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Doctrine of Differences among Believers

September 6, 2014

DOCTRINE OF THE DIFFERENCES AMONG BELIEVERS

A. Definition and Description.
1. No two people are born equal. They have different talents, ability, mentality, circumstances, genes, and environment.
2. After the new birth, we still have different gifts or spiritual status. Therefore, all of us are still different.
3. It is impossible to make people equal. We have equal rights to advance under freedom as far as we can go. But there will always be someone who is prettier, stronger, smarter, etc.
4. The only basis for equality is to have everyone be zombies. The worst thing a society can do is to lower itself to the lowest common denominator, so as not to make the weirdoes feel weird. Christian weirdoes call this Christian love.
5. You are to stay within your own standards. Never depart from your personal standards to make someone else feel better.
6. There is no law of love where standards are concerned. We must have different standards and are entitled to our different standards as long as we don’t violate the law.
7. You are not inferior because your standards aren’t as high as someone else’s. Being inferior or superior is not the issue.
8. The differences between us are our spiritual gifts, which are provided by the Lord. The pastor has authority but isn’t better than anyone else.
9. All healthy nations have different people with different standards. This means competition, prosperity, influence, and a lot of normal things in life.
10. Stamping everyone from the same mold is anti‑God, and is what fundamentalist Christians are doing today. Some believers are closer to maturity than others; therefore, we cannot all be or act alike.
11. Only arrogant people want to be equal. If you are free from arrogance you don’t care if there are people better than you; you’re delighted for them. And you don’t gloat over those who are inferior to you. You don’t need to prove you are inferior or superior to anyone else.

B. Differences in Spiritual Status.
1. The absolute status says that you are either in fellowship or out of fellowship. Believers are different because some use rebound and some do not. Some sin more frequently than others.
2. The relative status says that no two believers have the same stage of spiritual growth. Positive or negative volition to Bible doctrine determines these differences.

C. Differences in the Function of the Old Sin Nature. Believers have different areas of weakness or strength in the trends of their old sin nature. There are different kinds of human good trends. There are different areas of overt sinning. We are different, yet we are told to “love” one another. You do this by starting with a relaxed mental attitude toward all.

D. Differences in Spiritual Gifts. At salvation, each believer has a spiritual gift, but the spiritual gifts are all different. Certain gifts no longer exist, such as tongues, healing, and miracles. The gift we have determines how much authority we have or lack of it. Your spiritual gift automatically functions at a certain point in your spiritual growth. It doesn’t function if you’re not growing spiritually.

E. Differences in the Imputation of Blessings for Time and Eternity.
1. The imputation of divine blessing in time depends on maximum Bible doctrine in the soul. So it depends on your attitude toward doctrine.
2. We all have equal opportunity, because we have the imputation of God’s perfect righteousness and logistical grace.
3. There are six categories of blessings (see the Doctrine of Escrow Blessings), and variations exist in each of these. They are tailor-made for each individual. Spiritual blessings are uniform, but the others vary greatly. All mature believers get dying grace in different ways.
4. As long as our relationship with the Lord is right, we don’t have to worry about what our temporal blessings are going to be because the Lord will give us the best blessings compatible with our perfect happiness. You may be poor all your life in maturity because God blesses you with different things.
5. There is no such thing as equality. Two people can be occupied with Christ and still not be equal. Yet God knows best how to bless each one.
6. There are greater differences among believers than there are among unbelievers. This is the basis for being content and getting adjusted to reality. Differences are always there, so you simply adjust to the reality of the situation and don’t crack up because others are better off.

F. Other Differences.
1. No two believers have the same set of circumstances in life. You should be able to look at anyone else’s life and say, “I have what God wants for me and I am delighted with it.”
2. Never envy other believers because their circumstances appear to be better. God assigns circumstances. Don’t fight it. It will make you subjective all of your life.
3. Never be discontent. Jealousy is a vicious counterpart to arrogance.
4. You are allowed to improve your own barnyard and to maintain your momentum. This will keep you objective all through your life.
5. People are constantly motivated by envy and think, “I should have more than they do.” Be content with what you have!
6. No two believers have the same amount of time between salvation and death. God gives you enough time regardless of how healthy or unhealthy you try to stay.