1 Corinthians 1:10-17
"I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize alsothe household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power."
I married a Diamondbacks fan... it's not my favorite thing about my husband, but I deal with it. See, I am a Dodger fan. Born and raised. I may not follow them as closely as a diehard fan should, but no matter what state I live in I will proudly sport that beautiful blue (much to the dismay of my husband.) I think that is is fun to be a fanatic. We love to declare our allegiance to a team or a television show or even a pastor. How many times have I heard a person say, "Do you listen to Piper? I love Piper!" only to hear, "Nah... I'm more of a Driscoll person." I mean, I've even heard people get into arguments over that kind of thing. Do you see how this is finally relating to 1 Corinthians? There is something in our human nature that wants something to belong to. The problem here, and so often in our culture, is the Corinthians were raising the wrong banner.
Paul's plea in this passage is for the church to "be united." He wants them to be of "the same mind and the same judgment." There is so much the church can learn from verse 10. If you want read more in depth about that call to unity, I encourage you to read John Piper's sermon, "The Nature of the Unity We Seek". But the main idea that struck a cord with me is that we, as a body, are to be moving together toward a common goal with a shard purpose. Not only should our direction be the same (our mind), but our reason for that direction as well (our judgment). So often we get so caught up in what God has put right in front of us that we forget He has a global, eternal purpose for the Church. We are a part of the Church. We are a redeemed people through Christ who was crucified for us. The gospel unites us under one purpose which is the Kingdom of God. Along the way the Lord is so good to us. He is teaching individuals different things. He moves us in different directions and little by little convicts us, shaping us into vessels to be used for a specific end. However, if we get tunnel vision about a specific theological camp, or missional mindset, or way of doing ministry, we divide the Church.
When I thought about how the Spirit unifies I was reminded of something my pastor, Josh Reich said on Sunday. He was talking specifically about seeking the will of God in our lives, but I think it applies here too. He said, "Anything that moves the mission of God forward, that makes more of Jesus and less of you, that is what the Spirit is all about!" That is the banner we should raise. United. Seeking the Kingdom for our good and His glory.