Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Unity of the Churches-God's Will
Counter cultural Unity – Wise Living Unites and Worldly Living Destroys
1st Corinthians 3: 1-9
You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worl“dly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings? Vs.3-4
A. W. Tozer writes about unity in the concluding pages of his book, The Pursuit of God, in this way: “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same tuning fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow.” We understand from this Bible passage that Apostle Paul was frustrated with the Corinthian Church over their factionalism and groupism. In reality they were spiritual and mature people who had trusted Christ and were well aware of their obligations and expectations. Yet, Paul says that he could not address them as spiritually mature people “but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.” He also says that their division over leaders signals their immaturity for kingdom work and that Paul can only teach them the most basic truths due to their lack of maturity. They were reverting to their old “worldly” ways and “mere human” behaviors. He cautions them that their choice to be jealous and quarrel under the guise of spiritual literacy not only dishonors Christ but also presents a confusing message to their city.
Converts were taking sides and lining up behind various church leaders. Apollos, with his sophisticated and cultivated style was an extremely effective leader and had made such an impact that a ‘’team-Apollos” faction had gathered around him. Paul, the famous missionary, had another group following him. All of this was threatening the Church which was going to spilt into two. Paul had absolutely no tolerance for this sort of hero worship. He exhorted the Corinthians that they belonged only to God, not to any human worker, and he warned them to stay together instead of taking sides.
It is remarkable to note that Paul calls them to apply his teaching by following the examples he, Apollos, and other leaders live out. The use of the metaphor of planting and watering shows the right view of God and their united purpose in Christ. Paul uses another metaphor of buildings to teach them how God judges work and rewards. Divisions in the Church is a cause for danger and certainly were as troubling to Apollos as they were to Paul. In the grand scheme of things, we are but servants who work according to God’s design, and God is the one who enables spiritual growth, not us. We are all on the same side, as we are all in Christ. God expects and means for us to be unified as we jointly fulfill the Great Commission. The work is His work, and He is one.
God of oneness, as we live in a world filled with divisions and differences help us to embrace and embody the fact that we are to be one in the Spirit and one in the Lord. By our love and unity, may everyone know that we are Christians as we serve as witnesses to the visible unison of your Church. We pray and look forward to the day in which all unity may one day be restored and that we may become perfectly one, just as You are one. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thought for the Day
“There is no place for man-made barriers in the church since Christ is all, and in all. Since Christ indwells all believers, all are equal. He breaks down all racial, religious, cultural, and social barriers, and according to Ephesians 2:15 makes believers into one new man.”
"quote by John Mac Arthur"
Mrs. Neethi Prasad Kochamma
Wife of Rev. Christopher P. Daniel,
Diocesan Program Manager and Vicar of Jerusalem MTC, Connecticut
The words ,thoughts and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author and not to the Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church