1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Peter,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
Differences of opinion? Imagine that...
We are all different. Some of us vastly different. Some of us so close to being the same that the differences seem magnified. Some come to Jesus from a background choked with arbitrary, punitive, even abusive rules. We bristle at the mere mention of rules, overemphasize freedom in Christ, and devalue or misunderstand the beautiful truth that our God is a God of order. Others of us come from a background of chaos completely lacking in any kind of structure. We love the side of Jesus that is orderly; the Jesus who had the disciples organize the crowd into groups and sat them neatly on the grassy hillside to feed them.
Now put those two very different mindsets together in a church and ask them to plan something together and see what happens...
Paul is pleading with the church to be of one mind. To come together in unity. To have the perfectly balanced, flexible yet structured mind of Jesus. How could that ever happen? Does he even realize what he is asking? Paul is a unique character himself. You may or may not remember that he got into a disagreement so deeply with Barnabas over John Mark that they split up and were no longer in ministry together. Paul is described as a foundation builder. He got churches started but was rarely around for the "family adjustment" period that always follows the more honeymoon like beginnings.
Don't get me wrong. I am not bashing Paul. I'm just underlining that he like us was on a journey toward Jesus. The One mind ideal he dreamed of for Corinth was still an elusive ideal for him. It can only and will only occur fully when we get Home. Remember that the leaves on the tree of life are for the healing of the nations.
Does that mean we throw up our hands and give up? Not at all. We never arrive at the ideal but we can certainly make progress. Our sinful selves want to avoid this progression. We want Jesus to come to us.
We'll talk about what that looks like tomorrow. Meanwhile in the midst of all this tension we are His children in whom He is well pleased, perfect in Christ. :)