Speak the Same Thing

Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.
12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”
13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)
I was always taught that this passage spoke against denominationalism. Specifically, it stood as a warning against believing and preaching different doctrines. It was used similarly to Galatians 1 which is a warning against preaching a different gospel.

But is this what this text is addressing?

Was the church at Corinth expected to be uniform in their beliefs?

We mustn’t confuse unity with uniformity.

Concerning knowledge, Paul warned:

Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.
2 If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know;
3 but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him. (1 Corinthians 8:1-3).
He went onto explain what he meant: there were some at Corinth who came from a polytheistic background. They had yet to grasp the concept of there only being one God. “Not all men have this knowledge” (1 Corinthians 8:7). They were similar to many in Israel’s history who believed in multiple gods but only worshiped one (monolatry).

So, what did Paul mean by his encouragement that they all speak the same thing? It’s found in the next passage as quoted above: they needed to see that they were equal because they were all of Christ. The person that taught them the gospel didn’t matter; their allegiance to Christ did.

We may have different beliefs and hold to different doctrines. But instead of causing divisions by saying “I’m of Calvin” or “I’m of Arminian” or “I’m of Campbell” we should unite by speaking the same thing: “I’m of Christ.”

One Reply to “Speak the Same Thing”

  1. Thanks for an informative essay. In reading your essays, I notice that you pay attention to the immediate context of the passage that you are seeking to illuminate. But you also call attention to the “remote” context (the book itself) , which is an overview of book itself (the whole) in order to bring out the force of 1 Cor. 1:10. Your articles are to the point in your dealing with sound principles of hermeneutics (the science of interpretation). You also draw attention to “audience relevance” in your interpretation of the Scriptures. Keep up the good work!!!!!

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