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  • Writer's pictureGODVERSITY

Undivided Under Christ

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. — 1 Corinthians 1:10

Paul laid a firm foundation for his letter in two things. First, he had zero doubts that the Christians in Corinth were truly saved, born-again believers, completely secure in Christ forever. Paul will not look at their sin and wrong thinking and challenge their salvation. Second, Paul has grounded their security in Christ Himself. He mentions the name of Christ here for the tenth time in the first ten verses. The Corinthians are accepted, because they are in Christ, and for no other reason.

In the previous verse, Paul wrote these believers have been called, each of them, into the fellowship of Christ. That requires, as people in Christ, they be in fellowship with each other. Now Paul comes to the first of many problems among the church in Corinth. Instead of being united because they are all in Christ, the Corinthians are divided.

Paul urges them in the name of Christ to agree with each other. He sets a high expectation for this church, and all Christian churches: zero divisions. Because each of them is in Christ, Paul insists that they can live in unity. This unity can, and must, reach the level of cooperative thinking and judgment on matters of critical importance.

Here, as in other passages (Romans 14), Paul will clarify: he is not demanding everyone in the church agree with whomever is in charge. Nor is he teaching that believers can never disagree about something. The standard here is not to reach perfect conformity, only that they must reach unity. Disagreement does not have to mean division.

Paul is setting up Christ as the standard for every thought and judgment. As every person conforms to Christ, they will come into alignment with each other. Differences of opinion will be secondary to fundamental agreement and brotherhood, through Christ. When Christians set up mere human beings as their standard, division is always the result, as the following verses will show.

If people in our congregations are ever going to get along, the leaders of those churches must remind us of how important it is to preach the crux of the story of Salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus' dying prayer was that we would be one. Why? So the world would know that the Father had sent him. Unity is not just important, it is essential; not just as a theory or theology, but as a daily practice among the people who claim Jesus as Lord.

SUMMARY: Paul's letter to the Christians in Corinth begins with thanks for the great and powerful gifts God has given to them by His grace and through their faith in Christ. They will stand blameless before God in the end. Right now, though, they must stop dividing themselves according to which Christian teacher they follow and become unified in and around Christ. The gospel message of Christ's death on the cross is weak and foolish to the world, but God has given faith in Christ to those who believe it and find God's power and wisdom.

PLEASE PRAY WITH ME: Lord Jesus, you have presented all of my prayers to our Father and I thank you for this grace. I promise that I will do all I can to bring glory of our Father, to live at peace and to serve in unity with those who belong to you. Please bless our church family with more passion for the unity that you desire. In Jesus' name and through the blessed Holy Spirit I pray. AMEN.



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