According to Galatians 5, factions are a deed of the flesh. They are not, therefore, a fruit of the spirit. Thus you can know that churches today are not of the spirit but rather of the flesh.
The flesh has to do with the world that can be seen, of course, while the spirit embraces the heavenly dimension that we cannot see.
It is clear that today’s church, having factions, is “of the flesh.” There are thousands upon thousands of denominations of Christianity. The number of these factions is almost uncountable. More fundamentally, however, today’s church in total is itself a faction because it separates itself from society at large. To make matters worse, today’s church considers itself holy while it considers society at large unholy.
Some will argue that the church of the New Testament separated itself from society at large and it was called holy. This is true, but that was before the kingdom of God came which removed all distinctions between Jew and Gentile in its complete renewal of creation. The New Testament church longed for and looked for the kingdom which is now ours to enter. God’s kingdom came at the end of the apostolic age and has been available to all humanity every since. The church of the New Testament was privileged just as ancient Israel was privileged, but in the better covenant of the kingdom of God, all nations receive the privileges. As evidence of the difference, remember that the apostles would not allow the church to be divided under their watch; once they were gone and the kingdom had come, the church has never stopped dividing. The New Testament church – which can also be called the apostolic church – was truly an organism created and sustained by God. The church (or churches) since are, by contrast, institutions of man.
Consider the united church during New Testament days and the divided church ever since. Doesn’t that indicate to you that a profound change took place between those two time periods? What else could account for it save the coming of the Lord in His kingdom which the New Testament had prophesied. It even prophesied the falling away of the church in the last days of the apostles that would birth the divisions. That “falling away from the Lord” still animates the church today.
When the perfect came, the partial was to be done away – the partial would simply become a faction. Indeed, that’s what the church after the apostles became and thus it has remained down to our day. Let us abandon all factions for they are a deed of the flesh. Walk in the spirit and be one with your brother and sister human beings. There is but one family of God.