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Previous: Biblicaal Authority.


August 31, 2014

L. John Bost
L. John Bost
In the First Chapter of 1 Corinthians Paul writes about a problem that he had gotten word of from a Christian there name Chloe. Please read 1 Corinthians 1:10-13. It was a serious enough problem that Paul pleaded with the brethren there to correct it.
What was the problem? They were not speaking the same thing! He writes in 1 Corinthians 1:10 (NKJV), "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing..." He concludes this sentence with the words, "that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." It's clear that they were not divided over what color to paint the church building, or who would teach the teen class. Their differences were in regard to their doctrine. There were differences among them in what they were teaching. So Paul pleads with them to teach the same thing.
So, in some of our Lord's final words before His death, he prayed that we all be one!
It was not just Paul's opinion that the Corinthian brethren be united in their teaching. No, it was "by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (by His authority)! So Jesus Christ requires us to teach the same thing! If we go back to Jesus' prayer just before his trial and crucifixion, we can see this in His own words. He prayed in John 17:22-23:
"And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
So, in some of our Lord's final words before His death, he prayed that we all be one!
Paul reflects the Lord's prayer in John 17:22-23 when he pleads with the Corinthian brethren "that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together" (1 Corinthians 1:10). He also does so with the Roman brethren when he urges them, "That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 15:6}.
Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 1:12, "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." This is an early form of denominationalism. The brethren were dived in to groups identified by the particular religious leader that they preferred. Paul rebukes this division with a series of rhetorical questions: "Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" (1 Corinthians 1:13). They were Christians, believers in Jesus Christ, saved by virtue of His crucifixion, baptized in His name, so they should not be divided! Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 3:5 that Paul and Apollos, and by implication, Cephas, were merely "ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man. Thus, he argues, all of the Lord's people should wear His name, and His name only!
Jesus prayed in John 17:23 that His people be one, "that the world may know that thou hast sent me." Today those who claim faith in Jesus Christ are divided into hundreds of denominations, wearing many different religious names, and teaching many conflicting doctrines. Can we really expect the world to believe that one God sent one savior to save the world when those who claim faith in Him exhibit such division?
The psalmist sings in Psalms 133:1, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" The churches of Christ plea is the same as that of the Apostle Paul, that all of those professing faith in Jesus Christ come together in that good and pleasant unity. Will you not join us in that effort?

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