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Satan wants nothing more than to destroy a local assembly of believers. His schemes and tactics include diversions (using family, fun or future advancements), divisions (factions by personality differences or preferences), defections (some doctrinal & some practical), deficiencies (discouragement by comparing ourselves among ourselves), derelictions (keeping sidelined those that should be serving), and the like.

The divide and conquer strategy was employed by Satan in Corinth with surprising effectiveness. You will remember that some said they were of Apollos, others after Cephas, or after Christ while some followed Paul. The apostle Paul clarified the unity in the person of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:10, 13). Christ’s body is one and must function as one in the local assembly. No one part of the body is sufficient to itself, but each one is reliant upon the other to carry out the full scope of God’s work of the church (1 Cor. 12:12, 20-26). In the end it is to God’s glory and all of the ministry is by His grace.  

Satan would want us to bite and devour one another through bitter envying and strife. James addressed these matters of sure demise for the church (James 4:1-3). It was not uncommon in the best of church settings for feuds to break out. Even in the Philippian church, Euodias and Syntyche came to be at odds with one another. The need for reconciliation and restoration through forgiveness was the desirable end for godliness to prevail (Philippians 4:2-3). Friendly fire will dampen morale and deepen distrust among the troops!

Let us do all we can to maintain “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3). Do not become negligent in your attendance, or silent in ministering grace to the hearers (Hebrews 10:24-25; Ephesians 4:29). Wholesome words to your brother is needful and fervent love for your brother is certainly most helpful (1 Peter 4:8).
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