1 Corinthians 1
The battle for unity within the church is always a battle. No one drifts into unity. It must be sought after and maintained. Never assume it’s automatic because it is a church or because people claim to be believers. Yet, there’s hope for unity because of those things.
Paul’s intro unites the church in Corinth with everyone who calls on the name of *our Lord and *their Lord (that’s some impressive writing)!
Paul begins his address by giving thanks for the grace that God had given them. That grace had made them rich, not monetarily, but in speech and all knowledge.
Paul affirms God’s work of grace in them and affirms their assurance because of this grace. Notice this: (the NASB is more accurate here) 1 Corinthians 1:6, 8 “even as the testimony concerning Christ was *confirmed in you…who will also *confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” From the second you believe to your last breathe, you are his and will be confirmed TO THE END!
That doesn’t mean they never need correcting. Indeed, the warnings and corrections are the means by which the Lord sees to it that they are confirmed to the end! Evidence of grace never nullifies exhortation. In fact, it is the very reason and hope of correction.
Now a word about unity. Unity doesn’t mean uniformity. What I mean is this, we are all united in and in union with Jesus Christ through the gospel. However, we are all different. God has made the world to be diverse. Not every tree or animal or plant or human being is the same. God loves diversity and we should too. But God hates disunity.
Disunity in Corinth was uniting one’s self with one particular teacher that had helped teach them. We are all prone towards different groups within the church. It’s extremely rare that we can be best friends with everyone. I don’t think that’s necessary. But we are called to have the same mind and judgment when it comes to gospel of Christ!
These groups can come about by…well I have this study Bible or I listen to this podcast or I like this preacher or my theology is this or that. Do not rally around a preacher but around Jesus and gospel. I’m not dismissing theology. But what unites us is this: 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit-just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call-
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. – Ephesians 4:2-6
Be very eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit!