Summary: We are to be different because of our oneness.
THIS IS NOT DIFFERENT;
THIS IS THE SAME!
Th: Live the Difference
Pr: WE ARE TO BE DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF OUR ONENESS.
?: What? What causes us to lose our oneness?
TS: We will find in our study of I Corinthians 1:10-17 three areas of failure that cause us to lose our oneness.
The _____ failure is that we lose our…
RMBC 11 January 04 AM
Do you know how to end an argument?
ILL Notebook: Argument (Dumas missed)
The French novelist and playwright, Alexander Dumas, once had a heated quarrel with a rising young politician. The argument became so intense that a duel was inevitable. Since both men were very fast and superb shots they decided to draw lots, the loser agreeing to shoot himself. Dumas lost. Pistol in hand, he withdrew in silent dignity to another room, closing the door behind him. The rest of the company waited in gloomy suspense for the shot that would end his career. It rang out at last. His friends ran to the door, opened it, and found Dumas, with the smoking pistol in hand. “Gentlemen, a most regrettable thing has happened,” he announced, “I missed.”
Today in the Word, MBI, Jan. 92, p.33
Well, that was a creative way to end that argument.
It seems, though, that most arguments don’t end happily.
Instead, regret, bitterness and unfinished business seem to be the heartbreaking results.
To avoid these same kinds of result was the challenge that was before the church in Corinth.
The church needed a way to end the argument.
And it was so important to do so.
1. As believers of the Lord Jesus, we are to “live the difference” He makes in our lives.
You may remember in our study last week, we noted that Paul referred to the church in Corinth as saints.
This means that the very nature of the church, whether the church is located in Corinth or Williamsville, is to be holy.
The church is to live distinctly different than the rest of the world.
The way one lives now is to be noticeably different than the way one lived before they became a Christian.
And here is the problem that Paul brings up…
2. The church in Corinth looked rather the same as its worldly counterparts (10).
Again, as we noted last week, we are to be different.
But this was not different.
This was the same.
This was not a united church, but rather a church that was full of individuals that competed against one another.
So many were trying to “one up” other members of the church.
And here is how Paul begins the challenge to them…
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
There was a lot of arguing and fussing going on.
They were a church divided.
The word that is used to describe the word “division” is “schismata,” from which we derive the word “schism.”
It literally means “to tear or rip.”
The idea here is that the church’s unity was being torn and ripped to shreds.
And this was unnatural.
For the church’s natural status is oneness.
The Lord Jesus has designed the church to be a functional unity that works together.
You see, we are united together by what Christ has done for us on the cross.
Therefore, Paul appeals to the church.
He encourages them, persuasively, that something must be done about these divisions.
For Paul is already recognizing that these disagreements were not over faith and doctrine.
They were about conflicting desires.
For most disputes are about personalities that are in conflict.
So Paul’s encouragement is that they all would agree.
Literally, he wants them “to all speak the same thing.”
For when they would all speak the same thing, it would be then that they would be perfectly united and made complete.
They would be restored to the unity that they were designed for.
So Paul is already teaching us that…
3. WE ARE TO BE DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF OUR ONENESS.
We are to be one when it comes to doctrine.
We are to be one when it comes to our concern and care for one another.
We are to be one when it comes to our attitudes.
Now to be fair here, I don’t think that oneness is necessarily about ideas.
We are allowed and encouraged to think.
You see, there are areas that there is no room for compromise.
And then there are other areas that the revelation is not as complete and there is room for discussion.