VITAL SIGNS: God Desires Unity | 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 | Devotional
1 Corinthians 1:10-17
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. My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel-- not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
Division stinks. Disunity reeks. Disharmony has a putrid odor that pollutes the air. Disharmony happens in homes where the tension is so thick that you can cut it with a knife. Disunity shows in the workplace with toxic e-mails and text messages. Division is found on sports teams where strength is spent in the locker room instead of the playing field. And discord all too often is found in the community comprised of believers…the Body of Christ…the church. It is ugly to see. Its finger-nails-across-the-chalkboard sound makes people wince. It is cold to the touch. It leaves a bitter taste. And it smells horrible. Division disgusts the seeker, causes the unchurched to become antichurch, and turns the gathering of the godly into groups of gossipers.
Division was one of the reasons that Paul wrote to the church in Corinth. Instead of studying Scripture in their Sunday Schools, the Corinthians were quarreling about preferences. Their Small Groups had turned into Gripe Groups. Their lips sang about following the Lord; their actions proved they were following men. So Paul, in his normal let’s-not-beat-around-the-bush style, says, “Stop it!” His appeal is for “no divisions” among the saints. His petition is for perfect unity “in mind and thought.” His question, “Is Christ divided?” was a rhetorical interrogative aimed to get a resounding, “Absolutely not!”
One vital sign of a vibrant church is unity. With the enemy at the door, the postmodern culture accepting everything, and people believing anything that is packaged attractively and marketed effectively, there is no time to waste in fighting ourselves. The purpose of the church is to lift up Jesus or, as better said by the psalmist, “Let us exalt his name together” (Psalms 34:3).
Father, give me a heart of unity. Stop my words that divide and my actions aimed to hurt. Make me a unifier at home, work, in the community, and church, all for Your honor and glory. In Christ’s Name, Amen.