• Matt Beaney

#436 (13/9/21) - LEARN TO AGREE (1 COR. 1:10)



This week our devotions are based on 1 Corinthians 1:10-17.

'I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.' (1 Corinthians 1:10)

I APPEAL THAT YOU AGREE

Relationship tension or breakdown may be something that you’ve experienced in the church. I remember a church that I was in being shut down because the people could not agree! Dispute is always lurking. The devil, our flesh and the world that we live in promote brokenness. Our information age has given us a whole new level of conspiracies and halve-truths that can create mistrust and disrespect.


Paul begins to address the divisions at Corinth. This is a massive issue in this letter. Broken relationships were common in Corinthian culture, as it is common in all cultures. Christians are called to reflect the character of Jesus and His Kingdom rather than their broken culture. Therefore, unity must be eagerly pursued, and the skill of overcoming relational landmines must be learnt.


REMEMBER WE ARE FAMILY

Firstly, we are reminded that the church is family. He appeals to them as ‘brothers and sisters’. Family is something that we stick with. We don’t treat church membership and unity lightly. We don’t just leave and go somewhere else because they sing a song we don’t like or organise things in ways that don’t suit us. If the church were your brothers and sisters, how would you treat them?


CONSIDER WHAT OUR RELATIONSHIPS REFLECT ABOUT JESUS

Paul appeals for unity ‘in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ’. Paul is speaking on behalf of Jesus and he knows that it’s Jesus’ will that they pursue loving unity.

Let’s also remember that the church represents ‘the name of Jesus’ and so our relationships in the church reflect on His character for good or bad! Does the way that we relate to our church family reflect Jesus’ name?


PURSUE HEALTHY THINKING

Harmony is maintained through healthy thinking. We are urged to ‘agree with one another in what you say’; this unifying speech is to flow out of being ‘perfectly united in mind and thought’. Bad thinking leads to poor speech and disunity. Good thinking leads to healthy speech and harmony. Poor thinking unites and divides around our favourite leaders, style, age, race... and other non-essential issues. This is not a command to a cult-like subservience. We are not called to some kind of robotic, fear-induced harmony where we all have to wear cardigans and vote for the same political party. Good thinking unites around Jesus as our only Lord and Saviour.


We have to learn how to agree. Harmony is a skill to learn and a value to be pursued. How are you enriching your thinking so that you unite around the gospel? Devotion to God’s word and meeting with Gods’ people will make you a peacemaker.


COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

2. Icebreaker

How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group

On Sunday we continued in our series in 1 Corinthians. The title of the message was, 'OUR UNITY REFLECTS JEUS'. Overcoming worldly disunity by an application of the gospel is a big theme in this letter.


Please read 1 Corinthians 1:10-17.


1. AN APPEAL OVER A COMMON PROBLEM.

Broken relationships were common in Corinthian culture. Christians are called to reflect the character of Jesus and His Kingdom rather than their broken culture. Therefore, unity must be eagerly pursued, and the skill of overcoming relational landmines must be learnt.


2. AN APPEAL TO FAMILY

Paul addresses the church his family. He appeals to them as ‘brothers and sisters’. Family is something that we stick with. We don’t treat church membership and unity lightly.


3. AN APPEAL IN JESUS' NAME

Paul appeals for unity ‘in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ’. Paul is speaking on behalf of Jesus and he knows that it’s Jesus’ will that they pursue loving unity.

Let’s also remember that the church represents ‘the name of Jesus’ and so our relationships in the church reflect on His character for good or bad!


4. UNITED THROUGH HEALTHY THINKING

Harmony is maintained through healthy thinking. We are urged to ‘agree with one another in what you say’. This unifying speech flows out of being ‘perfectly united in mind and thought’. Bad - culture-inspired - thinking leads to poor speech and disunity. Good - Jesus-centred - thinking leads to healthy speech and harmony.


5. HARMONY THROUGH HEALTHY DIVERSITY

Paul speaks of their dividing and quarrelling about leaders. Each leader has a different background, different gifts and a different history with the church that was creating an unhealthy celebrity culture.

However, we are to understand that harmony and strength are created by the variety of gifts in the body of Christ and her leaders.


6. OUR UNITY REFLECTS JEUS

The church is to be like an orchestra. The beauty of the music is in the variety of instruments. Jesus in our conductor. He's the composer. May our music reflect Him to this world that needs Him.


Discussion questions

1. Did God speak to you, or what do you plan to do in response to Sunday's message?

2. Do you have any questions about this text?

3. v.10 - How does unity in mind and thought help to maintain unity?

3. v.11 - Have you ever experienced division over leaders in a local church? (Please be careful not to spread gossip with this question).

4. v.13- Why does division in the church cause Paul to ask 'Is Christ divided?'

5. v.14 - The title of Sunday's message was 'Our Unity Reflects Jesus'. What do disunity and unity reflect about Jesus?

5. SIV

Finally, it would be helpful to talk and pray about how we are doing in regard to Serve, Invest and Invite. Do you have any encouraging stories or any plans in this regard? How do you want to pray in regard to our mission?


Let's be praying and actively preparing to invite friends to our carol service on 5th December. Please make sure this is in you diary.







29 views0 comments