“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”
Debate, gainsaying, variance and implacableness are all sins of the flesh! Christians are called to be peacemakers! We should hate bitterness, conflict, disputes, debate, arguments, hatred, envy and variance! A godly man/woman will do all he can to avoid fights and make peace between others. Let us look at some definitions:
1. Debate: Strife, contention, dissention, quarrelling, wrangling, arguing; a quarrel.
“Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:” Romans 1:29-31
“For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.” 2 Corinthians 12:20-21
“Do all things without murmurings and disputings:” Philippians 2:14
“He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,” 1 Timothy 6:4
A. Strife: The action of striving together or contending, opposition; a condition of antagonism, enmity, or discord; contention, dispute.
“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” 1Corinthians 3:3
“A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.” Proverbs 15:18
“A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.” Proverbs 18:6
“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:14-16
2. Gainsaying: Given to contradiction, contumacious
A. Contumacious: Contemning and obstinately resisting authority; Stubbornly perverse, insubordinate, rebellious.
B. Gainsay: To deny, to speak against, contradict. To speak or act against, oppose, hinder.
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” Titus 1:9-11
3. Variance: The state or fact of disagreeing or falling out; discord, dissention, contention, debate.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
4. Implacable: Not to be appeased; that cannot be pacified or rendered peaceable; inexorable; stubborn or constant in enmity.
A. Inexorable: Not to be persuaded or moved by entreaty or prayer.
“Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:” Romans 1:31
“The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.” Proverbs 30:15-16
Unity in one mind is commanded for the churches of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:10) It is easy to forget that debating is a sin! Arguing, disputing, or questioning merely to oppose or resist is unprofitable. Questioning with the intent of sparring rather than learning; and inappropriate questions due to age, rank, ability, or study are all examples of ungodly debating. Of course, this prohibition does not apply to godly defense of the faith! You must search and be very careful of your motives behind every question. Gainsayers are mouthy talkers that like to oppose others. To every instruction, they have objections or questions. They prefer to disagree than to agree and cooperate. Have you ever heard the saying: “You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t,” This is describing people who are impossible to please. They are implacable. Are you easily reconciled, satisfied, and content with the decisions of others? Are you known as an agreeable, cooperative, easy, helpful person? Or do you make it hard for others to get along with you? God has commanded the churches to be unified in one mind and in peace (Eph 4:3). There is no room for varying opinions, except in matters of liberty, and then there is no room for doubtful disputations about such things (Rom 14:1) I want to be a peacemaker and be at peace with all men!
I think I’ll be doing a few more posts on forgotten sins like this. It is so easy to get caught up in something that seems “innocent enough” but in reality is earthly, sensual, devilish. Lord help us to do Thy will!