Unity Brings Restoration…First Corinthians chapter 1

unity

            God’s plan for the church in Corinth prevailed in a beautiful way. Corinth was a city filled with sin and destruction. It was located in the center of economic trade and hosted the Isthmian Games. People from all over the world came into the city and had the opportunity to interact with God’s people who carried the simple, life-changing message of the cross. These saints were called to be set apart from the world and share Christ to others wherever they went. God’s strategic location of planting a church in Corinth in the middle of all the chaos and wickedness to spread the simple and beautiful message of the cross was fulfilled by His greater purpose. That message landed strategically in my very own heart and will continue to be fulfilled with His purposes and plans.

That amazing and good news is true for you too!

            Paul had spent 18 months building relationships and building the church in Corinth. He received word three years later that there were many problems, divisions and much sin within the walls of that church. The church in Corinth was having great difficulty in adjusting and breaking ties with wordly ways and the ways of their past. As Paul penned the letter to the Corinthians, he spoke hope and life, and truth into the their chaos and confusion, and this first chapter is filled with a message that teaches unity and breaks down the division and walls that had formed in the hearts of the people.

            Paul’s exhortation was filled with God’s goodness and His perception and views of His people.

Now I exhort you brethren by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgement. 1 Corinthians 1:10

The word for division means a split, tear, a rip or a gap. The Corinthians had allowed division to tear them apart, but Paul gives them specific encouragement to be unified in the same mind and the same judgment. The word mind is translated from the Greek to mean the seat of our emotions and affections; it is our disposition, and our mode of thinking and feeling. Our mind is equivalent to our heart.   With that unified mind, the promise of completion would be given. God’s completion is filled with thorough mending, repairing and restoration.

Within First Corinthians Paul speaks to unity by affirming the church in their calling, identity, and gifts that are given to be equipped in the body of Christ in the same mind. The following seven truths can encourage us today to walk in unity within our own families, church bodies, and relationships with other believers. When we choose to see members of the body of Christ and ourselves through the lense of who we are in Christ, we are choosing to walk deeper in our identities and calling bringing about the restoring completion of Christ.

  1. We are family. Paul speaks to our family heritage by calling us brothers and sisters  (1 Cor. 1:10)
  2. We are ALL being “made holy” by Jesus, and He calls all of us saints (identity verse) A saint is a person who receives the Holy Spirit-it is not based on our behavior or spiritual report cards. It’s who Jesus says we are without any conditions. (1 Cor. 1:2)
  3. ALL believers have been called by God, into the fellowship of Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 1:9)
  4. We are ALL recipients of his Grace and Peace. (1 Cor. 1:3)
  5. We have ALL been given this grace that leads us into Thanksgiving. (1 Cor. 1:4)
  6. We have ALL been given gifts that enrich our speech, knowledge and all spiritual gifts. (1 Cor. 1:5)
  7. We will ALL be sustained, confirmed and made blameless to the end. (1 Cor. 1:8)

If there are divisions within the walls of your home, or your church, or Christian relationships, I invite you to begin by praying for the restoration and completion of Christ to be made right within you. We have choices to continue to be divided in our minds and hearts or to allow the beauty of who Jesus says we are, how Jesus sees His saints, and how Jesus equips each of us with His giftings as one body.

If we jump ahead into chapter 2,  we can see a greater truth about our hearts and minds that can change our perceptions and bring us into unity and love.

First Corinthians 2:16

“For Who has ever intimately known the mind of the Lord Yahweh well enough to become his counselor? Christ has and we (ALL) possess Christ’s perceptions.”

I think this sweet and powerful quote from a 6 year old holds a deep truth that we can all apply to our lives.

“A friend’s six year old boy, announced, “I’m smarter than anyone in the whole world.’ How’s that? I asked “Because I have the mind of the Messiah.” Through apprehending God’s Word we can think his thoughts after him.”

We can begin to pray that we see each other, unified by the Holy Spirit, all loved and called, as brother’s sisters, saints, carriers and recipients of His grace and peace,sustained and blameless to the end.

We can pray, access and apply His Unity through the Mind of Christ to be spoken and perceived and believed within any divisions and as we choose to see each other as one in Christ.

Be encouraged, my friend that God has strategically called and placed you right where you need to be. He has, and is, equipping you to fulfill His purpose-confirming (fixing you steadfastly) until the end. He and has given you the mind of Christ to walk in restoration.

My Prayer for unity:

Jesus-build unity within the divisions in my own life with the simple, transforming power of the cross. May I  surrender any worldly or ungodly ways or ties to my past at the foot of the cross of  Jesus Christ.  I pray that I might have the mind of Christ to see my loved ones as you see them.  Change any thoughts and perceptions that do not line up to you and bring your complete restoring power in to the rips and tears and gaps meant to divide. You will faithfully keep me firm to the end so the message of the unifying love of God continues to spread and be made known to all.

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