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"YOU ARE ALL BROTHERS"

FITLY UNITED in the SAME MIND

1st Corinthians

August 16, 2012

 

 

“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

– 1 Corinthians 1:10

 

     In his first letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul gave counsel to a congregation situated in the midst of controversy.  In Corinth dwelt people of various races and religious backgrounds, including Jews and Greeks.  The Jews were known for their righteousness as to law and their religious superstitions; whereas the Greeks were known for their centers of learning, worship of various idols and licentious practices. 

 

     Corinth was a metropolis and a city of strategic commercial importance, but it was also a city of very low morals.  The debauchery and intellectual sophistry was finding its way into the Corinthian congregation and was clashing with the superstitious and legalistic Jewish mind-set, causing divisions.  How would this new Christian congregation survive in the midst of such conflicting views on God, on behavior, and on life?  

 

     The secret to its success would lie in the words written above by Paul – ‘that they be that all of you agree with one another.’  His counsel is as timely today as it was in the first century.  Even those of us who do not live in a metropolis are exposed to similar diversity and similar moral challenges, if not in person, then by way of television, internet and other forms of media.  Thus, modern day sons of God need to apply Paul’s counsel with even greater intensity because we exist in an even more divided community of believers.  As Jesus told the scribes of his day:

 

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” 

– Mark 3:24-25

 

     The failure of Christianity to “all of you agree ” and be a brotherhood of sons of God is the major reason why the good news of the Kingdom of God is not more readily sought after by the world.  And it is also a major reason why the ‘enemies of religion’ are gaining a stronghold – some boldly and brazenly assaulting, attacking, even killing our brothers in the faith.  

 

     Let us turn our attention to Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, first to understand the letter, and second to apply it by becoming “fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.”

 

Report of Divisions

 

     At the time Paul penned this letter, he was residing in Ephesus. (1 Corinthians 16:8) But he received word from Corinth that a problem was brewing:

 

“My brothers and sisters, 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 in the name of Paul?” 

– 1 Corinthians 1:11-13 

 

    The early apostles and disciples of Christ took their ministry very seriously. They spread out from Jerusalem preaching and teaching about the Kingdom of God and making more disciples. Those teachers and leading men spent time caring for those who responded to the message, and those who responded developed a deep respect for their teachers, some becoming attached, even dependent on those men.

 

     Though many of them were able teachers, none was as proficient or knowledgeable as the Christ.  Thus, they could not convey all the different facets of the diverse Kingdom message and yet maintain its oneness as thoroughly as did Jesus.  Instead, each focused on what they were able to grasp and what they appreciated most, and their listeners latched onto that facet of the message.  As a result, apparent divisions arose, giving rise to Paul’s counsel.

 

     As noted above, Paul’s first directive was for the Corinthians to put matters into perspective.  Not one of their leading teachers – not Apollos, not Cephas (Peter), not even Paul himself – was impaled for them, and none of those disciples were baptized into the name of any of their leaders.  All were baptized into Christ, thus all belonged to Christ.  

 

     To those who claimed Paul as their ‘owner,’ Paul emphasized that he wanted no part of that distinction, telling them he hardly baptized anyone!  He told them that preaching and teaching was his primary mission, and that he was not even a baptizer:

 

“I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so no one can say that you were baptized in 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 wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

– 1 Corinthians 1:14-17 

 

     But he readily recognized that the divisions had sprung up because of the Greek influence of intellectual sophistry and the Jewish influence of legalism:

 

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” 

– 1 Corinthians 1:18-21

 

     Paul’s reference to ‘the cross’ is not limited to the context of Jesus death.  But it also includes our ongoing baptism into Christ’s death and the need to live our lives and worship the Father as he did.  Notice how Jesus described it and how Paul used the phrase in other letters:

 

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” 

– Mark 8:34-35

 

“Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

- Galatians 6:12-14

 

“By setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” 

- Ephesians 2:15-16

 

     So Paul is telling the Corinthians to focus on the ‘cross’ – the Christ-like lifestyle – and not be influenced by seeming intellectuals or be drawn into debates based on worldly wisdom.  Such debates lead nowhere; whereas the simple message of accepting our torture stake and following Christ will save us.  He goes on:

 

“Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”

– 1 Corinthians 1:22-25

 

     The Jews, being a superstitious religious people, were looking for signs and miracles and portents in order to believe in the ‘Christ crucified’; the Greeks, being intellectuals, were looking for great philosophical utterances. Because there were no signs given, the Jews were stumbled; because no great sophistry was heard, the Greeks dismissed the message as foolishness.   However, “to those whom God has called,” they are to accept the message of Christ based on the  wise, powerful and exemplary life Christ led. Indeed, looking to the Christ is stronger than any miracle and any wisdom originating with man.

