KEY VERSE FOR MEMORIZATION
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
The city of Corinth was one of the most prosperous Greek cities in Paul’s time. In this wicked society, Paul and his contemporaries planted a church. While there were some Jewish believers in the church, it was made up mostly of Gentiles with a pagan background.
The Apostle Paul had labored diligently in the city of Corinth, but after his departure, many problems surfaced, and division spread in the church. Soon, reports of these problems came to Paul, and a delegation of Corinthians brought a letter from the church requesting his guidance on a number of issues. Paul’s first letter, comprised of basic instructions to the church, was a response to those questions.
Paul was writing to a church in which some members were not doing as well as others spiritually. Possibly, some in attendance had not yet been converted. Some were saved but not yet sanctified. Others were sanctified but not yet filled with the Holy Ghost. Others had all three foundational spiritual experiences, yet were unwise in their use of the Spirit-endowed gifts they possessed. Paul’s goal was to point all of them to higher ground. Today, too, we have the same goal every time we hold a church service. Some comments may be directed to sinners, but that does not mean everyone in the meeting is a sinner. The spiritual level of those in the audience is varied, and so it was in the Corinthian church.
Paul began his epistle by addressing the need for unity and exhorting those in the church to resolve their differences. He reminded his readers that the Cross of Jesus Christ must be the foundation of His Church, and he asked them, “Is Christ divided?” He passionately encouraged the Corinthians to reconcile — to lay aside their selfish desires and personal preferences, and “grow up” in the faith.
Satan, the enemy of the Church, has not disappeared. He still would like to cause divisions within the church body. Like the Corinthians, we are called to live in peace with other believers. As Paul knew, unity is critical in a successfully functioning church!
There is a big difference between knowing the Gospel and living the Gospel, and part of “living it” is getting along in peace and love with our fellow believers. Let us do our part to build unity in the Body of Christ!