In the Bible, the Greek word for sect is ‘hairesis’, which means: a choice, i.e. (specially) a party.  We would think of sects as divided groups inside a larger group.  In the Bible, we read of the ‘sect of the Sadducees’ (Acts 5:17), the ‘sect of the Pharisees’ (Acts 15:5), and the ‘sect of the Nazarenes’ (Acts 14:5).  Even though the Jews had the Word of God with instruction of who the Lord is and how to obey Him, there were still several groups or divisions of that Jewish religion.

What about sects today?  Does the Lord approve of His body, His church dividing themselves into different groups, thus denying the unity of the body of Christ?  I’m sure we all realize that He does not approve of this disheartening practice.  Ephesians 4:4 tells us clearly that there is “one body.”

Let’s read 1 Corinthians 1:11-13, “For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”  The Apostle recognized this tendency to divide ourselves into different groups, or sects, or denominations.  He gives us the reason for these divisions in 1 Corinthians 3:2-4, “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?”  It was carnality that caused these divisions among the believers at Corinth.  They were walking after the flesh and not after the Spirit.

Just like in Paul’s day, people today tend to be attracted to that which best appeals to them.  Divisions came into the church soon after its inception.  Today, we have so many different sects like the Methodists, the Wesleyans, the Baptists, the Lutherans, etc.  The Word of God CONDEMNS this practice.  The Lord says to us in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”  He desires that we simply come together in His name…as ONE.

Is it even possible today to end all the sects and the whole body of Christ come together as one?  This was the Lord Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-23, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be ONE; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be ONE in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be ONE, even as we are ONE: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in ONE; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”  The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:12, “For as the body is ONE, and hath many members, and all the members of that ONE body, being many, are ONE body: so also is Christ.”  The church, the body of Christ IS ONE, however, in practice it is divided into many sects.

Luke 1:37 teaches us, “For with God NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE.”  If all believers on the Lord Jesus Christ would simply sit at the Lord’s feet and learn from Him through His Word, we could be one!  If we all would depend upon the Lord to teach us His Word, laying aside all man-made teachings and practices, He would lead us to be one in a practical sense.  We read in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all SPEAK THE SAME THING, and that there be NO DIVISIONS among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the SAME MIND and in the SAME JUDGMENT.” The Lord wants His entire body to be of the same mind, saying the same things, thinking the same thoughts, and having no divisions, or sects.  (226.4)