 

     Yet it appears that the Corinthians brothers were trying to conform the Christian message so as to appear intellectual to the Greeks and miraculous to the Jews; and it is likely that this effort was the source of the divisions.  Paul wanted those brothers to know that they did not need to make those compromises.  Though they may not be as wise as the Greeks, or so versed in the Jewish laws of rituals and superstitions, their faith in Christ was sufficient for salvation:

 

“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are.” 

– 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 

 

     Paul is not telling them that God purposed to shame and embarrass people who are wise in a worldly way.  He is telling them the Father recognizes how difficult it is for men who put faith in their mental prowess to accept the simple message of salvation.  But if the so-called foolish ones could take hold of the Kingdom message and demonstrate the wisdom of God, the so-called wise ones might humble themselves and see the futility of their fleshly thinking.  And there was another reason:

 

“So that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.  Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 

– 1 Corinthians 1:29-31

 

     The Father wants us to rely on Him and not our own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5) When we think too much of our own wisdom, we block the reception of the wisdom from above because there is no room for it. Brothers, there is so much we do not know.  But as long as we remain conscious of our spiritual need – our hunger for spiritual understanding – (Matthew 5:3) we will be allowing place and opportunity for the Father’s wisdom to reside.

 

The Humility of the Spiritual Man

 

     Paul set a fine example of humility with respect to understanding and teaching spiritual things:

 

“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”

– 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

 

     In preaching and teaching about the Christ, Paul did not resort to or rely upon authorities of men.  He did not consult with the Greek philosophers or the Jewish scribes, nor did he use such ‘authorities’ as the foundation for the Kingdom message.  He relied upon the life and teachings of Jesus himself, and on the power granted by God and dispensed by Jesus – the Spirit of Truth.  The reason he limited his sources to the Father and the Christ is so those who listended to him would not become followers of men.  That error is the very reason why divisions existed and were developing in the Corinthian congregation.  He continues:

 

“We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No,we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”

 1 Corinthians 2:6-10

 

     Again, Paul was not teaching theories of men; he was teaching the ‘sacred secret’ that the Father revealed through Christ.  (See Hold Fast to the Sacred Secret and Foreordained from the Founding of the World for a further discussion of the Sacred Secret.)   And he attempts to sober up his readers when he says that he is speaking to those ‘among the mature.’  The spirit is revealing matters that are found only through a search into the ‘deep things of God.’  Spiritual babes cannot receive or comprehend those things.  So prepare yourselves, brothers.  Paul is about to show you how to understand the ‘deep things of God.’  

 

“For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.”

– 1 Corinthians 2:11-12

 

     First, Paul illustrates why human wisdom alone cannot comprehend spiritual matters. He explains that no one can tell you who you are or what you know unless you reveal it to them.  No amount of calculating, deducing, reasoning or meditating will allow another man to know you so intimately unless you openly tell them about yourself.  It is the same way with spiritual matters.  Because spiritual matters originate with the Father, who is a Spirit (John 4:24), the only way we can come to know them is if the Spirit of the Father reveals it.  Jesus’ life and teachings are that revelation.  

 

     Next, Paul reveals the methodology of understanding the ‘deep things of God:’

 

“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.”

– 1 Corinthians 2:13

 

    What did Paul mean when he said to “combine spiritual matters with spiritual words?”  We believe the phrase carries the meaning that we are to build our spiritual understanding on the foundation of spiritual words – those words taught by the Father, through Jesus, and confirmed by the Spirit of Truth.  In other words, the foundation and the source of all spiritual understanding is the spiritual life of Jesus; and we build on that foundation with spiritual words and spiritual ideals.  This is made more clear in the following verses:

 

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 

– 1 Corinthians 2:14 

 

    Here, Paul refers to the physical man, just man in his natural form.  A man who gets up, goes to work, eats meals, enjoys his family and friends, and engages in various entertaining pursuits.  Just a typical person, living a typical life, not necessarily bad, just physical – without spiritual conviction.  A physical man is not an uncommon man.  In fact, he is the most common type of man.  We see physical men and women everywhere we go.  We might even see one in the mirror.  

