So what are you? Can you define it? That is the challenge.
Take for instance sola gratia. Do you believe in salvation by grace alone?
If you say yes, you have distinquished yourself. You are saying that you are a Protestant and not Roman Catholic. That is not the end of the matter though, for Protestants are not in agreement as to what grace is.
So what is grace? Is it all that is necessary for salvation? Is it the ability to choose to repent and believe in Christ, or is it the ability to choose one of two choices? If you said the latter, then you have not defined grace as those who would say the first. So which is Protestant?
Grace can be a distinquishing characteristic of the label that you wear. It makes a difference then, even if you call yourself a Protestant, what you define that to mean. Are you a Protestant who believes that grace is your choice of Christ or not-Christ, a Protestant Plus Choice person. Or are you of the school that says you don’t have a choice between two alternatives, but rather grace is that which grants not merely the ability to choose but the right choice and the only choice which will be chosen.
Now not to get to technical, but the Protestant Plus Choice person is not much different than a Roman Catholic, in that, it is the act of making the choice which brings one into a righteous state of grace. The Protestant position is that it is grace which brings one into a state of righteousness- not the choosing. The former leaves one in a state of fallenness having to do something to merit the grace which gains righteousness which can save. The latter places a person in a state of righteousness providing the whole of the matter of salvation beginning to end; it is not in the choosers control but upholds the Scripture in that salvation is of God by grace.
So it is not in the label where the division resides, but the definition of it.
Defining ones beliefs is critical and Paul was not saying that it is wrong to be of Paul, or of Cephas, or of Apollos anymore than he was saying that it is wrong to be of Christ. What he was saying is that the message, no matter the label, that defines someone as either being in Christ or not. Christ is not divided. To say one is of Paul, if what one means is what Paul taught of Christ, is not wrong. Paul’s teaching is that no one should go beyond what is written. It is what is written that defines what one is. Using labels, rightly defined, is not wrong. We use labels as short hand. But to have a cogent conversation we must use the same definitions for those labels or we cannot understand one another.
To say that one believes in grace is ambiguous until it is defined. When it is defined, it is then, and only then that division becomes elemental. And rightly so. For it is not division that is wrong, for Christ said “I have not come to send peace but a sword to cause division.” It is claiming that there can be competing definitions that can both stand as equals that is wrong. Christ is not divided so neither is the definition of sola gratia. It cannot mean both that grace is up to you to do something to obtain salvation, and that it is grace that does everything, at the same time. The grace which saves is all of God, beginning to end and that in Christ the author (beginner) and perfecter (finisher) of our faith. To say that the grace which is given does not include the faith which choses only Christ is to define grace in a way that the Bible knows nothing of for faith is sure and certain, not a matter of choice. It also defines Jesus as someone different than the author of Hebrews does. To say that we have been given faith by grace is to say we have been given the only choice we will make. It is to say that we have been given the author and the perfecter of our faith.
The video is quite correct. Regardless of the position one takes it can become a matter of pride and that neutralizes all definitions for that divides Christ. On the other hand, as the video points out, there is no other way for there to be unity in the faith than to reprove, rebuke and correct according to Scriptural usage. And that requires definitions… and they require labels.