Summary: One of the root causes of an ineffective fellowship is the spirit of division
No Division in the Fellowship
I Corinthians 1: 10
Perhaps the primary reason the church is ineffective is because we take our cues from some place other that the word of God
Most often we look like something other than the church of God
We live in a cutthroat environment and it has filtered into the church and may be the source of division
The first question that we should ask is who is my brother?
We are all brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus
That is clear from the previous verses
We have all received the grace of God
We do not lack any spiritual gifts
We all have gifts that are useful to the body of Christ
The source of the division according to Paul is that we are not in agreement
When he says that they are to agree with one another what he is saying is that they should say the same thing
Say the same thing
So the key to unity is speaking the same thing
Does that mean you can’t think for yourself?
Does that mean you can’t have an opinion?
No, but when it comes to matters of the kingdom there is one guide, the word of God.
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
The primary or root cause is the misunderstanding of the truth of God or being willfully ignorant of that truth.
For instance sometimes when it comes to the hard truth of scripture it is easy to misunderstand
Is it for that day or culture, or is it applicable today
Example: women keeping silent in the church
But on the other hand it’s not hard to understand turning the other cheek
It is just a matter of doing it
But then there is the other problem of refusing to study the revealed word of God which leads to ignorance and confusion
It is in these cases that there are problems, what people believe are their own opinions
The result is a combination of mindsets which lead to division
Although this sounds like a minor deal, mindsets translate into behavior
That’s why Paul told Timothy to Study so that we could rightly handle the word of God
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2Ti 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
So Paul tells the church at Corinth to agree with one another or say the same thing.
Think Christian not black or white or what is politically correct or culturally correct or any other thing
Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Gal 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself
Php 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
When the frame of reference is the word of God we think the same thing and say the same thing
The goal is perfect unity in mind and thought
What is the basis for our agreement as members of the fellowship of Christ?
What is the mind of Christ that we should fit into our thinking?
a. The preacher should not be the criterion for faith and fellowship, it should be Christ alone
Paul mentions two main things crucifixion and baptism
He raises baptism because it is important; it is one of the ordinances of the church
But the cross is superior because it is the common denominator
We all meet at the cross
Paul adds I didn’t come to preach baptism but the cross
The cross is the focal point, the means of redemption of the human soul
It is through the blood of the cross that we have the forgiveness of sin
This is the basis of our oneness
We are brothers and sisters as a result of the cross
We who have gone to the cross to obtain our redemption are brothers and sisters
This is our common bond
Gal 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus
Here are two questions that we need to ask ourselves