I am indebted to our dear brother Bill in Wheaton Il for drawing my attention to the second of the following extracts from Charles Coates’s Outlines. If we had more of the spirit of the overcomer in Philadelphia with us, we would, in brotherly love (‘Philadelphia’ means ‘brotherly love’), labour with one another so that we would be of one mind in Christ.
The first passage was one I alighted on myself whilst looking up the second.
1. Division among saints is the fruit of self-will.
Division among saints is the fruit of self-will. If no will is at work, brethren would never divide. If we are really brethren we shall never divide, but there are those among us who do oppose the truth, as we find in 2 Timothy 2:25. If they are not really bad they will be recovered by the servant “in meekness setting right those who oppose”. If there is nothing bad at the bottom of a man’s heart he will be recovered, but if self-will is working he may be allowed to go on and fall over the precipice.
CAC Vol 33 p 57
2. Brethren do not Divide
The word to the overcomer gives it all a bearing on the individual conscience. We must never allow our personal exercises to diminish even though we might be surrounded by most devoted and spiritual Christians.
Philadelphia is a beautiful name — it suggests a company bound together in brotherly love. If you get a company in accord with Christ because Christ is formed in them, that company must be bound together in love. Brethren do not divide; it is because people are not truly brethren that they divide; there is something else at work rather than divine love. If brethren could not agree about some matter of truth or discipline, they would say, ‘We do not see alike on this matter, but we must see alike, and we will pray until we do see alike’.
Everything for God hangs upon Christ, and if nothing had place with us but His word and His name, we should be wonderfully bound together. If our coming together today has the effect of bringing us in that direction it will be a blessed thing.
CAC Vol 33 p 450
Excerpts From: Charles Coates, “CAC 033 Volume 33 – Miscellaneous Ministry on the New Testament Thessalonians-Revelation.” – Downloadable from goodteaching.org