Unity: A Summary of 1 Corinthians 1-4 by Bryan Gibson
Walking by the Same Rule by Jim Sasser
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Unity: A Summary of 1 Corinthians 1-4
by Bryan Gibson
The Problem: "Divisions" or "Contentions" Among the Brethren (1:10-12)
The Cause: Exalting Men Instead of the Lord (1:12; 3:21)
The following points are made to help correct this problem:
- You were baptized in the name of Christ, not in the name of any man (1:13-17).
- Your salvation is centered in Christ—He is God's power and God's wisdom; He is your righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. If there is any glorying to be done, glory in Him (1:18-25, 30-31).
- The high and mighty who exalt themselves have no place in the kingdom of God. There is simply no room for boasting and the exaltation of man (1:26-29).
- The preaching you heard from me featured the wisdom of God, not the wisdom of men (2:1-5).
- In fact, the very words spoken to you were revealed to us by the Holy Spirit (2:6-13).
- You cannot understanding these words, because instead of being spiritually minded, you are carnally minded (2:14-3:4). I know this because you are exalting these teachers too highly.
- These teachers should simply be regarded as "ministers through whom you believed" (not IN whom you believed) (3:5).
- One man may plant, and another may water, but God gives the increase. Ideally, you will be God's field and God's building (3:6-9).
- Why limit yourself by saying, "I am of Paul," or, "I am of Cephas"? You belong to Christ and therefore all things are yours (3:21-23).
- Those who preach should be regarded as "servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God" (4:1-2).
- God certainly did not want his apostles to be exalted in the world, because look at all we have been through (4:9-13), to say nothing of what we have to look forward to.
Walking by the Same Rule
by Jim Sasser
“Let us all walk by the same rule, let us all mind the same things” (Philippians. 3:16)
The religious world is sadly divided by a failure to observe and follow the same rule. In religious matters it is common knowledge that people are divided over creeds, types of organization, doctrinal differences, and ways and means of doing the work of the Lord. The basic reason for all religious division is the rejection of ultimate authority, the refusal to accept one standard of authority. We all need to “walk by one rule,” the same source of authority in religion.
Just suppose that every merchant was left free to select and use his own individual yardstick. How would you like for each merchant to use his own scales or measuring devices when he was selling you his products? Imagine the confusion in a world where every criminal could be his own judge. In the absence of accepted, standard authority, where there is no established rule of right conduct, there would always be chaos, division and strife. As we can see, the religious world is no different.
Biblical authority must be respected and obeyed if we are ever do obtain the unity for which our Savior prayed (John 17:20-23). We must determine to walk by the same rule in religion and all speak the same thing (1 Corinthians 1:10).
Many pay lip service to the Bible’s authority and profess to follow it, but in actual practice they have other rules and other standards of authority in which they abide. For example, some people take human reasoning for their authority. They, therefore, reject every practice that does not conform to their own ideas and logic. Some allow emotions to rule their lives. Some say that they allow their conscience to be their guide. Others appeal to traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation.
Very few people down through the ages have ever actually honored and respected the complete and final authority of the word of God. But this is the only basis for true unity and harmony among the followers of Christ (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). God speed the day when we all shall desire to “walk by the same rule.”
What are the conditions of salvation given by Jesus?
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