and who stick together could almost be admired were it not for the fact that the glue of their fellowship is greed, lust and power and that they are bound to a serpent. The zenith (or, more appropriately, the nadir) of leviathan conspiracy was when Jewish leaders, Jewish people and Gentile kings banded together to condemn Jesus Christ, reject Him as King and slay Him (Psa 2:1-3 c/w Acts 4:25-28). They could not then "be sundered," by men because what they did was by the permissive decree, by the predeterminate counsel of God (Acts 4:28). But God de-scaled them with an iron rod, setting the Son as King in spite of their seemingly "airtight" (per our text) joint efforts (Psa 2:4-9). Bible-believers (NOT footnote-followers) see Him NOW as King, "crowned with glory and honour" (Heb 2:9), a priest-king after the order of Melchisedec (Heb 6:20-7:1), on David's throne in heaven (Psa 89:35-37) by virtue of His resurrection (Acts 2:30-33). King Jesus has a kingdom in this world into which men have been pressing since the days of John the Baptist (Luk 16:16) by repentance and baptism upon hearing the gospel (Mat 21:31-32 c/w Luk 7:29-30). Unlike the other, the glue that binds His members together is faith, hope and charity (1Co 13:1-13). Baptized believers are said to be "joined unto the Lord" (1Co 6:17), "from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love" (Eph 4:16). When all of a church's members are of one spirit and one accord in Christ, "with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel" (Phil 1:27), no "air" can come between them: no winds of heresy (Eph 4:14) divide and separate them as happened at Corinth (1Co 11:18-19). They are tightly "knit together in love" (Col 2:2), "holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God" (Col.2:19). They are very near to each other as "lively stones...built up a spiritual house" (1Pe 2:5), all connected to "Jesus Christ himself....the chief cornerstone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit" (Eph 2:20-22). They stick together, bearing "one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ" (Gal 6:2), having "the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it" (1Co 12:25-26). They stick together, "endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph 4:3) and in so doing will in time expose some who are not truly of them (1Jo 2:19) who "separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit" (Jude 1:19). As long as they walk in Christ's light, they "have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1Jo 1:7) --- they "cannot be sundered." A true, faithful gospel church is a very special, very cohesive, very unified thing: a rare find (Mat 13:44-46) and not to be lightly regarded, nor foolishly divided nor abandoned. "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Mar 10:9). Stick together, brethren.

© 2021 Cincinnati Church