Further Thought: Read the article “Forgiveness”, pages 825, 826, in The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia.
“When the laborers have an abiding Christ in their own souls, when all selfishness is dead, when there is no rivalry, no strife for the supremacy, when oneness exists, when they sanctify themselves, so that love for one another is seen and felt, then the showers of the grace of the Holy Spirit will just as surely come upon them as that God’s promise will never fail in one jot or tittle.” – Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 175.
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“If we stand in the great day of the Lord with Christ as our refuge, our high tower, we must put away all envy, all strife for the supremacy. We must utterly destroy the roots of these unholy things, that they may not again spring up into life. We must place ourselves wholly on the side of the Lord.” – Ellen G. White, Last Day Events, p. 190.
- Read Colossians 3:12-17. Discuss the Christian qualities the apostle Paul encourages the church at Colosse to seek. Why are these qualities the basis for all conflict resolution? How do they guide us in carrying out the principles that Jesus gives us in Matthew 18:15-18?
- Look again at Colossians 3:12-17 and the teachings found in these verses. Why are these things so utterly essential for the unity in the church?
- If we look at our church, that is, the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a whole, what is the greatest thing holding us back from the kind of unity that will be needed in order to reach the world? Is it our teachings and doctrines? Of course not. These are the very things that God has given us to proclaim to the world. Maybe the problem exists solely in us, in our interpersonal relationships, our petty jealousies, our bickering, our selfishness, our desire for supremacy, and a whole host of other things. Why must you plead for the power of the Holy Spirit to bring the changes that have to occur in you before we see unity in the whole church?
Summary: The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about healing and transformation. And when these come, they cannot help impacting our relationship with others. The Bible gives us powerful principles and examples of how we can have good and close relationships with others, even in a world of sin.