Summary: In order to stay unified, we are to relate to each other the way we relate to Jesus, and in our relationships, be like Jesus.
Canadian & American Worms Joke
My experience in church life can be like that, but often times it is more that the worms are crawling over one another to get on top! It is amazing that in the smallest churches that I’ve been involved in, there are at least a few people trying to push themselves to the front – to be in charge, to get the glory.
Most church splits get couched in theological terms, or the arguments are based on the practice of the church, but in the end they are usually really about who is in charge – who gets their way, who gets the glory.
I have to admit, that that is not my experience here
In the last passage, Paul mentions that when we are in adversity – or opposition, we need to stand in unity. I didn’t spend much time on that point, because I knew that he was going to expand on it in chapter 2.
Motivation for keeping unified
Remember where you came from
26 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. 27 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.– 1 Corinthians 1:26-27
Remember the gift that you have been given
– verse 1 – the Joy that is in Christ – no need for seeking other glory
If you are tempted to push yourself forward – focus on what Jesus has done for you… is doing for you
Be unified with each other as you are with Christ
Our relationship with each other is to mirror our relationship with Jesus
Verse 1 Verse 2
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, - then make my joy complete by being like-minded,
if any comfort from his love, - having the same love,
if any common sharing in the Spirit, - being one in spirit
if any tenderness and compassion, - and of one mind.
No self-seeking “Selfish Ambition”
This is not about not using your gifts out of a false sense of humility – it is about motivation
No glory seeking “Vain Conceit”
"Be careful not to do your ’acts of righteousness’ in front of others, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Look after each other “value others above yourself”
– Fred W
Be like Jesus 5-11
Knows who he is – “Who being in very nature God…”
The devil’s main temptation in the desert – “if you really are the Son of God…” – if he could attack Jesus’ identity, the war is won.
Man in airport – “do you know who I am?!”
When we know who we are, we have no need to prove ourselves.
If you struggle with glory seeking, or self seeking, (even if you don’t) meditate on who you are in Christ