 

     Paul says that such a person cannot get to know spiritual things because he does not have the capacity to examine them properly.  A physical man trusts only what his five senses can perceive.  If he can’t see it, hear it, taste it, smell it, or feel it, it simply isn’t real to him.  It’s foolishness to him.  

 

     But spiritual things are not subject to that kind of testing.  You cannot hear faith; you cannot touch love; you cannot taste or smell any of the fruits of the spirit; and you cannot see God.  Thus any endeavor to examine spiritual things by physical methods will lead a person to conclude that spiritual things are not real – that they are foolishness.  But as Paul said, spiritual things are examined spiritually.  So how do we examine things spiritually?  

 

     One thing we know about a spiritual examination is that it is different from a physical examination.  In other words, whereas a physical examination requires the use of the five senses, a spiritual examination does not.  A physical examination can only take you so far because it is dependent on there being tangible things to examine.  A spiritual examination begins where a physical examination leaves off because it is not examining tangible things at all.  

 

     An illustration might better explain the difference.  A physical examination looks at the art; a spiritual examination looks at the artist.  A physical examination looks at the science; a spiritual examination looks at the scientist.  A physical examination looks at the building; a spiritual examination looks at the builder.  In each instance, the physical examination looks only to the results; whereas the spiritual examination looks to the source, the meaning, the value.  That is why Paul could say in the next verse:

 

“The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

–  1 Corinthians 2:15-16

 

     The mature person who learns to examine things spiritually has joined himself to the Father’s spirit by putting on the mind of Christ – the mind that unites us “in the same line of thought.”  Thus, the spiritual man cannot be rightly comprehended by way of any physical method, any more than a physical man could comprehend Jesus.  

 

Spiritually Examining Divisions

 

     Having identified what a spiritual person is, and having explained how spiritual people are to view and examine things, Paul returns to his counsel to the Corinthians about divisions so as to allow them an opportunity to revisit their divisions, this time with a spiritual eye: 

 

“Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?”

– 1 Corinthians 3:1-4

 

     Up until this point, Paul could not effectively counsel them or help them to understand that their inability to see beyond the flesh, and comprehend the spirit behind Jesus’ teachings, is the source of the divisions.  He had to first explain how the spirit works and give them a new paradigm from which to look at life.  Having brought them to the precipice of a spiritual understanding, he could give his counsel:

 

“What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe —as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.  For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 

– 1 Corinthians 3:5-9

 

     Here, Paul makes his point – that we do not belong to anyone but the Father.  Their divisions, and our divisions, are illusions based on fleshly, human reasoning.  He continues:

 

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,  their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.  If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.  If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved —even though only as one escaping through the flames.” 

– 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

 

     Here, Paul is explaining that there is no need to condemn the works of our brothers.  We are simply building with different materials – different doctrines and modes of behavior.  While these ‘materials’ may be destroyed by the tribulations of life, and their value revealed as valueless, if we keep our hearts – our spiritual lives – focused on the Father, we will still be saved though our works destroyed.  Do we understand what Paul is telling us?  

 

     The important thing is not doctrine, but worship.  Remember, the Father is looking for those who will worship Him with spirit and truth (John 4:23), not works and facts!  Paul wanted the Corinthians to know their personal value to God regardless of which ‘fellow worker’ led them to the Father: 

 

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”

– 1 Corinthians 3:16-17   

 

     He did not want us to be deceived into thinking that one association is better than another. 

 

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” 

– 1 Corinthians 3:16-23 

 

     All talk boasting about the superiority of our association – belonging to Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or Baptist, Catholic or Jehovah’s Witness – is foolishness to the Father.  As sons of God, all things belong to us, and nothing, “not the world or life or death or things now here or things to come,” can change that.  

 

     Paul counseled them not to belittle themselves by engaging in petty squabbles over facts, but to rejoice in the truth.  There is a huge difference!  (Please see our article Worshiping with Spirit and Truth.)  Paul did not concern himself with such trivial matters; instead, he left all such judging to the Father.

