United in Christ

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:9-17


Paul wrote to the church in Corinth about specific problems they were dealing with and then he gave them rich theology about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and our future resurrection. That’s where the series title “Living in Light of Eternity” come from. With our view of eternity, knowing that our souls will go on forever and ever, knowing that God will judge our behavior, and knowing that His Son Jesus died so that we can spend eternity with God, how should we think, live, and act today?

The city of Corinth was a key seaport city in the trade route throughout the Roman Empire. Like many other wealthy trade cities, it had a reputation for sexual immorality, religious diversity and corruption. Almost two thousand years later, that sound like our culture, doesn’t it? There is nothing new under the sun.

As Paul moves from topic to topic he starts with “Now concerning ….” It’s like saying “about that scratch on the car” or “about that huge credit card bill” Let’s talk about that. It’s important. We will hear about sexual morality, marriage, using our spiritual gifts, and the need for everything to be done in love. Today’s encouragement from Paul is the importance of unity in the church. Yes, we are actually supposed to love each other and get along with each other.

So as we read a letter to another group of Christians in a church, we will look for principles or teachings that may apply to all believers. We should not claim promises or follow warnings that may have be specifically for the original readers. Hermeneutics is the word for how we study, understand and apply the Bible.

Appeal for Unity

Please, in the name of Jesus Christ, be united!

Think, speak, and act in unity.

No more divisions or factions!

Threats to Unity

Four factions each holding up a spiritual leader and their identity in him as better than the rest.

Benefits of Unity

Made rich by speech and knowledge.

Have gifts from the Holy Spirit and lack nothing when we all use them.

Jesus will sustain us to the end – not our good works or comparisons.

God is faithful and he called us into fellowship in Christ and fellowship in the church.

Source of Unity

Jesus Christ is the ultimate source of our unity. There is no division in Christ. We are all united in Him.

Take Homes

When our vertical relationship with God has been made whole, we see ourselves in the proper light – sinners in need of a loving Savior. Our horizontal relationships can be made right because we don’t have to worry who is more important or more valuable to the church. We can put others need in front of our own, because God will provide all our needs.

We don’t have to worry about outdoing others and doing enough works for God to approve and accept us. We are saved by grace and not by our works. We don’t need to be jealous when someone else gets recognized or praised. We don’t need to promote ourselves and what we’ve done. We don’t need to gain others’ approval by outdoing someone else.

When we recognize and believe in God’s unconditional love for us, we can show that same kind of love to others around us. Let it fill you to the brim and spill over the sides. Others will benefit from His love as it naturally begins to flow out of your life.

  • Do you have peace with God? Have you accepted His amazing offer of forgiveness and new life? You are welcome to come talk to me after the service.
  • Are you sharing your spiritual gifts with others in the church and community?
  • Do you need to realign your identity in Jesus Christ instead of building your own identity based on your goodness, your works of service, your position, or heritage?