Unity in the Church

In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul warns against divisions in the church and encourages the Corinthian believers to pursue unity. He wrote,

“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. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Corinthians 1:10-17, ESV).

This is a great reminder to Christians to pursue unity in the church. This unity is only possible when we focus on Christ, though. Focusing on and elevating individuals within the church (or even outside the church) inevitably leads to division, as demonstrated by the Corinthian division over Paul, Apollos, and Peter. This is especially true in the digital age in which we live, where easy access to a multitude of teachers and pastors is readily available.

The key to avoiding divisions and maintaining unity is staying focused on Jesus. Paul reminded the Corinthians that Christ was crucified for them, not himself or Apollos or Peter. He reminded them that they were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, not himself or Apollos or Peter. When every member of a church (and every Christian for that matter) focuses on Jesus Christ, the natural result is unity. It will also lead to a love for others and a humble attitude that places others above oneself. So, here is the question: who are you focusing on?

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