1:4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge...
10 Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.
Saints are fighting? Sanctified saints are having quarrels? Yes. Yes because their standing before God is not based in their present condition. It is based in their present confession. It is His righteousness, not theirs. It is not once saved always saved either because just as John 6:66 makes plain we can walk away from Jesus and give Him back His robe of righteousness at any time.
As a pastor for longer than I want to admit I can tell you that the most consistent complaint I hear is that of hypocrisy. We have this unbiblical expectation that people who believe in Jesus should behave just like He did when He was here. Where did we get this idea? Was it from the disciples? They ate with Jesus, traveled with Jesus, slept where He slept, heard all His teaching, and lived in His very presence day after day.
Yet they quarreled. They wanted to burn villages to the ground. They argued with Jesus and in the end abandoned Him at His greatest time of need. Saints? Yes. Sanctified? Yes. Still very much broken? Yes.
Did you ever read in Revelation that the leaves on the tree of life are for the healing of the nations? There will be healing in heaven? That's what the Bible says. Think about it. Can it be any other way? God does not brainwash us in any sci-fi sense of the term. Any positive changes in our character come about over time as a byproduct of our relationship with Him. We as a result of spending time with Him become enriched in Him. Our knowledge of His character deepens. As we are internally impacted by Him, our speech changes, our actions change. It is a process of growth. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. That's what Jesus said.
Last night I got angry. All these dark thoughts flooded my mind. I didn't like it. It was a stark reminder that there is still a lot of garbage in me. There is a lot of healing still to be done. Have you ever wrung water from a cloth? Have you ever noticed that no matter how hard and how long you twist that cloth it seems there is always more drops of water left to come out? So it is with the garbage inside us. Pride, jealousy, insecurity, fear, lust, anger, etc... remain gripping onto every corner of our hearts that they can cling to. That's why the leaves on the tree of life are for the healing of the nations. Heaven is not a place for those of us who reached elite status. The thief on the cross will be there. Peter who we know was still battling racism and prejudice long after Jesus returned to heaven will be there. Elijah in his depressed and burned out condition was taken there. Complete healing is not required to go Home. What is required is the recognition that Jesus is our Hope and our Righteousness. He must become our Rock, our Strong Tower, our Shelter, our Light, our Bread, our Water, the Door, our Shepherd, our Everything. As it has been famously penned: "Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling."
We should allow Jesus to heal us as much as possible here and now but in that process we must never forget that our healing is a separate issue from our salvation. We are saints. Broken saints. Healing saints. Even quarreling saints.
Tomorrow we'll find out that although uncomfortable and often painful, quarreling can have a positive purpose. Who ever said healing was comfortable?