1 Corinthians 1:10-17 “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you. 12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one would say you were baptized in my name. 16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.”  NASB

Please understand that I am not saying we all must have exactly the same preferences in life or even in the church.  That would make us robots, not thinking beings.  However, it is vital that we all agree on the foundational principles and truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.  This is His Church; it is not based upon following some particular doctrinal views or personalities.  The message of the Church is Jesus and the Cross, not our pet doctrinal points. 

The Early Church had divisions, and those in authority and leadership, such as Paul, felt compelled to address those divisions and remind everyone that the message was Jesus, not personalities or sectarian doctrinal views or pursuits.  He pleaded for them to lay aside differences and become of ‘one mind’ and ‘one judgment.’  

It is incredibly easy to be swayed by personalities in life, and the church is no exception.  Some said, “I follow the teachings of Paul, or I follow Peter, and some said I’m a Christ follower.”  The latter statement is wonderful if it is not the type of thing that I have observed in the modern world of Christendom, where even the name of our organization, fellowship, sect, or church is divisive and suggestive that “Only We Have the Truth.”  Paul reminded them they were not and should not be baptized in his (Paul’s) name.  He had not been crucified for them, and Christ was not divided into various sects, groups, or camps that excluded others and divided believers.

Paul’s purpose and our purpose are to preach Christ, deliver the Gospel in word and deed, and in so doing, ensure that the Cross of Christ would not be made void.  Jesus said, “If I am lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me.”  That was a clear reference to the Cross, but it should also serve as a reminder that if we LIFT HIM UP in our lives and preach, the Holy Spirit will empower those lives and words to draw people to Jesus. 

When the world sees Christians divided, it is not impressed.  They are not impacted when we say, “I Love You,” yet bite and devour each other.   It is when we demonstrate unity, the commonness of purpose, commitment to our Lord Jesus, and an acceptance of each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.  In our dog-eat-dog world, that impacts them because they cannot understand that kind of unity and love.  It is other than what they know and is used to and tugs at their hearts.

God is sending a revival, renewal, and restoration to our world, and those who experience it will follow the directives of the Word of God and walk in Unity with Christ and Unity with Each Other.  We will cease to be a divided body but become a unified body.  As the Unified Body of Christ, we can impact the world.  As the Fragmented Body of Christ, we will turn the world off.  Which do you think is God’s desire?

God bless you as you embark on today’s leg of life’s journey.

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