 

“This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.  Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” 

–1 Corinthians 4:1-5

 

     Paul used himself and Apollos as examples of spiritual men who remained in the teachings of the Christ.  He did not want them to get caught up in personal interpretations that ‘go beyond what is written’ so as to show one’s teachings as superior to the teachings of others:

 

“Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”

– 1 Corinthians 4:6-7

 

     He reminded them that no one has been appointed as king with authority to rule over God’s people, not even the apostles.  For if such an appointment had been made, then all of us would be ruling as kings as well:

 

“Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you! For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.” 

– 1 Corinthians 4:8-9

 

     Rather than being ‘shepherds of God’s flock’ (1 Peter 5:2-3), Paul, partly sarcastically, explained that those taking the lead as ‘fellow workers with God’ should be modest servants.  

 

“We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.” 

– 1 Corinthians 4:10-13

 

Concluding Counsel

 

     Paul took the time to counsel the Corinthian brothers in this way because he had a deep and sincere love for them, as a father remembering that he was dealing with spiritual babes:

 

“I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.” 

– 1 Corinthians 4:14-17

 

     His reference to himself as their “father through the good news” was not an attempt to usurp or interfere in their relationship with the Father of All.  Instead, he was allowing himself to serve as an example of a spiritual man.  Sometimes we cannot fully comprehend counsel given only in speech.  Sometimes we need to see it in action.

 

     Paul let them know that he would be coming to see them face to face soon, and that the visit could be a loving and mild fellowship or one accompanied by discipline should they not heed the written counsel:

 

“Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you.  But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have.  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?” 

– 1 Corinthians 4:18-21

 

     Apparently, Paul was a bit of a firecracker!   Having set the brothers straight as to the divisions that they allowed to spring up, he now turned his attention to the other reports he received about their conduct.  The following chapters of this first letter address ways to combat the influence of the Greeks and strengthen their families and the congregation.(1 Corinthians 5:1-12:3)  However, in chapter 12, he returns to the matter of unity.

 

     Here, Paul explains that not all Christians have the same gift.  There are a variety of ministries, yet they are all one because it is the same spirit that is operating in all of them:

 

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” 

– 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

 

     These various operations of spirit are evidence of the diversity in the Kingdom message and of how our brothers, though manifesting the spirit in different ways, are all united in the one body of Christ.

 

     It should not need to be said to spiritual people, but we will say that it is clear that when Paul is speaking of the united work of the spirit, he is referring to our brothers who are whole soul dedicated to the Father and to the Christ.  Those who are not spiritual men and women are not being led by the spirit. (Romans 8:14) But the solution for such ones is not a doctrinal correction, but rather a spiritual correction.  They need to understand their sonship with the Father, and our Father and the Christ will take care of the rest.

 

     Paul goes on to expound on our diverse unity in the remaining verses in chapter 12.  And he rounds out this letter with further uplifting counsel.  We encourage you to read the remaining chapters of this first letter, chapters 13 - 16. The message we wanted to share in this 21st century is the need for Christian unity.  Spiritual men and women should not let facts divides us, but we should let the truth unite us.

 

     We learned from this letter that where the physical man sees divisions; the spiritual man sees unity.  And when the physical man looks at Apollos, Paul, Cephas, he sees divisions; whereas the spiritual man sees only sons of God and disciples of Christ. 

 

     We also learn that the things that appear to divide us – the things we build upon the foundation of Christ – will work themselves out.  We do not need to condemn our brothers because they are using ‘building materials’ that differ from our own.  Again, Paul is encouraging unity, not uniformity.  Racial, national, and social minds may differ, but all mankind is indwelt by the same divine and eternal spirit.  

 

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” 

– 1 Corinthians 3:16

 

     It is this commonality of spirit that unites us; and it is greater than anything that divides us – if we allow it to work on our behalf.  We will be able to ‘speak in agreement’ if we focus on the weightier spiritual matters instead of the things that can be examined physically.  

 

   We pray that Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians moves all of our brothers of whatever faith to allow the spirit to operate on their associations and unite us all so that a greater witness can be given to those who have not found the Christ for themselves.  

 

   We encourage our Christian brothers of differing associations to reach out to one another, if only to share a Christian greeting. And if the depth of our love allows, embrace one another and engage in a spiritual interchange with a view to finding our commonalities rather than drawing fictitious lines in the sand.  Unless, of course, this sounds like foolishness to you.

 

    And may we all take Paul’s counsel to be ‘perfectly united in mind and thought– the mind of the Christ – and in the same line of thought – spiritual thoughts – all to the Father’s praise.  Amen.

 

    We welcome your comments.

 

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