1Co 1:10-13 “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. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”
Seeing that God has called us unto the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ (1Co 1:12), we should walk in that fellowship. This was apparently not the case with the Corinthians at the time of Paul’s writing, nor is it always the case with us today. Paul implored them by the authority and character (name) of Jesus Christ to be of one mind in their fellowship. Do not lose sight of the fact that Paul is speaking to them as brothers even though there was a problem.
We should always be concerned when there is a division in the local body as there was in the church at Corinth. Notice that it is not a doctrinal or practical point that Paul first addresses. He is not telling these brethren that they will (or should) understand every scripture in exactly the same manner; even as we realize today that we do not all understand every scripture the same way. We can disagree on some points and still walk as brethren and be at peace.
This division was of a deeper, more fundamental issue. In this there can be no division in the church. The grace of God is given to us by Jesus Christ; not our parents, not the pastor, not our close friends. Jesus is the only source. Our understanding, our teaching, along with every spiritual gift is ours by the testimony of Jesus Christ confirmed in us.
His word teaches us that the husband and the wife are one flesh. If we then are the Bride of Christ, we cannot have any other as the source of our strength, our hope, or our understanding. If we have such division among us as to look to any other as our source for all good things, then we are in fact guilty of adultery. When we are steadfastly fixed on Christ and He alone, then there is no division even if we do not always agree. My wife and I may not always agree on where to go eat a meal, but that does not mean there is a rift between us.
In our hope and confidence of Jesus Christ, we must be of the same mind and the same judgement. We are to be thoroughly framed together in this that He is all in all. Our parents and grandparents did not call us. No preacher has called us. The neighbors have not called us. We are not called by some televangelist. Only when we lose sight of the sovereignty of God do we have real contention in the body.
Christ is not divided. He has not taught that He is all sufficient on one hand and then left any portion of our salvation in the hands of men on the other. Only Jesus has ever been crucified for us. Only Jesus has ever become sin for us. Only Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and the Resurrection!
May God grant that there never be division among us in where we look for our salvation, our strength, and our hope!