In his first letter to the Corinthian church he begins with his usual pleasant greetings and fond remembrances, but he then he gets straight to the point that is of foremost importance – division within the church. Satan loves to drive wedges between believers and he will stop at nothing to get a group of Christians to look away from God by focusing on their own opinions and attitudes. And if that misdirection involves the things of the church it is even better.
Paul addresses the issue by reminding the church of what is really at stake. Unity. Jesus in His high priestly prayer asked the Father for His people to be one – even as He and the Father were one. Jesus knew that a church divided against itself could not stand. (Mark 3:25) He also knew that His church would have to be known by the love they shared. (John 13:35) Paul knew this also and he understood fully that the gospel message of Jesus Christ had to spread without hindrances like squabbles over something as insignificant as a personality contest.
The fact is that we must be unified, as Paul instructed the Corinthians, and in order to be unified we must have the same heart and mind as Jesus. If we will but look up and focus on Him, we won’t become preoccupied with the junk around us. Furthermore, we won’t be annoyed by people around us because we are focused not on their idiosyncrasies, but on Jesus. And as the final illustration in this lesson shows, the closer we get to Jesus, the closer we get to our brothers and sisters in Christ and the more we become of one mind and one heart.
The gospel message must be proclaimed but it will only be successfully proclaimed by a united body of Christ.
This Bible study was presented to the Agape Life Bible Study Class of the First Baptist Church in Brenham, Texas, on Sunday, August 14, 2022. It is part of a series of Bible study sessions from The Gospel Project – a Bible study curriculum developed by Lifeway Christian Resources. Handouts with slide content can be requested at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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